13 delusions about life in the army (I’ve spent 2006 there):

1. I thought that going in army is OK; that it’ll be one good experience worth of all trouble. WRONG army is such a waist of time (here is mandatory) and now when I’m thinking about my pre-army thoughts I see how pathetic and desperate they are.

2. I thought that some of Murphy’s Laws will detour me. Oh no, that surely is not possible, not to me 🙂

3. I thought I’ll find some book worm like I am so that we could compare our thoughts about certain writers or books, etc. Oh NO – I was the only freak with book!

4. Oh well, not all people are reading, that’s fine. I’ll find someone who is following news and politics or with (at least) basic knowledge. Oh gosh, how wrong! Guy asked me once looking in newspaper:
Where is that Buns… Buens .. Buseanais … Buenos Aires? (he finally won the battle with those evil, horrible words)
I thought ”My God!” and said: ”Well that would be Argentina’s capital city” and then he continued:
Are you sure? Argentina’s? If so, where is then Cairo?”
Good grief! Of all cities in the world he picked Cairo! I mean (it would be painful but still) if he said Bogotá or Sao Paulo or at least Albuquerque I would even try to understand … but Cairo!!! So what could I possibly say to this poor guy than:
”You see mate, Argentina was English colony and Argentineans were fighting for centuries against British yoke and few years ago they won! Argentina became independent country and they changed name of the capital: they threw away English “Cairo” and give Argentinean “Buenos Aires”. So no worries mate, it’s the same town.
And he was very satisfied: Yeah I thought something like that too”

5. I always thought that not being homophobic doesn’t mean that you are homosexual. Well not here and can you imagine worse place to find out that than the army???
I was reading The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst (great novel, you can see my impressions on my blog down) where the main character is gay. They couldn’t believe it!
You are reading book where is a faggot!?!?
– Well I usually say “gay” or “homosexual” but yes I read.
– How can you? What do you think about faggots?
– I really don’t have problem with that issue. I’m totally indifferent

Next day guy said me how I’m very pretty and very attractive
and very heterosexual, mate!

6. I was convinced I’ll never watch Big Brother but one night about 3.00-4.00 am I caught myself staring 15 minutes in TV watching how they SLEEP!!! When I realized that I turned off TV in fear. Tomorrow I share that horrible fact with one of my army-mates and he asked me did I turn up the volume? I was confused and reply NO. And then he said:
Oh but you’ve missed the best part! You can hear when they are farting!!!
I’m sure that’s simply enchanting experience! So bloody divine that you could actually feel the smell!

7. I thought you have to know at least something about the word or term you’re using it, especially when you are speaking about serious stuff. One guy was telling us how his older brother has a lung cancer but now is fine after few weeks of therapy and doesn’t have to go to regular checks anymore (I asked him about checks). It was very suspicious so I asked him few times “Lung cancer?” and he replied “Yes” then I asked him:
Do you have the slightest idea WHAT is lung cancer?
– Yeah he was coughing but really bad

Then I translated him word “cancer” (we use that Latin term too but also have Serbian word) and then he said “ Oh no, no that wasn’t cancer”
I couldn’t believe it. He said cancer ONLY because that sounds … I don’t know, exotic I guess or appropriately serious or … who knows why!

8. I thought that people know their own mother tongue. Sadly I was wrong again. When I worked on phone central in the hospital people would call and then they couldn’t explain what they want because they couldn’t find the words to express themselves? The same was more/less with my army mates so I don’t know what was in their head when they saw me reading book in English (and later Spanish). I had to read them because of BookRing. One was wondering do I really understand what I’m reading? Other was sweet enough to admit I don’t read book in Serbian!

9. I honestly believed that human stupidity has SOME limits. Oh how endlessly wrong I was! I was in phone central in hospital and it was Monday morning. Our chef came and asked me do I know anything about missing phone from the department for emergency squad? I didn’t know. Then we saw new phone in central where I was working…
Guy who worked in Friday is second shift thought that phone we have is ugly and its colour is out of harmony with other phones so he decided to find a new one with more appropriate colour….
Emergency squad was out of reach whole weekend thanks to that idiot!
Stupidity is eternal.

10. I thought I’ll start smoking again (I quit smoking 6 years ago) but luckily I was wrong there too :-* Moreover I was that bastard who insisted on prohibition of smoking in work rooms, but I wasn’t faking, it really had horrible effect on me (I don’t think I’d able to start smoking even if I’d like to).

11. I thought you’re free to express your political opinion freely. Well you’re not! Army is highly political institution and it would be best to shut and blink.

12. I thought my pre-army life was interesting only for me. I would never thought that someone unknown knows my moves. Once we had a visit “from the top” and that lieutenant has interviewed one of us (not me). Among questions were the ones referring on the rest of guys… he knew where I’ve been, my unofficial education (not on University) especially related on foreign languages (English, Spanish and Farsi); he knew that I was abroad and for how long etc. Spooky isn’t it?

13. I never thought I’d speak stories from the army LOL

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

1. Mike
2. Gabrielle
3. Susan Helene Gottfried
4. zmrzlina
5. sobeit
6. Di
7. Angela/SciFiChick
8. sarala
9. laura
10. luna
11. morgen
12. amy
13. allie
14. tink