Since the flight duration was small and the airplane also small, there was less legroom to stretch our legs. We arrived at the An-Najaf International airport in Iraq deep in the heart of the Shiite world. Americans were the last nationality to get their visas surprising for us since our forces are still there. One thing to note in Iraq and Syria is that people smoke a lot and then smoke even when they are standing right below or next to the sign saying “No Smoking” in both English and Arabic so you have to be careful to avoid sitting next to or walking by some guy smoking. Because if you are a non smoker the smell of the smoke can give you a headache, coughing or breathing problem immediately.
Anyway it was starting to become boring seeing everybody getting their visas issued and we were the last ones to get one. But once we finally did, we headed towards the immigration counter to get it processed. After that we looked for our luggage and then got to one of the buses waiting for its last passengers. It was a hot day but not that bad considering what we had been told it would be in Najaf, Iraq. The buses were obviously air conditioned and so we departed the airport where I am not sure I saw some U.S. combat soldiers but maybe I was wrong since the Iraqi forces now wear their own dark blue/black uniforms and sometimes they wear the uniforms provided by the U.S.