Welcome to Thehate. Where it’s flat and immense and the heat is intense. It’s barbaric, but hey, let’s go home. Almost!
Thehate is the codename for the sandy expanse where my current home base is located. I call this base the Shire. Brush up on your Tolkien, because it is about to get nerdy in here. Here on the Shire, the fobbits work and play. It seems like most of them just play, but who am I to judge? Fobbits are Soldiers whose main job function is located on the forward operating base, or FOB. They remain trapped on a FOB until a Task Force Wizard invites them on an adventure. Luckily, we were able to escape for many engineering adventures before having to return to the Shire. That tale is for another time, when project particulars are declassified.
This version of the Shire also has the climate of Mordor. Have you ever cooked garlic bread and opened the oven door to check the melitness of the butter only to have your face and eyes broiled by the unforgiving heatwave? That is where I am currently living; in that oven. It has been reaching 122 Fahrenheit with wind gusts that sandblast any exposed skin. I’m trying to focus on the fact that people pay to have their skin sandblasted for beauty, but I’m feeling less than radiant for the experience.
The Shire is redolent of a trashy community college campus where people seem to feel entitled, horny, and no one will pick up the trash that manifests everywhere. Despite the grim picture I may be painting, there are several bonuses to the Shire. We’ve got breakfast, 2nd Breakfast, Elevensies, Lunch, Supper, and Midnight Chow. There is a variety of restaurants if you are unhappy with the free dining facility food. Sports and recreation are also abundant in the Shire if you don’t mind the heat and dust. Every Wednesday I join a who herd of fobbits for the weekly 5K run. Half the event is telling everyone you see the day before that you are running a 5K tomorrow morning. If I pass out during the run, please pause my Garmin.
As living conditions go, this is one of the better places I’ve been overseas. However, I was inspired to research the traditional Japanese architecture, known as Shoji, because of this building. These walls are not only paper thin but seem to amplify sound. Add 50lb metal doors to the structure and you have the sound effect of a mortar impact anytime someone enters. The part that really frosts my cookies is that the people living here know how loud everything sounds in this ludicrous structure, yet they still allow doors to slam and speak at operatic volume. We have come back around to the entitlement I mentioned earlier. Nasty fobbitis, keep me from my precious sleep.