Welcome to another issue of Life in the Swedish Army, my weekly dump of entries from my diary, being written as I go through national service in the armed forces of Sweden. See my wu in this node if this is the first of the LitSA nodes you've seen. It contains some background info which will be expanded later when I get to writing a proper LitSA metanode.

Anyway, this week was interesting in many ways, mainly because I was able to push my limits in terms of my mere physical abilities. Know that before joining, I would feel some anxiety should someone tell me I had to run non-stop for 5 kilometers - not that much if you're well-trained, which as should be obvious by now, I was(am) not. One thing has been made certain now, if you want to burn fat, fuck all those lose weight schemes you read about in silly magazines and such. In the army, you can eat lots of food (which is actually quite tasty, usually) and still lose kilos every week, just because of the constant physical excercise you get. Motivation is no problem; there's always someone able and willing to make you run that extra km.

(End of rant about weight loss.) Now for this week's diary entries, covering day 22-28, or July 8-14.)

9th of July, 2002 - 07:35
No time to write yesterday, even though we went off-duty pretty early, right after dinner (1730 hrs). None of the so-called evening duty we'd been putting up with previously, a welcome change to say the least. We spent most of yesterday on more combat excercises, as well as building entrenchments from rocks, logs, moss and other stuff easily found in a proper Swedish forest. This was quite fun, reminding us of our treehouse-building days of long ago, when we were all little kids. The commanding officers were also quite pleased with the result.

As for today, we've only cleaned the barracks and had breakfast so far, nothing really out of the ordinary. I've got to be ready at 0740 though, so gotta go ...

9th of July, 2002 - 21:40
The morning was saved by a lack of time - we apparently did not do a very good job cleaning, something which would normally lead to the CO's having us do it all over again, but with less than 10 minutes to spare, they realized the infeasibility of this idea, and let us off, so we could wouldn't miss our scheduled time at the shooting range. Our excercises there went smoothly much thanks to the great weather, offering neither rain nor excess sun. Very nice. We spent the afternoon practicing how to handle stuff like traffic accidents. Tomorrow it's wednesday, which will offer a somewhat heavier schedule. Good night!

10th of July, 2002 - 22:15
Just a short note today, I'm tired as hell and need to take a shower before 2230 hours. Tomorrow we've got a two-hour march scheduled, followed by theory all afternoon, and finally some PE in the form of orienteering, which will involve a large amount of running. A rather intense day, in other words, but once over with the week will almost be at its end. Woohoo. There's an obvious risk that I won't be able to write anything tomorrow, due to sleepiness/exhaustion/rigor mortis, so please accept my apologies in advance should that happen.

(Note: I really was tired when I wrote the above; so tired, I forgot to include what I'd done that day. We had PE all morning, and listened to a speech about footcare in the afternoon. Enough to break any man, I'm sure you will agree. End note.)

12th of July, 2002 - 12:30
As expected, I didn't have time to write anything yesterday, though I'm still alive despite having travelled quite a distance by foot: First the previously mentioned two-hour march, complete with full combat gear and a very heavy backpack (we got about 10 km), and during the evening some (also previously mentioned) orienteering. In lighter clothes and at a somewhat higher pace, but about the same distance as the morning march. Suffice to say, we were all very tired as the day neared its end.

Today it is friday, and we'll be leaving for a week of well-deserved summer holiday. It's has been a calm day including a few hours at the shooting range (learning to throw hand grenades) and a very tasty lunch. Now we're going to take this week's exam. No idea what it'll be on.

14th of July, 2002 - 12:10
It's sunday now, but I'm not going back to S1. And why not, you ask? Because now I'm on summer holiday for one week, meaning I'm free to just sit back and relax, something there isn't much time for in the army. This has the added side effect that I won't be writing anything for days 29-35. Cya in two weeks!

<-- day 15-21 | day 36-42 -->