It’s been 3 days since Berkay walked through those doors and started his national service.
So far he’s managed to call me once everyday, for around 1 minute each time, and although that’s been brilliant I’m trying not to get my hopes up that it will continue to prevent disappointment!
On the 2nd day, he called me in the evening and told me he hadn’t done much, just checked in, got his army uniform, been introduced and eaten. He seemed thrilled they had ‘red meat, pasta and yogurt’ for dinner, I think he’s eating better there than he did back at home in Fethiye! When I was living there red meat like steak and beef was a real treat as it’s so expensive, but since I’ve been back in England he’s not been buying food to cook for himself at all and he had been eating snall ‘pop kek’ cakes for dinner instead! He also said there are 400 people all sleeping in the same room, presumably in bunk beds or similar… it’s a good thing he’s so social, I’m sure he’s already made lots of friends, he talks to anyone and everyone.
One thing (well, one of many..) that is frustrating about the whole national service process is the fact that they aren’t paid at all for their time. This means that with Berkay having no income for year, he won’t be able to save, so it’s all down to me to save for our ‘future’, which is overwhelming at the best of times, even more so when I haven’t even got a job yet! I’ve been looking since I arrived back in December and haven’t had much luck. I had an interview on Friday morning and it seems like a job I’d really enjoy, so fingers crossed for that.
While I was on the train on the way to the interview, I had an unexpected morning phone call from Berkay. He’d previously called in the evenings so it caught me off guard, but I was so pleased to hear his voice and it put me in a good mood before my interview, even if it was a very short 30 second phone call before we got cut off as the train entered a tunnel.
I had another call from him this morning, he told me he had 10 minutes of free time and had ran to the phone to talk to me quickly. He’d been running, doing push ups, sit ups and other such exercise his body isn’t used to! I have visions of a ‘an officer and a gentlemen’ style scene in my head! “I’m so tired I can’t move my legs, they hurt so much” he said, yet he still ran to the phone to talk to me, bless.
The unpredictable phone calls are a little annoying, having to take the phone to the shower, toilet, panic if Three loses signal for a couple of seconds or if I’m in a dodgy connection zone. He doesn’t get much free time and if I miss his call, that’s it for the day. People don’t seem to understand this and laughed when I mentioned it, that’s alright if you have your loved ones with you, an arms reach, a text or a phone call away isn’t it? Thank goodness we don’t have to rely on good old ‘snail-mail’ though.
I am so, so grateful for the internet. I have met a few lovely girls whose partners are also currently doing or have already done their national service and it is such a comfort talking to them knowing they understand exactly what I’m feeling. Whether its moaning about lack of phone calls, asking about what we’re allowed to send the men in the post or panicking about the little details of army life, they’ve been a great source of information and a great help. It’s frustrating having other friends and family dismiss my thoughts and feelings. I’ve developed a random rash on my face this week and several people suggested it could be stress. “Stress?” one family member laughed, “what have you got to be stressed about?”.. well, quite a lot, actually. Sigh.
Even hearing ‘it’ll go quickly’ drives me crazy, I know it’s meant well and time does inevitably pass, but that’s just it, no matter how quickly the time nay go, its still got to ‘go’, and that’s the hard part.
362 days and counting…