Memories, adventure, and travel. I must have told this story a dozen times to anyone who was interested. This story is quite memorable for me for a multitude of reasons. How illness alters my thinking. How taking chances makes for a great story. It also reinforces my hesitations about traveling alone. For the obvious safety concerns, but, also, I now have a memory that is unique to me and one other person. This is something that can never be recreated by any other two people.
In 2005, I was stationed with the 69th ADA (Air Defense Artillery) in the Brigade HHB (Headquarters, Headquarters Battery) in Giebelstadt, Germany. The unit was on a two year rotation. One year the unit went to Greece and the next year the unit went to Israel. 2005 was the Israel rotation. About a week after we arrived, I was sent to a forward operating area to perform some communication tasks. A few things happened while I was away: the Pope died, and there was an illness that swept through the unit. The pope dying is an interesting event. This is an event that does not happen very often. It is an event that remains memorable. The illness, from what I experienced later, was a mean one. From what I heard, it ran rampant for about two weeks.
I eventually rejoined the unit. By this time, the camp was torn down and we were heading to the airport to leave. Unfortunately, it was not that simple. The events that occurred during this transition are best left for another story of its own. The unit lands in Frankfurt and is awaited by the bus. After the last few days we had, a simple return was greatly appreciated. I took my seat and the bus began to move. I pushed the seat back and closed my eyes. I began to drift to sleep. I turned my head to the ...
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...ng, with his stupid rolling suitcase, and me, with my heavy duffel bag and case of death, began walking down the street. The hotels we ran into were local hotels with no front desks. They were nothing like the mega chains we have in the United States. All of them had looked front doors with instructions to call a phone number after business hours. Neither one of us had a cell phone, nor was there a pay phone to be found. So, we kept trekking down the street. Eventually, we ran into a sign that indicated there was a youth hostel nearby. We walk up and down the same street for a half and an hour until we finally find the building. We must have walked past the building three times before we realized what we were looking for. Unfortunately, the building was closed down and the youth hostel had moved locations. Fortunately, it was only one block from our current location.
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