My Bundeswehr group ended last week. Most of the students didn’t really want to be there, or if they originally did their enthusiasm quickly waned after 7 hours a day, Monday to Friday, stuffed in a classroom without air conditioning in summer. Accordingly, i gave them frequent breaks and tried not to be too censorious at their soldier talk. Some amusing moments:

1. Tourette’s, a baker turned mountain infantrist started quoting Der Untergang and i became enthused and had to continue his quotation in my Hitler voice, gesticulating and screaming. Tourette’s then played the Steiner plan scene on his phone while we sat there, nodding approval and smiling. We spent a good couple of hours just talking about the Second World War, about paratroopers in Crete, Barbarossa, Dunkirk, the SS, the Winter War, tank design, and behold it was highly edifying and enjoyable.

2. An Alt-Lite colleague of mine had given me an envelope full of some Pediga-style bullshit stickers, i wasn’t sure what it was and opened it in the classroom and thought, Fuck; i have no intention of going around Munich covertly sticking them to lamp posts as if this will somehow awaken the Teutonic soul, and nor do i want to have these useless retarded things in my bag or even my flat.

Another mountain infantrist, a friendly Peruvian giant, saw the stickers and said: “A little racist, or?” and i replied “Islam isn’t a race.” He then said it was stupid to criticise one religion, said they are all bullshit, and claimed that thousands of women get publicly sexually assaulted every New Year’s Eve in Cologne, and the newspapers only made a fuss out of it because this year the attackers were foreigners. “Yeah it’s terrible how Germans can’t stop themselves raping women every day, in their thousands, and the newspapers cover it up,” i said blandly, and then he said Christianity is just as bad as Islam. i suggested that religion is somewhat like alcohol – it affects people in different ways, good or bad; though i refrained from adding that just as different alcohols make me differently drunk (spirits just make me energetic; wine and beer make me sluggish) so i think it’s fair to say the pattern of good/evil resultant from Christianity is clearly different in kind and probably in degree from Islam.

Amusingly, while the Peruvian Giant and i were discussing Islam, his comrade Tourette’s kept sardonically interjecting with comments like “goat-fuckers” and “they are too stupid to read”. i expected the Peruvian Giant to get angry at Tourette’s remarks but instead he easily ignored them, and they were offered so casually it seemed Tourette’s didn’t expect to cause offense.

3. Throughout the course i felt the bond between the soldiers (as opposed to the admin people, who were to some degree outsiders), especially those in the same unit. It’s a peculiar thing, somewhat like a familial bond but simpler, without the usual entrenched bitterness; nor is it exactly friendship. i felt the attraction of it, and understood why my German acquaintance/friend Der Fechter (who was in mountain infantry) said he often misses being with his comrades – at first i was bemused, since he is rich, educated, and he described them as mostly ignorant and base. But especially with this group, i felt what it would be to belong to a group, to have comrades. Even with my oldest friends, i wouldn’t be surprised if they one day just stopped talking to me – it’s not that i expect it, but it has happened with others who i thought close friends: they couldn’t be bothered writing anymore, and so i realised that even friends you see every day for years, friends you feed, and who feed you, friends who help you, friends you help, can shrug and forget about you as soon as you don’t live in the same city or you become inconvenient to them.

4. Last Monday i returned from my morning break to find two Fever Tree and two 5 cl Gordon’s Gin bottles on my desk, and Tourette’s said, – We thought you would like to have breakfast. It was 1030 and i hadn’t eaten since Sunday evening but thought, Why not, and drank the first then felt pleasantly situated; and i saved the second for the afternoon. There are not many groups who will buy their teacher gin on a Monday morning and encourage him to breakfast thereon.

5. The group took a strong dislike to Frank the Blowhard Yank. i like him but his attitude is wearisome: he struts about with a know-it-all look on his face, and practically every time he opens his mouth it’s to talk about how great his life is (he boasts of how he only has to work 2 hours a day because of his rich wife) and to lay the law down – the last time i went out drinking with him and Toddball, during the 2016 Euro, we were trying to watch a game on a pub screen and he spent the whole time talking about how shit and pointless “soccer” is and how anyone could do it, and how American football is infinitely superior. He apparently did the same thing to my Bundeswehr group, telling them that you can have a 90-minute “soccer” match with only one goal, “what’s that about? See, in American football, there are goals every few minutes. And it takes real skill and intelligence, not like soccer.”

Tourette’s reported: “Frank told us how shit our football is. I told him Americans don’t like our football because they cannot concentrate for more than five minutes without a goal or a hot dog,” and then, with a sly look and a shrug: “I think I pissed him off.”

6. While i was drinking my gin Tourette’s and the Giant were telling the paratrooper a story in German, to much mirth; i caught some of it but missed the sense so they translated: a comrade of theirs had gone to a house party with a civilian woman, she couldn’t finish her milk/cream-based cocktail so “he killed it”, then went to sleep in her guestroom, and being lactose intolerant shat the bed, then told her: “Don’t be embarrassed, it could happen to anyone”, as if it was her fault in the first place.

7. We discussed future plans and money. i told them i refuse to save money because “the War will come soon, the great Race War, you’ll wake up one day and see the cities on fire, and you’ll have to grab a weapon and run out onto the streets to start killing, and then you’ll think Fuck, why did I save all that money? Why didn’t I spend it on gin?

On my last day, i bade them farewell and said “probably won’t see you again”, and Tourette’s said: “the world is a small place, we see us again for sure”, and then the paratrooper smiled and said cheerfully: “see you when the War comes.”

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