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Wow, you must be pretty bored to be here...

20th March, Thursday: Duty Chef
Because I was starting at 0830 by for retarded reasons of ‘training’ leading up to the inspection [instigated by fuckups from mongs that occurred while I was in Jordan]. But as a result of longer hours the day just goes smoothly to those of us with experience.
There’s nothing more significant to say.
Honey’s riding peoples backs up a lot. She also seems to be under the impression me and her are on good terms simply because I don’t hound her for her lack of morals for teamwork. Everything I said on the day I was told to stop talking to her still stands to this moment, as I’ve stated before “The problem hasn’t been resolved, so it continues” and other people are picking up where I left off because they are also sick of her. But again, I’ve stated I can’t openly help them and hound her anymore because I’ve been specifically told not to. I will however, back any official action they take. For the good of Honey, the department and the army, this matter needs to be resolved.
Also had a run very late night. But glad I did it to keep up my quota for my fitness.

Jordan Hillwalking:

Lots more to come when organised.

Wednesday 19th: Earlies
I was expecting today to be alot more problematic. I’ve not worked with Brunson directly since an exercise over a year ago. I’ll never truly be fond of him because of the experience.
He seems to be less of a cunt, so he’s tolerable.
Despite a pretty shit menu to do with lots of different bits and bob-side dishes to accompany the various main ones, today went well and smoothly.
The only self inflicted gripe I do have is two nights in a row of not sleeping well and gym/fitness soreness which took its toll a bit.
I pondered all day if I was going to the gym later or after work. A random sudden pain in my foot was the decider, as I was planning to do lower body weights and cardio running. Forget doing upper body altogether.
So, I decided to have a nap. I know is dangerous because once I go down for a rest, my body doesn’t like getting up until it’s fully rested. Upon waking, my left tricep ached like hell. I wanted to go to the gym as planned, truly I did, but a tired aching body just wasn’t having it. So no. Not even a run.
So, I chilled out some more. Showered, sorted a bit of stuff out... and back to bed. I’m hoping to finished early enough tomorrow [Duty Chef] to still be able to go to the gym afterwards. But shit can and usually does happen.

Ps: Still love talking to Dollie <3

Tuesday 18th:
Before working, got a room inspection scare that turned out not to be a room inspection but merely check who’s present in the rooms. Oh well, it got me motivated enough to tidy up more than I would have otherwise.
Back into work and right back into a shitstorm. Before I even started it was a blanket bollucking to all present about the failures other people in general [obviously not me because I wasn’t here for a month]. More than that, started the working day cleaning up everyone elses mess/shit. Welcome back to Fallingbostel. Naafi are just as irritable with requiring painful precise measurements of portion sizes and the like.
Once again I couldn’t get myself to sleep properly so I was not in the mood today for much. Which is good because I was curiously in pastry with someone else. The pastry desserts were also easy. I worked slowly though so I didn’t finish and then just get dragged on to someone elses shit. Though I did help others out when I had nothing to do.
PT was just bollucks. I was already recovering from weight lifting Monday, breaking my arms in for the first time in a month. I was hoping for a run I didn’t get. For 45 minutes we just did two exercises. Heaves and burpees. Heaves is leaning back at roughly a 30 degree angle to the floor [starting position] and doing chin-ups to a beam, burpees are a squat thrust followed by a jump in the air. Repeat for 45 minutes. Fuck me, my arms were sore after that. It got to the point where my left forearm went ache-numb, as if circulation was being cut off from it, and my left hand was literally unable to grip anything. So by the end of the exercise I wasn’t so much holding the beam, but hooking my hand round it and fighting through the pain. I was still ahead of most but the last 5 minutes my body was starting to give, which I’m still pleased with given I started at a disadvantage anyway [as always].
Back in to shower and do pastry, then chilled out way too much again because tired and fatigued [yes both separate qualities combined]. I’m going to work in Civi’s at the money and have to change there because I’ve still got no military kit. I’d find out later that my Bergen has arrived, no one’s informed the Chefs were they are and we don’t know anything more about them.

Thursday 13th – Monday 17th:
Days off, though I spent most of them sleeping, chilling out and wasting time because I didn’t have it in me to do more. At least both Sunday and Monday I got myself back into my fitness.

Wednesday, 12th March: The Drama back to Germany...
Technically a new day, though it’s midnight.
The Journey back to Germany... was fucking emotional, even to me. It took a total of 21 hours of journey time, taking everything into consideration. That’s from the moment we left the camp [I never learned the name of] to getting back to Fallingbostel.
First thing to happen, 5 minutes into the coach journey, someone forgot something. It was important enough for him to have to get off the bus and run back for it. While this then wasn’t the cause of everything else, it pretty much set the mood for the entire trip.
Next was when we arrived at Aqaba airport... no one was there. Including the people who were going to check us in. So we had to wait for them to wake up, arrive and check our bags in.
Our flight was a transfer to Istanbul [Turkey I think] and boy did I wish we skipped that detail. The Squaddies got through all just fine. But on the plane itself we saw that our bags were left behind on the runway. They had made it all the way besides the plane and then someone somewhere decided “fuck it, we’ll just leave now. Nevermind the luggage we just can’t be assed to load up”. And of all the several ANNOYING announcements that kept plaguing the flight, not a single one of them was about what happened or was going to happen to our bags. It wasn’t until we got to Berlin that we could even inquire about the situation, which yes, they were just discarded at Istanbul. Lazy fuckers! I’m glad it’s just my military kit in my Bergen left behind [much happier to have gotten my old laptop and sentimental valuables], some people were luckier than me and got it all... others weren’t and had nothing but the clothes on their backs. I’m still annoyed more at the lack of warning or information given to us AS the situation unfolded. Like they literally didn’t give a shit.
The ordeal didn’t end there. On the coach trip back to Fallingbostel, right on the last part of the last leg of the entire trip... we get caught in a traffic jam. An actual full stop traffic jam due to an accident on the Autoban [Motorway/Highway]. Forgive my lack of sympathy, but my patience was rather burned out at this point... combined with the knowledge that German drivers are just plain reckless behind the wheel. No, I don’t mind stating something that’s true. We were stuck in that mess for 3 hours. Enough said.
Then, when we got to Fallingbostel, the unit wanted to debrief us and so forth. No one was to go anywhere... however, as I anticipated, everything that was said was to the unit itself. We Chefs are attached, so none of it was relevant to us. We’d get our debrief from the kitchen, the head of our department on the shit that IS relevant to us. Takalie was getting all excited about the talk of all the leave we’re gunna get. But that’s something we have to square away with the kitchen first. We can’t just organise leave behind their backs. But whatever, as soon as I got my kit I was gone.
...which I almost forgot. I came back to my room to find my shit, not where I left it. You know when you just click on to things like that? Well this was more emphasised by the fact I had specifically washed my bedding before I left. Why? Because when I returned from exercise I wanted to come back to a nice clean comfortable bed and go straight to sleep. I also hid my ironing board underneath it because it don’t fit in my lockers. I return to find my ironing board on the other side of the room... and my bed in a mess. Some hairs on the sheets... and some weird brownish shittish stains that I hope to GOD that what it certainly ain’t on my pillows! It’s just like that scene from Goldilocks... WHO’S BEEN SLEEPING IN MY BED!? That’s not cool. Major breach of personal private space there! Who the fuck sleeps on someone else’s bed? You inconsiderate jackass fuckers! I held Tag responsible and confronted him about it the second I saw him; after all, he’s the only person left with full access to the room. Though I grant it’s most likely one of his friends, I still hold him accountable. If it was the other way around, it wouldn’t have happened. He merely states “oh, we had a room inspection”... that don’t matter shit to me. My part of the area was left in a state that would pass any room inspection without being touched... so why’s it in a worse off state now that I’ve returned? In retaliation, I got my bedding in the wash using his laundry detergent and made a little ‘spillage’ on his bed and clothes. Fuck him. I’m not okay with this bullshit. I took steps to ensure this crap doesn’t happen and he just jacks all over it. Fuck him in the ass, painfully.
Anyway, night. Bed.

First day of R&R was in a place called ‘Wati Rum’. It’s famous for a reason I forget. But there’s pretty much nothing to do there unless you actively search for it. Going to town on taxis that are pickup trucks with seats in the back. But when I say town I mean much more like a street with shops. Breaking a 50 Dallar [sp?] note in Jordan is a challenge while trying to make sure you’re not ripped off. But a noteworthy note here, the people in Jordan are very friendly good people. As if each individual actively tries to be a good host to tourists, much better than you can imagine any other ethnic group I’ve yet to come across [including my own].
The food was... different, I’m glad I like lamb and rice because that’s pretty much what I relied on. Breakfast wasn’t much either. Spam, naam bread, dairy lee, boiled egg. It’s like my first lesson in the army “If you’re a fussy eater, you starve”. Lets see, went walking around, nearly went on a camel but decided not to in the end for later reasons. Found a shop in the middle of nowhere where there’s a 1932 English rifle of all things in of all places. Tried a bong of ‘flavoured tobacco’ which is now the closest I’ve ever come to smoking. I didn’t even get through a puff and I was coughing my lungs out for like an hour afterwards. Yeah, I ain’t missing anything special when it comes to smoking... that’s my curiosity satisfied. When night time came and it got cold, just sat about the fire until bed. Showers were freezing... also so was my bed in the night. Woke up at 0500 and just lay there until I had to get up.

Day 2: Petra
If you don’t mind a lot of walking, have plenty of time and are able to say no, you will enjoy Petra. I found the whole experience interesting and rewarding and got plenty of souvenirs for myself and anyone back home who wants them.
On the way down I was eventually convinced to do a horse ride down which didn’t last for very long at all. Here’s my first experience at the Jordanian Con-tactics. They tell you the ride is “included in your ticket” and it was only when I got on the horse he actually said “you give tip” and I thought “what?” How’s that all inclusive then? 15 bucks for a horse ride down that I could easily walk myself. Yeah I was interested in going on a horse [as I missed out on a camel] but still. Also, a tip for me is a small complimentary thing, I was gunna give him 5 bucks and he was all “no, this is nothing” so I settled for 15 and washed my hands of him. Other people were equally roped in, someone gave 5 bucks and the guy went nuts. My guy then said he would wait for me and I reassured him he didn’t need to. 15 bucks a ride? No thanks, my legs work perfectly fine after all. But he caught me on the way back up and tried it again with the same “inclusive” tactics. He waited for me and all [supposedly] and the manager even tried guilt tripping me with “he had personal problems but stayed here to wait for you” which may or may not have been true anyway. But no, at that point I was saving my money to buy souvenirs.
So Petra itself, lots of shops, lots of kids trying to sell you stuff. Lots of everyone trying to sell you stuff with all sorts of tactics. “I found some petra coins, no charge, just tip”. You get people wanting to buy your bags and watches. They may seem old, but they’re still useful. If I sell my bag, what am I gunna carry my shit in? If I sell my watch, how am I gunna tell the time? I splashed out on a rather expensive walking stick that I can give to my elder family members [or just keep for myself cuz I like it too really] but I can afford it because I don’t spend my money often so that’s what I’m doing today [with wise restraint]. Took loads of pictures, though I didn’t have enough memory in my phone for it all so I just kept the best ones... which has me decided I need to buy a proper camera for such occasions.
The shops in Jordan handle business in a way completely different for us. We westerners will go into a shop to browse, look, compare prices, weigh up options and make informed decisions after looking at the entire street. Jordanian businesses don’t separate personal and professional. When you go into their shops, it’s a statement that you want to do business. You want to buy something, and they will really REALLY try to sell you something. I probably annoyed them because I went into each of their shops and basically turned around and gestured in their culture “you don’t have anything worth my money”. But I did buy plenty of stuff that day. A walking stick, a head scarf [which I can’t arrange so I’ll offer it to mum as a table cloth], a big blue flashy crystal, a yellow T-shirt that has the Petra archway on it and an Indianna Jones hat. I was very fussy about the hat I wanted it to be perfect, not just in looks but quality [which is a bit lacking on all of them but I’m certain I got the best one anyway].
So, by the end of it all we sat down and chilled. That didn’t give a hint to the Jordanians that we were done. The one shop in particular kept sending a kid to pretty much come and harass us into his shop. Yeah, I know the kid was being directed to do so but he was still fucking annoying.
Oh, a last note. There were so many different nationalities there in Petra. I mean dayum. American, Australian, French, Asian of some sort, this ain’t counting the sorts that the British army contributed. Which also reminds me, because all the Scots were in front of me, people would see another white guy with an army rucksack and ask if I was Scottish. Sorry pal, nope. There goes your sales pitch already, eh?
We got back to camp and had to cook a BBQ for the rest of the lads, then setup a breakfast ready to go. Sergeant gives a sob story of how hard he’s been working but I analysed the sort of meal we were doing and had been done. No fucking way was it difficult. A packed lunch was all packated shit like ready to go muffins, chocolate bars; just a cheese and ham baguette where you had to grate cheese and slice the bread then wrap them. Time consuming but by no means difficult. All that was done for the BBQ was some left over salsa, plain mayonnaise out of a tub, sliced burger buns and hot dog rolls, butchered fillet steaks, open bean tins and put water in some pots. Again, these jobs altogether are time consuming but still doable by a single person easy. This could also have been prepped over the course of two days, as he only had to cater for 10-15 people on the camp itself and no meals needed to be done while we were at ‘Wati Rum’. But whatever.
So, I enjoyed a BBQ, showered, packed and repacked my kit which took awhile. I had already been instructed to pack my kit leaving behind stuff I needed while my Bergen went away. Now I had to repack all of my kit to get everything back. This was no quick changeover from last time, I had to redo all of my bags to get everything both organised and done. Took about 90 minutes because I went for the quick fix of trying to stuff everything in at first.

Current Exercise: Jordan, 2014
Saturday 15th February to Tuesday 18th February.
As far as exercises go it’s been long hours but chilled out. I took my time packing and then just talked to Dollie all night before I left. Got plenty of sleep on the journey down to wherever I am right now in Jordan. I wasn’t happy with the journey in that I couldn’t have my carryon luggage with me. But it was an RAF flight and their planes are even less luxurious than normal aircraft.
Very happy with bedspace, gym not using cuz hours too long, sort out fitness when i get back if i can. Not nearly as stressful here than back dealing with Naafi and civi’s.

Yes, they have a right to talk own language, but exercise kitchen everyone needs to know at all times what’s going on.
Language barrier, lack of communication, not get the hint that needed help on meats and keeps ‘guiding’ Takalie when don’t know what doing himself.
Me and TAkalie are getting in shit becase of his fuck ups.
He seems to think he outranks us.
Mong, keeps fucking around with pointless things and not working very fast when there’s more urgent things to be doing. Like getting random pointless pots on and stiring them when he should be doing butchery.
I’m not woring my ass off to then jump on and help someone who’s not working at the same pace and fallen behind as a result.

As expected, changes his mind constantly and fucks off for PT. An incentively long break can quickly disappear to an hour. Yeah that’s still an hour off but it’s not exactly the 3 hours he began with.

New inexperience is offset by how keen he is.

It’s a challenge for me to feel guilty for a Private who starts fights over Croissants and a Sergeant who goes out of his way to ‘try’ and make your life shit.
Pun, came in the kitchen, didn’t do much but bitch, swear, squared up to me so I pushed him back. Fight on. If you judge a fight by how much you can push and hug your opponent then he won. If you judge a fight by how much damage you can do via punches while having the bastard in a headlock with your legs, then I won.
Sergeant told me to go sick and the medics gave me a medical. Then decided that I shouldn’t be working with food and put me on light duties out of the kitchen. Sergeant somehow holds their decision against me. It’s not like I connived to do this behind his back and slip out of work, despite how justified I’d be for doing so. I’ve soldiered on through sickness and unfair treatment in my personal view and I’m physically drained. It shows more than I realised, I’ve lost so much bodymass my stomach has just gone... which I’m concerned with. Meanwhile, he’s trying everything he can to get me to do some kind of work rather than rest. But as ever he keeps changing his mind about every little detail. There is no clue which ones he actually wants you to follow and so you can’t help but “fuck up”.
Some mistakes I’ve made honestly. But only a few.
Others I’ve made following his instructions.
Others more I’ve made because of the poor equipment I’m burdened with using.
Anderson is intolerable at the best of times, but the pressures of exercise and possibly even my sickness infecting him it’s just constant anarchy.

Man I hate the infuriating nob that is Sergeant Anderson. If he’s not acting like a full on nob, he’s acting like a nob while trying to come across as a nice decent guy and his actions just speak more profoundly than his words.
I’m on “light duties” because of his recommendation to see the medics. So I get my sleep randomly interrupted to do a 2 hour stag. The time flew by with some good peeps I was with but that’s just over 2 hours I’m not sleeping. Which I rarely get and severely need to recuperate.
In the morning Anderson assures me “No more stags now because you’re working in the kitchen” as peeling potatoes, carrots, which I don’t actually mind because it’s rather peaceful. My flu made a ravenous comeback by the evening as I’d hardly had any sleep. My tiredness gave way to it.
Anyway, day went smoothly until I was eating my evening meal and get informed I’m on another stag. I try to imply the whole outright lie he told me this morning with his reply being “As long as you’re on light duties you’ll be put on stags, so it’s your choice”. Where do I begin with that horseshit sentence? I didn’t choose the light duties detail I have now, the medics did after I was told by you to go see them. I also wouldn’t be doing stags at all if you hadn’t opened your bullshitting mouth to try and spurn me. Stags aren’t that bad either, you just stand or sit there on them. Better than being in the kitchen dealing with your bullshit. I also used this stag as a means of getting out the kitchen without cleaning jack shit up. My stag was too close to the end of service and I conned them by saying “I need to be showered and shaven before I turn up” and they bought it. Truth be told ‘I’ wanted to be showered and shaven before my stag because I wasn’t fucking doing it at 2233hrs after I cleaned the kitchen as well.
This has merely made up my decision indubitably, Sergeant Anderson. I’d rather stay on the sick and limit my direct contact with you, than be classed as fit and healthy again so that I can serve as your emotional out bursting scratching post.
Pun continues to burn pots and random pieces of food, Takalie burned potatoes [he’s alright, making a point here though] and Sergeant himself ALSO burned sponges, among other things. I sure do damn well hope he’s learned how much of a prick he is.

Pun in bed while we work. Jack after teamwork talk he gave me after our fight. Ones not finished, we’re not finished. One in all in. This is the Standard Sergeant wanted us to work to. I had a big debate with pun about it while he was lying in bed, I hope he felt like shit for it. Especially as I annoyed him for half of his ‘break’. Always thinking he’s in command and lording it over others and now preaching standards he doesn’t follow himself. That’s a major hate of mine. The best response he could come up with was to tell me to fuck off really. While I proper ripped him a new one on moral grounds. “It’s not about you, it’s about everyone” “we’re supposed to be a team, but here you are in bed”. And also, swearing neither intimidates nor demonstrates your intelligence.
However, after speaking to Sarge about it he unsurprisingly sides maybe with Pun as biased towards him. But much more as a mere opposition to me really. He then gives us the new system of “if one person gets all their work done they can cut away, fuck anyone else”. He always has to end debates with me by pulling rank because I just outright win otherwise. Like how he told me to fuck off out the kitchen because he didn’t want to deal with me anymore, after the medics put me unfit to handle food, after he told me to see the medics. Afterwards he’s sore I didn’t come back to ask what food prep I can do? Even though after being told to fuck off I offered to sort out the brew area, etc, but was told to fuck off again. I simply did my own thing/admin then. Fuck’em.
I think Sarge did have a private talk with pun after. Pun’s talked to me even less since. Moreover, Sarge has put me permanently on advanced prep to make things easier in general. If it means I don’t have to try and interpret Nepalese speak in the kitchen then all the better.
Flu – Anti bacterial tablets working a treat
2 stags last night? Just me? Wtf? One was last minute made I think because I seen stag list before.
Dry hands cracking up. Oil prevention, natural rehydration underneath.

-25th February
Sarge is beginning to change his tune, seemingly as my flu sets into him. He’s getting weaker and is needing more rest, more time out of the kitchen, and probably has a bit of empathy to my previous condition now. Yes it was a flu, but it was no walk in the park. A coherent thought never crossed your mind with how it drained your strength.
I don’t miss him when he’s gone. I talk to him only when necessary now because it’s always shit going back on himself. I don’t ask him where things are anymore, even when I don’t know where to find them myself. Which is stupid, but reasonable, as last time I asked more than 5 days ago he said “You shouldn’t have to ask me anything”. A complete reverse to the well known phrase “if you’re unsure, ask”. As manager/supervisor he should be the first point of call for anything we need to clarify any uncertainties. But he just hates getting involved with things he doesn’t choose to get involved in.
He’s a said he wants me and him working together in the kitchen. I’m dreading it already. I’ve been on nothing more than advanced prep, doing my own thing to a large degree which is the sort of thing I like. I really don’t want to have to deal with him, I don’t care if he wants to change my perception of him. Yeah, I don’t like his moody personality and his random management style; but I wouldn’t go out of my way to agitate, provoke or even socialise with him either.
The other chefs are getting sick and starting to suffer, but I have as much sympathy for them as they did for me. Fuck’all. For 2 of them. As for Takalie, I actually wanna share my pills with him... but of course I can’t do that.
My flu is going away thanks to pills, my strength’s returning with rest, the lack of dehydration is allowing my hands to heal and reclaim moisture.

26th February:
Sarge pulled up Pun today about talking Nepalese. He’s always using it to try and boss Li around without me and Sarge being aware of it.
Sarge failed to tell me the full extent of what was expected of me today. Sure I did lunch piece of piss. But I thought the container meal going out was going to have the exact same shit as on the hotplate. It may as well been a completely different menu. I also thought by ‘braised rice’, I was gunna braise it and be done with it. But he wanted me to fry it afterwards... didn’t tell me until it was 45 minutes to service. I was also running around getting things for him, cleaning up after him, changing what equipment I was gunna cook with for him. He even screwed me over on containers and equipment to use because he hogged most of it, didn’t tell me shit or think about the whole meal... just his own kit. But I did get it all done and on time.
Pun’s not liking his ‘in charge roll’ but he’s trapped himself in it now. Sarge now expects it of him and is exploiting it by dumping his own duties and tasks ontop of him. I’ve no sympathy; it’s what the bastard wanted. But he’s still not working as a proper team, keeps trying to delegate the shit jobs onto me and Li. He keeps trying to brief us up instead of communicating and he sure as hell doesn’t like being told what to do to a greater extent than me. Hell, if he wasn’t so much of an asshole about it I’d follow him, but that’s just not the case here.
Meanwhile Sarge continues to do what he wants. Today as usual, he went away for a longass workout/break and comes back to say he’s not taking a break while we can, so he doesn’t want to hear any complaining about anything. Blah blah, whatever. A break’s a break, an hour’s kip is an hour’s kip; and I always say “never argue with a good thing”.
Seen so far: Camels, stray dogs, paw prints we believe to be stray cats sneaking into the kitchen and some hills that have been here I’m determined to climb before I go. First I want done with my flu completely beforehand though.

27th February:
Dayum, so much can happen in a day because the days are so long. It’s just hard to remember everything at the end. But here goes.
Sarge overslept, probably because of flu or exercise induced exhaustion and none of the Chef’s bothered to wake him. For all I knew he planned for a lie-in, I’unno. I doubt it but can’t be sure. Besides, he’s quite happy to let me and Li sleep in accidently, wake us up, give us a non-stop bollucking throughout the day and night about it and whatever. He reminds me so much of Corporal ‘Taff’ Watts. He was so annoying, you didn’t really give a shit why he’d leave the kitchen [even if it was just to skive] you were just fucking glad he was gone; and boy did he really take the piss today. Went to the gym in the morning, then went hill walking across the surrounding area. Was gone for pretty much the entire day. Besides some morning butchery, popping into the kitchen now and again and being around for evening meal service he was gone all day. This exercise is more like a holiday to him.
We get our breaks, but they’re all used to get some more kip. If we went and did PT it would just fuck us over and knacker us out for days. Sarge is in charge, which enables him to make up his own rules and change them on a whim... which he does... which is also the biggest problem to his management style.
Pun is finally starting to get a feel for teamwork and communication today. There’s plenty of shit I didn’t really have to do but when I saw someone struggling or could just do with a tiny favour here and there I jumped on without hesitation. Just fucking did it. It backfired a tad as I didn’t get all my own work done but I was instructed that what was going on in the kitchen was more of a priority than advanced prep anyway. So blah.
I also don’t wanna go up a hill while I’m still on my medication taking routine really. Just feels like a bad idea. I also wanna time it on a good day. Around a light workload and before a convenient time to do my laundry to wash my sweaty kit afterwards.

28th Feb:
Sarge keeps trying to both give everyone more time off, I think it’s a ploy to try and justify him just changing his mind and working only when he can be bothered. He said everyone would get a day off but I was suspicious when he put mine last, gives me time enough to “fuck up” and lose it. It got even harder when he decided just not to bother coming back into work and pretty much said – between the lines – if me and Pun asked him to then we wouldn’t get a half day off really. Didn’t help that the menu changes regularly. But what I don’t like most of all is that I seemed to be put on meats on a whim, as if I was expected to fuck up and lose my time off as penitence.
Thing is, it seems Jordanian ingredients work differently than European ingredients. Biggest example of today due to cottage pie and steak pie; we don’t have gravy powder, only demi-glaze. The difference being that gravy powder thickens stocks and sauces which demi-glaze is just to coat meats with flavour afterwards. We hav to then get creative with how we thicken things. Not me though, I been whacking in cornflour likes the world’s running out of the stuff. Things weren’t 100% ideal, but they passed and everything sorta fit into place suddenly about 30 minutes before service. Despite him trying to stop, confuse, disorientate and cause me to doubt what I was doing. Good thing I can focus through such shit even when I’m running around like an idiot.
Oh yeah, usually it’s one person on meat prep for evening meal and one on lunch, right? But because Pun was on lunch and I was on meats, I was expected by Sarge to help out in a task I’ve completed all on my lonesome before anyway. It’s always me who’s given the short stick in the kitchen. If Pun was on meats he’s just left to it and lunch is on my shoulders, shit bust. Double-standard much?
As for Pun, his attitude improved today. He was more the teamworker he should have been from the start instead of the irritable delegator he’s been since today.

1st March, 2013:
Today was a good day. I woke up, did breakfast, stood on the hotplate, did advanced prep, got interrupted to deal with a delivery, continued to do advanced prep, cleaned down, then I had the rest of the day off. Yes, that’s right. I never completely expected it to happen until it did really.
What did I do on my half-day off? I went up a hill. Pretty good experience really. All the open space just sitting there. I been looking at them hills since I got here and I been dying to climb all over them. Took a lot longer than I wanted, but I got it done. Stopped to take on water and eat my supplies because I just had to. It was very physical and it was in the heat of the afternoon too. I would have gotten another hill done, but I reckon it would have been dark by the time I got back and you gotta be careful of your footing as it is.
Did my laundry afterwards, sorted my admin out, chilled out.
Ps: I swear I was in early yesterday and that Pun had done breakfast prep but by chance managed to skip the whole “turning up early for work” thing. However, if it means I dodge having to do it on BBQ night then awesome. But whatevers. At least I can get to bed early enough anyway. Oh, and what did Pun do on his half day off? Sleep. Yeah I’m knackered, yes I’m tired and yes sleep crossed my mind... however, I can sleep anytime, anywhere. The Jordanian hills are staying put and getting left behind when I go. Seize them while you can, man.

2nd March:
Not a hard day... or shouldn’t have been. But still was. First in today and last to leave. I wouldn’t mind but I’m sure Pun has missed out on an early-in shift. It balances out though because he was getting meats out late, so he has 2 late nights in a row.
Anyway, onto me. Breakfast was annoying because the ovens either don’t light or keep going out. Sarge also woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning and was on my case hard from the go. Not that I cared really.
After breakfast I was straight onto lunch. I was only doing soup, but it was a large amount of soup for each 120 individual personnel. That’s a lot of soup. What takes the piss even more though is that Swede, carrot and potato have to be peeled THEN grated. My arm sure was sore after it all. I didn’t meet Sarge’s unrealistic deadline of having the soup done by 1030hrs but it was done before service so what’s the problem?
While I had Takalie overseeing lunch I carried on with prep for evening meal, then went for a break while the other two had a couple jobs going on still. I didn’t have a break in the morning like they did, see?
After a nap, I was back in grated more ingredients for coleslaw and tossed salad. The problem is [again] that you have no idea how much each individual 120 personnel will take. So you have to guarantee you’ve made 120 big portions for the greedy fuckers. Yes it wasn’t prestigious but it was still a LOT of work... that ended up going in the bin.
As British tradition, regardless of where we are in the world, it still rains on a BBQ day planned weeks in advance.
I’m starting to get tired now despite my flu is clearing up with only a cough remaining.

3rd March:
I broke today. My spirit. I had, had enough. The randomly faulty equipment, the weird ingredients, but most of all of Sarge. Changing his mind, not fully disclosing what he wants done, picking at random insignificant shit when we’re busy, keeping us busy so our breaks are eaten into, not keeping track of who’s doing what duties, changing menus including the food that goes in them and the method to produce them.
When it comes to a dish, I know how I would do it (or at least try to amongst the many obstacles that is our equipment) but Sarge has another method that he expects us to adhere to but doesn’t inform us of.
Everything was going smoothly, I was cooking food as carefully and considerately as I could and still slightly burned a pot full of fucking food. I was still able to salvage it, quickly getting it into another pot, covering the taste with tomato paste, sugar, chilli powder and cayenne pepper. Just random flavour shit to incorporate the bitterness as part of the meal, but the sugar made the biggest difference; the sweetness counteracted the bitterness. I was lucky to salvage it... already feeling low other such incidents, inconsistent and even unfair treatment combined with Sarge – once again – not letting things go in any constructive manner gave me the bollucking the broke me. The verbal beat down that made me think “I’m done with this shit”. Congratulations, you broke me... now what? Because you still need me and I’ve lost complete interest.
I work to my incentives, not punishments. I make sure people never get more out of me through such negative methods to educate them that they simply don’t work on me... and they shouldn’t. You tell me I’ve got a day off coming up on Thursday, I will do whatever I possibly can to guarantee that I earn that day off. But if you take said day off away from me, what have I got to lose? How do you take from a man who has nothing? Such punishments roll off my back, and the light in my eyes died that moment.
Soon after, something just as annoying happens. Sarge changes his tune. As I’ve said before; I can deal with people who are decent and friendly, I can deal with people who are right cunts, I’m incapable of dealing with people who can’t make up their FUCKING MIND! Why he changed his approach, I dont’ know. Maybe he did feel like a cunt afterwards, but then he fucking should do. Cunt. Maybe he realised that breaking me is actually a bad idea when the light in my eyes died the very moment he says “You’re not getting a day off”. As a matter of fact, I never truly expected it either because of how unpredictable he is. But the thought of others getting time off, him taking whatever time off he feels like and me missing out... it’s that thought that broke me. How I work my ass off only to be treated like I don’t work at all. My brain switched off to the point I couldn’t even get words out because I couldn’t think of any. Mind fucked.
Oh, and Pun got the afternoon off. I don’t know if it was planned or Sarge decided it on a whim like he does. But is also means that Pun skips yet another of his duties as it’s his turn to stay behind and do breakfast prep. Of course if Sarge has given him the rest of the day off he won’t be expected to come back.
The rest of the day went rather well... if still a little bumpy because the aforementioned conditions still apply. Sarge was meddling without helping, directing without proper consideration, interfering in messy ways, creating problems with no solutions. But as repeatedly stated, his tune was lightened... though the charade seemed to get exhausted by the end and he couldn’t be bothered with it.
Meanwhile, I’ve finally no idea what the fuck is going on at any given time. I can deal without knowing what day/date it is, but things are just getting sad now.

4th March:
Bit of morale repair today. Sarge has taken back his punishment of not giving me days/time off. Maybe realised I wasn’t gunna play the game no more with his bullshit, maybe he felt guilty, I don’t know nor care. But it did feel good having the afternoon off.
I came into work, did front of house, easy. Was a bit of work today but nothing challenging. It was when I was off the fun began. I climbed another hill. Woo. Sounds boring? You had to be there and do it yourself to realise how enjoyable it is. They’re not strictly hills you can just walk up, there’s a bit of climbing involved. Sometimes I’d go down a bit just to climb up somewhere else. Anyone who likes open world videogames (like me) would get off on this shit. Takes a lot out of you though, especially if you’re already working long hours and sleeping less. I’m prepared to grin and bare the hardship for the experience.
Met a Jordanian randomly up this hill, had a nice chat through the language barrier. Then I tried to make it look like I wasn’t following him although he was pretty much going the same way as me.
I then did my laundry and got ready for bed. The end.

Wednesday, 5th March:
The only time I know what day it is, is when I come to my laptop and check. I keep losing track of time on exercises because my focus is always getting through each day.
Especially when it’s always the same shit each day. When I’m on meats I’m doing it all on my lonesome. When Pun’s on meats, Sarge wants to jump on. When Sarge is on meats he always gets help from someone [me] to do all the little shitty jobs such as peel and grate garlic for his curry or something. So I have to drop what I’m literally in the middle of doing to his job. I also then have to work around him because he’ll just claim whatever pots and pans he wants at any given time – including service equipment – without thinking it through. Example: Using 3 containers for his porridge during service when someone else might also be in need of one for their custard or mash potato.
Also, if he fucks up something nothing is said about it. Like his cold cement-thick aforementioned porridge. When you fuck something up he doesn’t let it drop. It’s also usually the same style fuckups.
All of the sweets he decided to put out. Gone.
All of the meats he did, weren’t enough.
All of my veg, plenty. However, the mash was a tad late for service. Custard had to be strained first because the powdered milk didn’t whisk in well, but all that did was add a couple minutes to its preparation before service.
The braised rice I admit I messed up. However still, I messed it up following his exact instructions. So if I fucked it up doing it exactly as I’m told, to the letter, without any deviation whatsoever, who’s fuck up is it? He makes you reluctant to ask for guidance or confirmation on what HE wants (because we have to cater to his roundabout style anyway, not how we would do things) because he just patronises and belittles you for doing asking without giving a decent answer anyway. He misses shit out and tells you when it’s too late to do much about it. Lastly, he had a look at the rice himself and said it was okay. I only realised the rice wasn’t cooked (in a way I’m not comfortable with doing anyway) when I came to fry it off and tasted a bit because it didn’t look right.
Have I covered everything yet? Probably not, so much happens in a single day. They’re long and full of crap really. Yet still, STILL, it feels more preferable to being in Germany dealing with NAAFI. No matter how stressful the constant uncertainly of faulty equipment, weird ingredients and a random unpredictable Sergeant is; it’s still better than being at the merciless direction of Civilians who treat you like a cunt that doesn’t deserve to work for them.
Oh yeah, I turned down dressing up as an enemy and fucking shit up for the exercise troops because I still want to conquer the third and final hill nearby. It looks like the biggest of the lot, and I plan to use the entire day off just going over the hills. Only wish I had more memory on my phone to record more of it.

6th March:
I’m on earlies, late breakfast pretty two nights on the trot now. Fuckers.
Fuck it, as long asI get my time off I can endure anything. Boy can I endure fucking anything, or what?
So, today was a piece of piss really just really fucking annoying. For you see, I’m in by myself tomorrow so I planned out my own menu; as per what Sarge said was gunna happen. Do whatever you want. I was gunna make a decent effort and get some good food going, even pancakes for dinner man. Freaking pancakes. Guys here haven’t had them yet, except the lucky 20 who got them the one time. Lunch was all sorted because of it being packed meals, done by Takalie who’s going out with the main lot who required them. Leftovers were served here. Lots of down time to nap and get some sleep back. On the not so down time was me prepping my menu tomorrow while sorting out evening meal which went smoothly. I even managed to do braised rice in the annoying, inefficient and risky method Sergeant keeps insisting on. Then egg fried it, was rather nice to be fair.
So, Sergeant then asks me what I’m doing tomorrow and comes back and tells me “You’re not doing that. I don’t want any roast meats”, etc. So I make up some different meat choices, he comes back and says he wants a BBQ, which defeats the purpose of me making my own menu really. I’ve even fucking prepped it up and everything, what a waste of fucking effort. Because of all the faffing about, my entire menu changed 3 times; 4 for dinner. I then lost interest in using my initiative and let my mind go blank. Gave Sergeant the “I don’t know” treatment until it looked like he was cracking... though to pull it off I have to make it look like I’ve cracked and don’t know what’s going on. It’s just the tactic I use of; if you try and beat me down, you get nothing from me. Literally nothing. Not even a single thought, comment, contribution of any kind big or small that will benefit you in anyway whatsoever. Then, everything is then on you and only you ‘leader’, ‘cuz you can fuck off if you expect me to pull you out of the shit. On the other hand; If you want to work with me, I’ll work with you. It’s as simple as that.
At least the new menu that’s been forced on me is easy as piss. Night.

7th March:
Oh my, it’s a Friday. Only another full week left in Jordan.
Did I mention I was finishing late and starting early two days on the trot? I can’t remember. On top of that I’m working by myself today, but it all works out for the best. Change of plans has Pun working with Sergeant tomorrow [their days off are today and I’m only feeding 45 in the morning then 20 the rest of the day].
Sergeant mostly stayed out of my way. Menu was easy but kept me busy enough. Lots of little jobs to do when doing a full menu selection by yourself. The mains/meats, the starch choices, veg choices, side dishes, sweets. Plenty of breakfast items on too in the morning. Oh, and I did make pancakes in the end. Was bloody easy, took a matter of minutes which is a good thing because I didn’t have any oven space available for a proper sponge and it would have taken longer AND and would have to be monitored because the equipment here can be so temperamental.
The day went well, I’m totally exhausted and still 7 days to go. I still plan to get some rest AND get up the last hill here. I just haven’t figured out which order that is. If I sleep in and stay on camp there’s always the possibility I’ll be dragged into work, even if it’s odd jobs here and there. If I do the hills first I’m already starting rather tired, it’ll probably take me longer than I normally would and that’s thinking lightly. Though the latter idea is better in the long run I guess.

8th March, Saturday:
My day off well spent. I got up, washed/shaved, breakfast because I have to [though I would have done anyway], then went back to bed for another 3 hours. Recuperated a lot of my much needed sleep and by now typing this I can inform thee I am well rested, recharged and ready to go again.
After my sleep I went up the 3rd and final hill for just over 4 hours. It was awesome. Almost makes me wish I lived in Jordan as the amount of hills to scale seem endless.
Did my Laundry, with any luck it’s the last lot of laundry I’ll be doing in Jordan.
In tomorrow early, dunno if Pun’s been told I’m in early with him. I’m getting up at 5 anyway. Breakfast is only for 20 people and a 100 going out for 10am? That right? Doesn’t sound it.
Pun asked who was going into early tomorrow; I reminded him I’ve already done it twice in a row. So it’s his turn to do it twice in a row really. Then Takalie after that if anything.
Nothing much else to say other than I’ve conquered the 3 directly nearby hills and are proud for doing so.

9th March, Sunday:
Man I’m knackered. But it’s the countdown to the end now. So many annoying little details. Like Anderson telling only me, that me and Pun were to be in over two hours before making a breakfast for 25 people. That’s so full of shit I dunno where to begin, other than mentioning I’ve done the same deal alone for 45 people. So... you can grasp my uncertainty at the manpower to workload confusion there.
The day itself was pretty piss easy for me. Breakfast for a few peeps, then prepping a BBQ for the evening. There was a break in the afternoon but I was sorting Admin shit and kit out so I didn’t have much chance to relax.
Everything went smoothly for myself, however, the grills stopped working because the Civi-support workers hadn’t changed the gas bottle like I asked them to in the morning. Sergeant starts flapping because 3 out of 4 grills don’t work for one reason or another, resorting to even doing burgers in frying pans atop the gas cooker stoves.
I had a beer with my BBQ but being tired already, the thing knocked a lot out of me. Packed my Bergen to go back without me, which seems dumb as always army decision makers... the hard thing is making sure you’re not without anything you may or may not need, while making sure enough is packed so you can fit kit in the bags you’ve got behind with you. There’s no full proof way of getting either really.
Anyway, breakfast tomorrow then some R&R. Looking forward to it too. Aww yeah.

(no subject)
Ps: Did I mention I had a fight with Vuki? I'unno, but I did.

and the rest, really didn't have time to keep a journal
-time between exercises is an uneventful blur so can’t be important really-
-Blah, rest in note form, can’t be bothered to elaborate-

Johno: Badgering, trying to get dirt on people or have me slag them off. Double standards, favouritism, came to a head on bacon then went off to bother james instead
Holgate not much better

Vuki challenge mentioned?

Came to a head with new black female chef. Ultimately told not to talk to her. I reported her.

Naafi no pay. Chase up.

Busy as fuck lead up to xmas

Lots of chefs for xmas rear party, busier when I came back.

Good xmas leave.

Bought easter eggs.

Naafi getting ridiculous in service.

LSI inspection, everyone panicing.

Almost lost some days off but my luck saw me get them back in the end I guess.


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