Being 24 years old has been tougher than I expected. So many people like to say that Israelis are much more mature than Americans at the end of the teens because of the army, and maybe that's true, but at 18... they're much worse. I'm not sure if they're just rebelling, if they're just coming from a culture with more freedoms and less seriousness, or if they're just idiots.
Sometimes I think they're just idiots. As you can tell, this past week for me has been insanely frustrating. I decided to come to Israel to help defend this state, for whatever that's worth, and so I'm just about the most serious person in the world at this point. I give 110% in everything I do. I don't open my mouth. I don't complain. I don't ask questions to ask questions. I don't make requests. I do what I'm told, and that's what I think everyone should be doing.
My squadmates aren't on the same page with me, however. Consequently, we've got one hell of a situation in our room. Our commander, Commander Sweetheart as I've decided to call him on here because he's so nice (and that's the problem for them), is just about finished with us. The pushups have increased. The frequency of putting on full combat gear and going for sprints have increased. Putting on the gas mask and doing work is a regular occurrence. Despite all this, the punishment just isn't working.
So the other day while the guys were laughing and goofing off in formation, the commander got really straight faced, turned around and put his hands up in exasperation, and told us to run to the basketball court around the corner. When we got there he made us get into matsav 2, the pushup position, and we didn't leave that for a solid twenty minutes.
I'm pretty sure about half the exercising I've done has been because these boys can't make the connection between goofing off and getting our butts kicked. Needless to say, I've been more than frustrated of late. It's a strange thing to like someone as a person but detest them as a coworker/colleague/squadmate.
Prepare for a couple more griping posts as the guys in my room slowly learn to behave, hopefully. Oh, and one last thing. Don't get me wrong, these guys are becoming soldiers in the best army in the world. They are learning what it means to be a Golanchik, what it means to be a 'warrior,' but the whole process would just be easier if they could learn to talk less and listen more. I guess they'll figure that out sooner or later.
And either way, don't worry about me - at least I'm getting into really good shape!