Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Transit Time

Frankfurt Airport
Monday December 4, 2006
11.00 am

Sitting in the lounge, waiting for Ollie and Andy to show up. And waiting for a shower in the next few minutes. So it is basically a waiting game.

One of the ironies of being based in Israel is that you cannot check your baggage through to Kuwait. Thus I checked in five cases 95 kg for the leg Tel Aviv to Frankfurt paid $600 Excess baggage and then upon arrival in Frankfurt have to go through Passport and Immigration, find a porter collect my bags walk out thru customs catch a lift up one flight and check back in for the Frankfurt to Kuwait sector pay another 1100 Euros close close to $1600 excess and go back through immigration and Passport Control. The real clincher is to go over all my bags looking for any security stickers from Israel that could cause trouble upon arriving in Kuwait tonight.

The irony is that from Kuwait back to Tel Aviv, I can actually check my cases the whole way back and pay a kings ransom in excess baggage, they cut no deals and charge to the last kilo ever single dollar.

This trip is better than some as I am only bringing the transmission and communications gear from my kit, that still takes five cases, taking out my personal bag the weight is around 80 kilos of kit. The cameras come from New York as they are NTSC standard and this saves a standards conversion of multiple tapes at the end.

We work with four cameras, two PD 170s and two small PC109’s or 27’s mainly for night work. The kit also includes suction mounts for attaching to the exterior of armored humvees, monopods for shots up thru gun turrets, wide-angle lens, and Infra red light kits.

It is impossible to use the bulk of Betacam’s in war zones; they also have the disadvantage of looking like a rocket launcher on your shoulder. A couple of years back a nervous soldier accidentally shot and killed a Reuter’s cameraman for that very reason.

I like working with the PD cameras and 80% of all my work in conflict zones is now done with the PD, attach the new wireless microphone system and it is a great system that has no hanging cables to get entangled and you can move fast in and out of the humvees, that is if you ever do actually get out of them on a patrol.

If anyone is interested I can post the complete war kit I travel with, so you have an idea if at some stage you have an assignment in a hostile environment.

14:15 EN ROUTE
Frankfurt – Kuwait

Having met up with Ollie and Andy at the airport, one of those enjoy these beers because they are the last for a few weeks type reunions, we are now enroute to Kuwait. I thought we might have a nice relaxing night at the Hilton before heading into Iraq, looks like we could be heading straight out to the military airport and a cot bed for the night. Then to add joy to the travel plans it seems that we might have to fly into Baghdad in the morning, (now morning in military terms means anything after midnight tonight) to get some accreditation and do some pick ups interviews, with Ollie a pick up interview could mean access to Casey the total el supreme of all operations in Iraq.

In the meantime will just relax and let the time pass, what shall be shall be.

No comments: