While doing my military service in Greece, I had to learn how to kill time. There are many occasions when there is absolutely nothing to do or allowed to do. After lunch time, each soldier is allocated an evening or night service and till that time comes you just wait. Normal recreational activities are not allowed. You are not in holidays. In addition, it is better to stay out of the way of the superiors because if they catch you slacking, they will order you to do something, just for the sake of it. There is always something that needs cleaning, tidying up or even painting. So, it is better to remain quiet, mostly hidden in parts of the barracks were not many people pass. Even when my service time came, there was some more waiting.
You see, in the army, during peace, at night time what I was mostly ordered to do was guard. I needed to spend 3 shifts of two hours each, outside a military warehouse, barracks or an outpost in the middle of nowhere. There wasn’t a chance that the ‘enemy’ would attack, so to be honest, I only had to wait there and look alert if the night patrol would show up to make sure I wasn’t sleeping. During these times I had to find ways to entertain myself. Especially the 2 – 4 in the morning shift when everything is quiet and still and I felt so sleepy, it was a torture. What I started doing was replaying movies that I recently watched scene by scene in my head, or create Top 10s.
I was thinking top 10 lists of almost everything. My most favourite one is my top 10 list of books I would gladly reread for any reason. I keep updating this list constantly in my head. The books found in it are not what you’d call masterpieces in the classic term, but they are books that made an impact on me for various reasons. Here it is in random order:
- Book Thief
- The life of Pi
- The Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy
- Me talk Pretty one day
- Extremely loud and Incredibly Close
- The lovely bones
- Magician - Raymond E Feist
Books that didn’t make the list:
Jonathan Livingston Seagull: A story. I loved it when I read it decades ago. I fear that if I read it now it will lose its magic.
The song of Ice and Fire. That’s amazing storytelling. There are unforgettable moments in these books. However, at times it was dragging soooooo much I wanted to kill myself. If an updated edited version comes along, I might give it another try.