On Monday, my son is thinking about enrolling as a university student. These are his first two weeks as a “civvie” after one year of military service. This was a year wasted, because except for the roughly six initial weeks of service known as “The Trial”, during which he ran, jumped, fired guns, pushed paperwork and, above all, marched a lot, he spent the rest of his time earning money by working with the private transport trucks around San Antonio de los Baños and becoming an expert at clearing scrubland with his bare hands.
According to the stories I’ve heard about the dismal experiences people have had on their military service, my son had a pretty good time of it, made loads of new friends with whom he spends his brief holidays at the beach, or at concerts or playing pool. They all bring up anecdotes and, smiling, remember the brutes they had for superiors. This is probably the memory that most sticks out for them during that time.
Translated by Christopher Andrew Smith
August 24 2012