Yomping all over…
an un-edited field note written on an iPhone, somewhere in North Korea
The environment: So far so good, all seems disturbingly calm. No rat, no rabbit and not even a scampering squirrel at sight – meaning, we can’t live off this land unless we join the green munchking party.
Nothing to loot, nothing to shoot except jumping bamboo shoots – and that’s got to be before Pandas got them. If you know what i mean? Stay too long in the wild, the animal in you grow whiskers, and before you know it, you’re not only sniffing the place out, you’re trying by all means to beat the flaming Pandas to their own food.
This, my friends, is becoming more fun, I thought, as I kept watch on my arc of fire like others in my party.
See, no matter how well you prepare to blend in to a terrain, the last thing you’ll wish for is for small things like a flock of birds, a herd of animals or a mad dog to give you away – and like it or not, we encountered many dog situations in Afghanistan.
It wasn’t fun to deal with back then, even worse, realizing we’re playing soldiers in the middle of someone’s poppy field. But, what the heck? Get on with the job at hand, adapt and stay focused. No other way to it. One thing though, we did learn to smell like the place. And as for spitting, we spat so well like a typical Afghani, we were able to full their dogs.
But here, north of this Korean peninsula, it is different.
Strangely different as a matter of fact, blending in is almost impossible. First to consider is our built, no matter the amount of bone shrinking adjustments on our body and regardless of how clever the surgeon is, he/she can never get it right.
Second, is the food. We haven’t been on a diet of kimchi or rice and dried fish long enough for us to start letting out breath like true sons and daughters of the great leader. Someone suggested a diet of fermented garlic, dried onion and ginger as part of our MRE. Well, nice from the sound of it, but I’d rather stay drunk to fight than be stylishly healthy for a job like this.
Typically, when I am in a situation like this, I have this way of loosening the back end of my jaw. Why? Well it opens up my trachea and my ear as a listening device picks up more sound that way – tongue lowered, lips closed.
… that was what I did when I picked up the dull tap.
Reflectively, I tensed, moved my eyelids towards the source of the sound like a chameleon would. Two options to mind – my Emerson, already in hand will do the job perfectly from this range or the specially designed HSW string attached to the stem will finish the job.
Sadly that probable kill was never to be. The culprit turned out to be a tech. and a very useful one in the party.
Sent from my iPhone
Herb. S. Within (Maj.) The Royal Highland Fusiliers
Her Majesty’s 2nd Battalion (52 Infantry Brigade) UK