After a long few weeks of sharing a small area with a platoon of Tznefim ('young' paratroopers), a period of time which involved phones stolen from our area, combined guard duty, and trading responsibility of cleaning the bathroom, a brouhaha finally erupted. If you're just coming in now, to put a long story short, Golani hates Tzanchanim (paratroopers). Why? Honestly, it's not worth getting into for the 30th time.
Friday, August 21, 2009
One night last week my platoon was singing some of our company and platoon songs when the paratroopers across the way turned up their music to drown us out. We carried on, however, louder than ever. Undeterred, the paratrooper jerks came out of their tents with shirts on their heads, symbolizing who knows what, and pans and ladles in their hands. West Side Story was about to go down, IDF style.
While us Golanchikim sang our songs and clapped our hands, these sissy-kids were busy banging on pots and pans! They couldn't even play fair, as far as we were concerned, and we just laughed them off. We stood on our opposing sides, like the Jets about to trounce the Sharks, and battled for who could sing and yell the loudest. Apparently no one told the tznefim that musical instruments aren't allowed in these showdowns.
Here's a short clip from my phone of the impromptu rivalry face-off:
That went on for probably 30 minutes. It was the same cycle of us belting out some song, while they made as much noise as possible. Then it'd be their turn to sing a song, and, well... not much. They'd just bang on the pots and pans. I don't think Tzanchanim has as many battle songs as Golani.
In all seriousness, I wasn't sure where this clash was leading. Our platoon commander, a second lieutenant, was looking pretty nervous. He loves when we sing and go all crazy, but I gazed over at him and saw what only could be described as anxiety wracking his face. Making matters worse was the paratrooper platoon commander, just standing on the side smiling, not saying a word to our C.O.
You see, this is all fun and games, but I think there is a real amount of dislike between our two groups. At the end of the day, Golani and paratroopers are both in the same army, but you wouldn't know it at this point. Our CO knows and appreciates that we have to work together, and like a good officer hates division in the army. I understand that. I understand his concern.
But how can you not jeer these guys when they cheat even at making noise?! And how about this one:
After getting up at 5am and going out into the desert in our M113's, working in the 100 degree Farenheit weather without a break, and without shade all day, we finally come back late afternoon to find a whole squad of Tznefim sleeping in the bathroom's sink room.
Let me repeat that: they were sleeping in the room with the sinks. Why? Because it was hot outside. I just got finished working in the most uncomfortable conditions - happily, I might add - and these guys had to escape indoors. See, you ask why we don't like paratroopers?! They're soft...
and of course, they wear dresses.