Unknown to me, the rules of camp became existential once you crossed the gate, I went to queue up for my registration. The line was as long as the one I had to face when I queued to pay for matriculation gown. Looking back now, I wish I knew as much as I know now, I wouldn’t stress myself for it one bit. I still ended up with oversized whites, khakis and jungle boots.
While on the queue, I checked my time, it was way past 8.30pm. That should have been my cue to return to the hostel, but what did I know? I stood there till they blew the beagle and everyone just disappeared. The lights went off! I couldn’t believe my eyes. Where am I really? Boarding house? How can that long queue disappear with the light? Well, I achieved everything that day but buy bathing bucket! I had to beg to use someone’s bucket to have my bathe that night and the next morning. By morning, I knew what exactly I was to do. Buy bucket and plates, and keep wearing my mufti for as long as the soldiers permitted, I was determined to stall going for parades for as long as I could. I was lucky enough to skip parade for 3 days till they announced that muftis were now out of bounds.
Other than waking up early, which comes naturally to me, I dodged everything else on camp. From the exercises to the SAED trainings to the evening parades to the marchpasts to their meals. I never breached the dinning area. I hated the look of their food. Luckily I found a mother figure in the mami market. She took it upon herself to make sure I fed well. Some days she will prepare noodles, other days spaghetti, some other days, plantain. Everything ofcourse was at a price, one I was willing to pay.
Games and all those inter platoon competitions didn’t thrill me. I just wanted to find their generator set. See what was powering this big camp. Well, I did. I was thrilled. Twas massive. Much to my pleasure, the generator house was big enough to contain all of us when we didn’t feel up to the SAED trainings.
The end of camp was fast approaching. People started activating their contacts. People who were supposedly influential. Some used the guise of terminal illnesses while others went as far as forging marriage certificates just so that they could stay in choice cities. Me? I wasn’t going to influence nothing. I shall wait patiently for my posting.
To be continued….