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Back here again. Jubail is beginning to feel like a second home, we slip back into life here so easily. We remember what channels are on the TV, what to order for lunch to minimise the amount of it that’s stale. Out on the range, they remember our tea and coffee preferences, and we have our own mugs. I’ve given up wondering if each trip will be our last, saying goodbye as if we would never return. I guess our real final trip will sneak up on us in the end, never letting us know that’s what it was until long after we’ve returned home.
For years I’ve travelled around with wildly varying hairstyles across my various forms of ID, from my passport photo taken with barely any hair in 2005 to more recent shoulder-length versions. I’m surprised I’ve made it this far without being questioned by anybody, but I imagined the first query would come from a passport checker in a booth somewhere, probably on re-entering Britain, who I’d be able to have a chat with and explain the haircuts.
As it turns out, the first person to question it was a Marine. With an AK47. Who didn’t speak English.