Not surprisingly, the exhibits did not arouse much feelings of nostalgia except for the army bed and the once so familiar green blanket (Photo by Acroamatic). But one scene from the video did trigger a gush of emotions. It was the part where this recruit lay down to sleep at night just after sending an SMS home to report that everything was fine. Of course there was the familiar shout of “Bravo company, lights out!”
After a long and hectic day as a recruit, I guess the only time you can have the luxury of some peace and quiet to think about home is when you lay down your weary body to sleep. During those few minutes before sleep arrives, you think about the new life in the army and contrast it with your life as a student. The feelings are strong and they stay in your mind for decades.
I remember one particular evening. I was listening to the radio in the dark. My tiny transistor radio was held close to my ear, volume turned so low that only I could hear it. The song was Butterfly Lovers (梁山伯与祝英台) violin concerto.
Even today, every time I hear that tune, I still think of that night three-and-a-half decades ago in Safti.
I think this photo was taken at Chestnut Drive during my section leaders course's AG (anti-gurella) Warfare training. In case you cannot recognize me, I am squatting in front, left.