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Book Excerpt: Day One (Pt. 4)

DAY ONE Tuesday 070904

After sitting outside for almost 5 hours, we were informed that camp officials have nothing to do with bed space allocation and we were to go in search of those ourselves.

To think I had been sitting and counting the flies (okay, not that many actually) while some other girls were helping themselves to bed spaces and bunks in the hostels.

You must always ASK QUESTIONS!

Somehow I do not seem to have learnt that particular lesson because it keeps coming back.

Needless to say, we barely got a space, never mind an entire bunk. After searching around for a while, I got the spring section of a bunk bed and laid it on the floor. Then I spread my bed sheets and wrappers over it before lying down on it (almost directly on the floor, if you ask me).

After a short while, some girls started coming in with mattresses and they informed us that they had to exchange their call up letters for the semblance of comfort tonight. Dangerous move, I thought. What if it becomes our turn to register and we don’t have our call up letters with us? What if this? What if that?

I laid on my makeshift bed for another thirty minutes and my need for comfort overtook what I thought was my better judgment. Jumping up, I took my call up letter to the store and promptly submitted it in exchange for a mattress.

I slept much more comfortably than I could ever have done on the spring.

All well and good, as registration closed at about midnight with them still at Corper number 600 or thereabout.

Glad I listened to what turned out to be the better judgment after all!

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