An encounter all too brief

Friendships form, only to be lost again in two weeks’ time.

I have struck up an unholy alliance with three long-haired guys called Juuso (not my room mate, he has no hair), Tane and Junnu. We are all a bit older than the average young man in the service of the country. Juuso has a kid and Junnu is married, so we all have a slightly different perspective on life and the service. The talk is very tongue-in-cheek and there always seems to be time for a couple of laughs. And we are all chain smokers.

Yesterday I finally got around to inspecting the famed Hanhi bar. I won a game of pool, put 4 euros in the jukebox before I noticed it was out of order and was forced to listen to karaoke. The beer wasn’t cheap, but what the heck. Strange discussions and hot debates. Whisky and cigarettes. Freemasons and satanists. One of my friends fell asleep at the table. Evereyone here seems to be a computer geek. And everyone watch anime and play WoW. Confusing. Tane designs computer games. I appreciate his open-mindedness, his humour and his gentle way. Junnu is a cynic without a job who likes to bitch about everything, but always with a slight wink. Juuso has a 7 months old child at home and doesn’t believe in politics. He also can’t handle his liquour.

It really feels strange to be in such closeness to a group of people for a month, and then probably not see them ever again. I didn’t come here to make friends, but neither can I seem to keep away from nice, funny, smart people.

The Playground

Most guys here look like they would have listened to Entombed and Amorphis too much (I probably blend in pretty well…). Then you have the dreadlock company who stay up in the bird watching tower smoking pot and play music in the garage. A slightly smaller group is the indie straight edge people. And then there is a surprisingly big bunch of people who quit the army. They are divided into two categories, first the guys that left after a week because they didn’t stand the bullying, second those who were chosen for officer’s training and didn’t want to stay in the army greens longer than necessary. And somehow we all get along great. And I think that it is partly because of the great atmosphere here. No-one slams on our doors in the morning or send us out marching if we are late for a lecture. We are treated like responsible adults, which in turn means that most of us behave that way, something the army has never learned. The army guys that inspect the place now and then are apparently always astonished by the fact that people here are awake and mostly in time for lectures, that no-one runs off and we clean the halls, the bathroom and our bunks without anyone watching over our shoulders. If we would happen to misbehave we might not go home on Friday or we may lose our daily allowance.

Oh yes, and I will never drink again.

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Filed under Non-military service, Ponderings

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