After basic, I was given a slip of paper to report to the Bakoum. For those who don’t remember, that’s the enlistment center where I spent my first day. What was supposed to happen was that I was suppose to see an assignment officer (or Kzin Miyun) and get my assignment and be off.
I ended up meeting up with my friend David from tironut (basic) on the way there. This was good because I never would have found the way on my own. Once I arrived I saw a few more faces I recognized from tironut which was nice. I had a wait ahead of me, which all in all was not too bad. There was a television, a covered area, and plentiful food- definitely better than guard duty. My wait only ended up being about 4 hours or so.
I was finally called in, and started to get nervous. This is the guy who was going to (finally) decide what I was doing. They said go in and tell him everything you need to say because you will only see him once, which definitely added some more pressure. I went in, and tried to sputter out in Hebrew everything I needed to say. How I was a lone soldier and volunteer, about all my skills, how I wanted to be in the journalism unit, how I was making a very hard decision. I think I got about halfway through before he stopped me and told me there was no way at all he could send me to Dover Tzahal (the Spokesman Unit). I thought that was the end of it, but he said he’d double check and sent me outside.
So I kept a really simple journal over these past two weeks. I thought it would be a good idea, with just some simple notes on each day I could better recount stuff when I had time to write it down. And it’s not that it was a bad idea, I just found that what came out was kind of dry. The things I ended up remembering the best were the people, not what happened. I didn’t really need to take notes on the friends I made to remember them.
The best times were the down times, the Hebrew lessons in between the real lessons, the joking around, the cigarette breaks. (Sorry Mom, I didn’t smoke all that much, just when it was offered, it was kind of a camaraderie thing.) For those guys a break really isn’t a break without a cigarette. Even when it’s pouring rain, 10 minutes with a cigarette under a shitty open tent with a bunch of guys, commiserating, sharing pictures of current and ex girlfriends, telling dirty stories- saying anything really is what I’ll remember best.
Sorry these posts are getting a bit long, lot of stuff happens!
Although the first two weeks were somewhat of a cake walk, these last two weeks were trying. My friend Maoz may have put it best: Nothing here is all that challenging or difficult, it is simply the endless repetition and senseless redundancy that wears you down.
I checked the weather report before heading for the morning train on Sunday- it bode very poorly. Rain. Rain all fucking week. While this is normally a blessing in Israel, it was scaring the shit out of me, cause all I could think about was our torn and tattered 30+ year old tents. Somehow I didn’t believe that they would hold up, or that I would hold up. I was already feeling sniffly since Friday.
So I’m sorry it’s been a while, but between basic and the crazy week of actually finding out my job I haven’t had much time to write. But I guess I’ll pick up where I left off in Basic.
Getting back from the first weekend home was a little harder than I expected. Although nothing in Basic had been too hard up to this point, who the hell really wants to go back to 4am wake-ups and sleeping in a frozen tent. I managed to pack a little lighter trimming a lot of this shit I didn’t need- like books or any sort of fun.
Arriving at the train station was a bit of a trip. I ran into some of the guys from the platoon, which was really nice- reminded me that I actually like it here sometimes. But I also saw a couple of the commanderettes, which was a little like seeing a teacher out of school. Seeing them gab about earrings and nailpolish remover like the 19-year old girls they were didn’t really help the issue I’m having respecting their authority. Though to be honest, it’s not all that hard, most of them have worked quite hard on that “bitch-face” of theirs.