-Troops guarding the gate at the troop encampment called "Cement City" were checking vehicles carefully for wayward tents and cots - the two hottest items leaving the camp surreptitiously.

- Daybreak in Saudi Arabia arrives between 4:30 and 5 a.m. The morning is cool enough to be comfortable through about 8:30. Dust and blowing sand on the horizon can completely obscure the afternoon sun 45 minutes before sundown, which is between 7:30 and 8 p.m.

- The Saudi Arabian monetary unit is the riyal, which is currently being exchanged at the rate of 3.6 to 3.75 to the dollar. Paper currency is printed in Arabic on one side and English on the other. The notes bear King Fahd's portrait on the Arabic side. The English side of a one-riyal note features a desert landscape, the 10-riyal note has a desert oasis scene, and the English side of the five-riyal note shows an aerial view of an oil refinery.

- American troops carry nerve and chemical agent gas masks at all times - even when jogging or walking to and from shower areas. The masks fit in a canvas pouch that hangs off a soldier's left hip. Soldiers are considered proficient in the use of the masks if they can put them on in nine seconds.

- Soldiers are warned to check their boots before putting them on in the morning because they are a favorite hideout for scorpions.

- A guide book to Saudi culture, printed by the U.S. military, warns soldiers against making the "OK" sign with their thumb and index finger because it signifies the evil eye to the Saudis. Crossing the legs so the sole of one's shoe points at another person is also considered insulting.

- Public buses have a separate section and separate entrance in the rear for women.

-Because of the extreme desert temperatures, soldiers are advised to drink at least four gallons of water each day and as much as 10 gallons when performing vigorous work outside.