You might have been on mission for too long, if …

Rainbows over base campYou might have been on mission for too long, if …

  • diarrhoea has become a completely ordinary and acceptable conversation topic at breakfast
  • you have forgotten the door code for your apartment at home and have to ask your tenant
  • you get upset if a new member of the team sits at “your” spot for breakfast
  • the location of “your” spot on the table has become part of the briefing for new members of the team
  • you cannot come up with any non-work topics to talk about, even though you are trying really hard
  • 06:15 feels like oversleeping
  • you can’t figure out what month it is, but you can instantly calculate the current time at headquarters
  • you start counting down to your next R&R less than one week after coming back from your last one
  • you introduce people as “he’s the new Edward” or “she’s the new Sandra” –  and nobody understand your reference
  • you remember the names of people from three rotations ago, but can’t be bothered to learn the current ones
  • you have trouble sleeping in a real bed
  • you read an OCHA SitRep and know what all the acronyms and abbreviations mean
  • you are genuinely startled when you see yourself in a mirror
  • you start feeling tired at 18:00 because that’s when curfew is,  even while on R&R
  • you can’t remember the last time you saw a movie that wasn’t on somebody’s hard disk or came on a DVD from Thailand
  • your mental image of a romantic evening is anywhere out of sight of latrines
  • you can accurately predict who will be in the communal showers before entering
  • people think it’s appropriate for them to show you the fungus they have picked up in the shower, even though you are neither a doctor nor a nurse

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this list over the last few months!

Additions are more than welcome 🙂


  1. Lilianne Fan August 7, 2010
  2. Peter August 12, 2010
  3. George September 30, 2010
  4. Bibi October 2, 2010
  5. Nomad October 8, 2010