If you’ve ever been on the Universal Studios Hollywood backlot tour, you’ve seen the Bates Motel made famous in the movie “Psycho.”
Calling this place the “Bates Motel” was giving it a LOT of credit. In fact, it was a generous characterization. My room was about 10×8 feet, and there were FOUR beds within. Fortunately, I had no roommate for this visit.
One of the more interesting parts of the complex was not the dirty floors or the bathrooms where you were required to use bottled water to brush your teeth. It was this Iraqi boat that was prominently displayed in the courtyard of the Tomahawk Village lodging (the actual name of the Bates Motel).
The gun itself was Russian-made, which was evident given the Russian writing all over it. Coincidentally, old Iraqi jets were also Russian MiGs… covered in Russian writing on the wiring, etc.
It turns out Taji used to be an old Iraqi Army base. Right next to the lodging facility we stayed in, which I presume received one fake sapphire on the AAA Five-Diamond rating system, were these old destroyed buildings.
Looking at the structure and design of the buildings, I gather that they were most likely barracks used by the Iraqi Army. If you think about the bay-style barracks you’ve seen in films like “Full Metal Jacket,” this would fit the bill.
All that’s left there now is a fairly damp mud pit filled with broken bricks and old beer bottles left there by others passing through. This ground is probably the most fertile land in Iraq, and it’s a blown-up building.
There are hundreds of these old Iraqi tanks left for dead at Camp Taji. All of them are destroyed or in various states of non-function.
Most of them have some form of graffiti on them left by Coalition Forces. Some of the graffiti is inappropriate for this site, but generally has to do with the size of the cannon on the tanks.
I leave that to your imagination, but I did see a phrase made famous in “Full Metal Jacket” painted on the barrel of one of the tanks.