Again, I'm going back to the military. By way of introduction, I'll say that all of the officers in our unit were a bit different. One of them was silent and kept to himself. Another one liked to beat up Palestinians. My platoon's officer liked to navigate.
So when they moved us from training to Nablus, a large Palestinian city in the West Bank, he wasn't too happy. What were rooftop observations and street patrols to a man who liked nothing better than to be alone with a map and the dark desert hills. But he was determined to make the most of it.
He called us into a room one day, and full of enthusiasm, told us about our night's mission. There was a large cemetery in the middle of the city. He made maps for everyone, and already planted the items we needed to find behind a few of the graves.
And I swear I thought he was joking. I think we all did. I mean, that's a bit too much. Even an occupying army can't just go for a nightly navigation exercise in a Palestinian cemetery. There are limits to what we can do here!
But there weren't. So later that night we went to the Nablus cemetery with our hand-written maps, and started looking for the items, whatever they were.
We were supposed to do individual searches, but it was dark, so of course a few of us met up and started strolling there together, waiting for the officer to give up, or for someone else to find the items and end this silliness.
Suddenly we heard a noise coming from behind a headstone. A whisper. We fell to the ground with our guns in front of our faces and yelled for the people behind the headstone to come out. They didn't. We got up, and slowly moved forward. This was it. We shouted, "Put your arms up." They didn't. The officer ran over to us, and with the entire platoon behind him, was now leading us toward the headstone.
Confronted by faceless soldiers with their guns aimed at their faces, they stopped getting dressed for a moment. The woman took the rest of her clothes and ran away. Stunned, we just watched her go. The man stayed with us, his arms now high up in the air. The officer let him go a moment later. He was very disappointed. Our navigation exercise was ruined, and we weren't ambushed. What a bummer. Might as well go back and get some sleep.