Travelling Makes Strange Bedfellows

On my flight from SeaTac to Amsterdam, I sat by a nice guy named Vince. He is originally from Saipan and now works as a contractor doing some sort of electrical work on Kandahar Air Base. When he said that he’s from Saipan, I believe I said something colossally idiotic like, “You’re from the what?” Hopefully that is my only “Stupid American” (and it turns out that Saipan is a territory of the US!) moment on this trip! It was fascinating to hear about the living conditions at the Kandahar Air Base and some of the goings on there. It turns out that there are several big US-based chain restaurants on base, alcohol is not permitted, and it can sometimes rain hard enough there to overturn a Humvee! He gave me some travel trips for going to Dubai (a popular getaway for contractors in Kandahar) complete with a tourist map! This was great, as I am considering a trip to Dubai, possibly next year.