Archive for December, 2006

The Way to the Sea – Chapter II

Saturday, December 2nd, 2006

There are many unpleasant things in life, such as receiving a birthday present you didn’t want, or tripping over a shoelace and getting a bruise. One you may not have heard of is being Subject Chooser of Camp Jamahari.

I will never forget the nervousness I felt as I approached the field that day. There was a tipped-over cardboard box in the middle of the field. I supposed it was to serve as a stage, so I climbed on top. “C’mon!” I beckoned to Jorgen. “No.” Said Jorgen firmly. “Jorgen,” I said calmly, “It’s a box. It’s made of cardboard, not bombs.” Jorgen hesitated, then, reluctantly, he made his way to the middle of the field.

“I would like to play baseball,” I stated. A roar of approval met my words, so I began to relax.

We were on the diamond for the whole morning, slugging, pitching, and catching. My team ended up winning 12-8, and I hit a grand slam in the bottom of the 9th. Lunch wasn’t as good, though, as we had brussel sprouts drenched in a watery substance, which was supposed to be gravy. I would rather have eaten my sister’s old socks.

The afternoon was a bit of a blow-up. I asked to go swimming in the sea, and the military guy flared up and yelled like an elephant getting an amputation. “NOT A LIVING SOUL WILL DIP A TOE IN THAT PUDDLE! AS FOR YOU,” He jabbed a scarred finger at my chest. I wondered if that finger had felt my heart, which was probably trying to pound my ribcage to smithereens. “YOU WILL BE ON LUNCH CLEANUP FOR A WEEK!” This guy was really starting to get on my nerves. “Affirmative,” I answered sarcastically.

Anyway, we did have fun in the end. We played basketball on a regulation court in the huge gymnasium beside the cafeteria.

Dinner was as bad as – if not worse than – lunch. We had rotten egg bread with fish head stew. By the time the meal was over, at least three quarters of the kids had their heads buried in paper bags, especially Jorgen.

That night was the polar opposite of the first night. I fell asleep as soon as my head touched the pillow, and Jorgen couldn’t sleep. However, in the middle of the night, I awoke to Jorgen jumping on me. “C’mon!” He exclaimed, “You’ll never believe what I found!”