Friday, January 29, 2010

Communal Living

I got my haircut last night. It cost $7. I think that's the first money I've spent since I arrived here almost 2 weeks ago. If you don't like the rising costs of goods and services try life on a deployed military base -- almost everything is "free" (of course I had to put quotes around that). It's the ultimate in communal living; no rent for your room, no charge to eat at any of the 12 dining facilities on base, you drop off your laundry and pick it up 3 days later with only your ticket in exchange, your vehicles are provided and maintained and fueled, there's no utilities or taxes either (although I do have to pay for this internet connection each month... I guess that's a utility of sorts... and definitely a luxury here in the field). However, all these perks do come with some drawbacks. For example, 80 people per 4 showers (only 3 minutes allowed), there's only one choice for laundry service, if you don't like the food... too bad, you can't much complain about the services that you don't pay for. It is quite overwhelming to think about 28,000 people living in what really constitutes a small city (more people than Milwaukie), and all the money that it takes to keep it going each and every day is ALL paid for by our Government. It's quite crazy when you think about it. I just thought I'd pass along some of that perspective today. :)

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