Only In Israel

Saturday, October 18, 2003

Report 5

Well, here it is. Boot-camp is finished, and moving on to the training course, which will train us how to operate the MLRS system. The first week of the two I spent in the military was spent in an anticipation to the second one. We were all anxious to "get there". To get to the course, to advance to the next level. In an unceremonious speech our Sergeant told us last Sunday that we're now in the course, and explained us that other than a few, cosmetic differences, basically, we're still stuck in the same discipline, with the slight difference that instead of running around all day, we'll have to share our time between that and studying for 14 hours a day.
Most of the enthusiasm melted right there. The rest disappeared the moment they announced that the teams will be changing and, basically, every single friend of mine who was with me will be moving to another commander. So there, back to square one, beginning from the top. We had to create new team dynamics, new bonds, get used to new commanders (which was certainly none of my worries, as I got stuck with the same sucky one).
I spent the remaining time of the week feeling bummered. Nothing especially exciting didn't happen. Basically, it sucked.
The next two weeks are guaranteed to be hard, as now, that we've moved to our course, the discipline and the responsibility got rougher, basically meaning harder punishments. Not even speaking about spending 14 hours a day studying (with tests every now and then, to check we've got it all down). Anyhow, atleast I've got plenty of time to think about this weeks post in the blog. Here's something I wrote one of the nights just to distract myself from the bummerish feeling (called "shvizut" here... will explain about it another time).
One of the things that is the most problematic in the military, is the lack of communication with the outside world. You don't have TV. No radios either, newspapers are rare, and when they're there, you hardly have time to read them. This is why, when you get the time to phone home, you're always surprised to hear news from your parents.
To me, ass a former news-junkie, it was especially hard. I was addicted to news 24/7. Radio news, TV news, Internet updates. Moving from that, to not having news at all was pretty hard. It hits me especially on Sundays. I follow a story through the weekend, and when I get back to the army on Sunday, I never hear about it. Takes me quite a while to find updates or read about it later on.
Another aspect of that disconnection is the music. You never get to hear music in the military. You really don't understand the great part music takes in your lives. When you walk on the streets, you hardly notice the music coming from the shops around you. Well, after returning from the military I do.
everything, on Friday when I get on the bus from the base and hear the radio, it strikes me I've never heard music in two weeks. Other than being weird (hearing people singing ETC), it's refreshing in ways you've never thought possible. You know how you feel about a new cool song coming out from an artist you really really like? Imagine listening to the radio for a few hours feeling that exact sensation.
Those are all hardships you don't feel on a day to day basis, but only realize it when you encounter the things you've missed.
Anyhow... See you in two weeks (or less, if they'll let us out to vote on the local elections).

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