Back in 2003, I purchased a Primus dual fuel stove for the sole purpose of having a "brew with the Brits" in Iraq. I had no problem with the two bottles of white gas I had in my check in luggage, but they did confiscate one disposable lighter. Eagle eyed TSA for the win. The stove served its purpose, boiling water for my daily routine of coffee, shaving, washing my face, all out of a canteen cup. But after a short while, the stove took a life of its own. We did not have a communal source of hot water, so every morning, there would be a line of soldiers waiting their turn to heat up some water for personal hygiene or some instant coffee. Needless to say, the white gas ran out quickly so we switched to diesel fuel. That poor stove ran black and sooty, but it ran faithfully. The stove became like the water cooler. People would just hang out where the stove was, sharing stories or just plain wasting time. Finally, a couple of weeks into the invasion, a convoy of British troops arrived at my location. I ran like a child to offer them some tea I had for the occasion. It wasn't good tea, but I did get my chance to drink it with the British soldiers like I planned. Later on, the stove met an espresso maker, a match made in heaven. But that's a story for another time (^_^).
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