I’m learning each day since I joined the French Foreign Legion, but the most useful moments are when I‘m not in the regiment. It was true, especially at the beginning.
Each field mission was a challenge for me after I left the 4°RE.
When you are in Castelnaudary, life is complicated and easy at the same time. Complicated because you are closed like if you were in jail, rules are strict and there is always someone behind your back who is breaking your balls for no reason.
But it’s relatively easy because the only thing you have to do is executing orders. Everything is under control, thinking isn’t your job. I have a friend from Ukraine who left the Legion after 5 years and he told me a short story, which makes me laugh each time it comes in my head.
Once happened that right after he left Castelnaudary and finished the basic training, he went out in town to celebrate.
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A completely normal reaction. I’ve never seen anyone who stayed in the caserne during his first free weekend.
He arrived to Marseille, a very popular destination between young legionnaires because the Legion has an old place – called Malmousque – just right next to the sea.
It’s rather like a mix of a weekend house and a hostel than anything else, but only for Legionnaires. The rooms are old, the toilets are like in a horror movie, but it’s cheap (around 15 euros for a night) and breakfast, lunch, dinner are included.
My friend went down with his comrades from his platoon and found an Irish pub down at the old port. You’ll see once you are in the French Foreign Legion.
There is always “that guy”
There is always “the guy” in the crew who doesn’t believe in god and orders 15 shots, a bottle of whiskey (in case of emergency) and a “Beer Giraffe”. You can easily imagine how the night ends.
At 4AM, my friend had to face the biggest challenge of drunk people: find the way back home. Naturally, he got quickly lost in Marseille and in his panic state he started yelling in French:
OU CAPORAL?? (Where is the CORPORAL??)