roland@equalpartners.ca
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Equal Partners
by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners

By Roland Ezri

"Women are the backbone of all societies. They do a substantial part of the work, and play a major role in raising the future generation yet they are largely powerless. The decisions that count are made by men and foisted upon women."

Writings by Roland Ezri

The Second Exodus – Israel – CCLXI. My Military Career (4 of 5)

The aforementioned Yair and Gad offered me their friendship no doubt because they liked me; but there was another reason; I intrigued them.  Here was an Egyptian that spoke a flawless Arabic and did not look Egyptian at all.  I was at peace with Israelis and Egyptians; for me there were no two sides, but one side only; two nations at war, but both members of the human family.  And this family did not, could not, differ regardless of nationality, language, or philosophy.  We were all subject to the same immutable human drives.  They laughed when I said:  “Suppose a khatikha (shapely woman) went by; would the reaction of the male of the species be different whether it happened on the streets of Cairo or Tel-Aviv?”  They both agreed that the response would be the same, and added, “ze kol khah nakhon, ein hevdel” (it’s so true, there is no difference).

Whenever there was time, the three of us sat at the canteen and explored the ins and outs of our daily life and of life in general.  One of the things they did was to encourage me:  “don’t worry you’ll get stronger, we’ll help you out.”

Yair was a big boy with an even bigger heart.  Gad was a thoughtful chap with a way with the ladies; he gave me a lot of advice which proved of limited usefulness; for as we all know women have a mind of their own!

The setting of the camp was very nice:  There were trees, shrubs, flowers, and plenty of greenery.  Whenever possible I took some quiet walks by myself.  There was a lot to think about and some difficult decisions to take.

The Chayalot (women soldiers) who were training in a nearby base came often to our camp.  They were so cute in their outfit.  A uniform for some mysterious reason makes the opposite sex irresistible.

There were erev la rekoudim (dance nights) that allowed the genders to get together.  But that was of no interest to me.

*  *  *

The Israeli army conscripted volunteer non-Jews who lived in Israel.  Most of the non-Jewish volunteers were turned down, but some ethnic groups were deemed trustful enough and were accepted.  Volunteers from one particular community were routinely accepted if they were medically fit; their population lived in primitive conditions and benefited from their stint in the Israeli army.

For obvious reasons, I won’t mention names; as well, the trust I talked about has died decades ago.

One morning I awoke to a big commotion.  As soon as I opened my eyes, Yair informed me that somebody has crapped on the floor!  He then runs outside to get additional details.  I looked around for the evidence and sniffed the air. Nothing.  Obviously, the deed has not happened in our barracks!

At breakfast the story which by now was all over the base was told and retold.

Early in the day, a sergeant had come across a young lad who was running in a big panic.  That poor chap apparently needed to get to the washroom in a hurry.  He never saluted the higher-ranking officer, he pointed at his backside and yelled at the top of his lungs:  “maher, maher” (fast, fast).  The sergeant pointed him to the washrooms

This soldier was a volunteer from a primitive community; there, when nature called the load was downloaded down a big hole!

When he entered the washroom he found himself in a totally unfamiliar place; there were urinals and stalls; what the hell were they for he thought to himself.

Having no time to think about the matter, he simply lowered his pants and left a substantial “deposit” on the floor!

It would be a while before a soldier entered the washroom and alerted an officer.

That poor recruit was easily located, but obviously was never reprimanded.  He was given a quick course on how a modern society deals with its waste, and how a washroom works.  Whether live demonstrations were part of his training, I do not know!

No doubt he was greatly embarrassed; but he had joined the army to learn about the modern world.  However, the lesson – as are all lessons – proved to be a difficult one.

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