Here's an interesting blog by an ABC who enlisted:
sandman wrote:i still live in Canada but I would like to improve my english,
Weel, yon's aboot as likely as a tasty seal-flipper pie, eh?
birdcage wrote:English is not my first language so I apologize in advance for wrong grammar.
I'm currently on military service, 54 days in. I'm serving at the R.O.C. Marines Corps, so I can only speak from my own experiences in that branch. Unlike you, I was not born in Taiwan, but I know basic Mandarin. First 37 days is boot camp. We wake up at 5:30 in the morning, exercise and jog for 15 minutes. Then we eat breakfast. After that they issue us our rifle and we begin class. Classes are held outdoors, under a big tree, on the auditorium, and even on an empty swimming pool. After lunch, they'll give us an hour and a half to rest. Then in the afternoon, we resume class. They taught us everything from cleaning, handling and using a rifle, and some other stuffs too. After dinner, we shower. Then at night, we usually sing military songs, listen to our drill sergeants tell stories, or do "duties". Duties include taking out the trash, cleaning the toilet etc.
I did have a difficult time the first few days because of my poor Mandarin skills, but my comrades helped me out. Whenever I don't understand something, they would explain it to me using simple words. I was never bullied or dissed. They were quite fond of me because I"m a foreigner. I made a lot of friends. Actually, my lack of Mandarin comprehension was my ticket out of getting yelled at and punished by my drill sergeants, because they don't speak English, they just ignored me.
The hardest part for me during boot camp is the weather. Its 35 degrees outside and we are marching under scorching heat wearing full military outfits (helmet, jacket and boots ) while carrying a 7.5 kilogram rifle.. and a small folding chair strapped to our belts. Anyway, I'd say joining the R.O.C. military is a perfect way to learn and improve Mandarin. Basic Mandarin is enough for you to get through each day. If you don't understand the commands, just follow whatever your comrades are doing and you'll do just fine.
If you have any more questions just let me know and I'll try to answer them in full detail.
hey birdcage, I'm considering joining the army, but I am concerned if i will be able to train in boxing. It's possible to leave the base to train or do they have boxing facilities on the base? Of course I know that the situation varies, but i just want to have an idea of what I'm getting myself into. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.[/quote]
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