Thursday, January 3, 2008

Dec 24th 2006, Sunday 144 days to go...

Tomorrow is mom’s birthday. Of course I won’t be there to celebrate her. I won’t be able to celebrate dad’s and my sister’s birthday either. However for the New Year I secretly bought gifts for them before coming here. I put the gifts in my room in a closet. On December 31st, I’ll call dad and tell him where the gifts are. It’s surely gonna cheer them up.

The window of the dorm has a pleasant scenery of the highway. Accross the highway there’s a river, a large bridge, and the rest is all green. It’s a perfect picture of freedom. Just near the entrance of the military, there’s a digital sign which shows the temperature of outside. The sign instantly took me back to Zalau-Romania. It’s so different in here, every memory comes back to your brain, all your five senses, so easily. It’s like a blind person sharpening his other senses. For a few minutes I felt like I was actually there. Let me tell you a little bit about Zalau. It’s a town in Romania where I stayed for a while to be with my girlfriend.

I had stayed in a modest but decent hotel room, where there’s a cable network in rooms and two beds even if you pay for one. I had spent most of my time in that room, waiting for my girlfriend to leave work. In front of the hotel there’s a big square. In the middle of the square there’s a similar sign which shows the time and temperature. So sometimes I’d get bored, take my old walkman and take a walk past that square. I’d then pass by churches and old small houses. The weather was ussually cloudy and since it often rained, there would be a soft coolness and the dense smell of fresh rain. Every building would have a Romanian flag in front of its window.

There was also a park with an amphitheater. So wherever there was a concert or similar organisation (like “Zalau Days” at the beginning of August), this park or the square would be the place to do it. The names of the shops (like “American Fastfood”) would show the country was no longer under the shadow of communism. The faces of people were quite different than the Turks. They all had this calm facial expressions, probably because nobody is trying to get on them and ride their asses. Unlike Turkish people where we always look aggressive and aware. The Romanian girls ussually had a sad and innocent look that would make you wanna love them. The town was so small, the buses had only one route, so you wouldn’t have to read where it’s going when you get on a bus.

Of course it’s harder now to visualise all this while I’m writing here on the training field, sitting under the sun and watching commandos and short-term soldiers playing basketball. Gotta put this notebook back in the locker.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Dec 23rd 2006, 145 days to go...

(14:40) It’s been 12 days since I came here, but nothing’s getting even slightly better. I don’t wanna take this shouting and insulting anymore. I don’t wanna watch jackals howling at lions for no apparent reason just because they have more military ranks. I wanna shout too. I wanna scream “GIVE ME BACK MY FUCKING FREEDOM! GIVE ME BACK MY FUCKING LIFE! GIVE ME BACK MY FUCKING LIFE!” But I can’t. And the only thing to keep my sanity intact is the 15-minute-breaks they give between training sessions, where I sit on a tire on the field, inhale the fresh grass, and look at the fence, and what’s beyond it, the buses taking people to their homes, the children playing basketball, the planes taking people to their cities, the birds flying freely, and the trains, passing occasionally just near the training field. Sometimes I stand up and wave at the people in the train, and children wave back at me, and they go away, and then the whistle blows. And we go back, marching with rifles...

Today I also realised it’s been 12 days I haven’t seen a girl. This was one of the things I was worrying about before coming here, would I go crazy without seeing girls, without listening to music, without internet, without everything that gives flavour to my life. But right now... I think of none of these. EVEN MUSIC. I even doubt I’ll listen to music when my family comes and brings my discman at the end of the recruit training (Jan 12th). All these things were worthy when I was enjoying my life. I don’t want to enjoy anything knowing I’m not a free person. All I long for right now is a bedroom which doesn’t stink, a comfortable bed with no snoring sounds, a place to call home, clean clothes, a decent bath, some real food and spoon or fork to eat with, and knowing that I’m free. Anyone who’s reading this, know the value of your freedom, no matter who you are, if you’re free to do whatever you want, then you’re fortunate.

(16:56) I forgot to tell, people are surprisingly interested in me being an astronomer. They keep asking me the names of the stars they point at, and questions about the universe. You wouldn’t know what might help you make friends.

What I also found out that, being a college graduate doesn’t automatically make you a mature or even an educated person. I can’t believe how stupid they can be. Some of them make fun of me that I’m an astronomer ‘cause it doesn’t make money. Some of them claim that they don’t read book AT ALL. How can someone not read a book? Of course these guys are graduated from very simple universities with the sole purpose of having an easy & short military service. The question is, do they deserve it?

Two commandos are reading astrology on the newspaper, here in the lounge, with 50 people sitting tightly next to each other. One of the says: “My sign says I’ll go to a crowded place soon” Other one replies: “Then you’ll probably have a permission to go downtown”

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Dec 22nd 2006 Friday; 145 after midnight...

(20:29) I’m glad to say that the days are passing faster every day. Today we got our rifles and did simple training. Standing and waiting to get the rifle was of course killing, I was barely standing up after 3 hours. Damn.

Also, two completely opposite groups, the uneducated and childish commandos and university graduate adults are slowly blending into each other. I remember myself waking up to a nightmare on the second day of the military, getting scared of everything, choking between the walls. Each day we’re becoming more and more sluts of the military. We’re starting not to care about imprisonment or the stupid work the commanders make us do, and we’re enjoying our stay, laughing at every opportunity possible. And my language is becoming more and more offensive everyday. I never cussed in my life as much as I did in these 10 days. I just hope I’ll be able to get back to normal when I’m out.

Just like we’re looking like them, the commandos are looking like us more everyday. Yesterday one of them took my friend’s book and read the first page. He said he liked it but his friend said “You don’t have enough brains to read that book” The guy objected but, he said he doesn’t know the meaning of “monotone” & “clichet”. After searching, they managed to find someone who knows these words,

Monotone is , like I wake up every morning at 5 and...”

“Dickhead you wake up at 6:30”