My try this Wednesday Aubagne.

#23
Try, try and try again or if you prefer, never give up. No matter what others in your vincity might say, usually to put you down and to make themselves feel.. superior.
So, I walked away from the fort with that lump in the throat feeling... you know. Headed back to the métro (tube), same ride but in a backwards way. What now Ged? Am feeling sleepy and hungry again. Count my dosh, it seems a lot but i knew it was not. "Return to where you feel safe, when in danger" and I probably was. So decided to go back to the police station, smart move. Didn't see the cop, that I had met previously. It was another, at the reception, less friendly, efficace for sre. Made a call, wrote me an address and gave me a street map. Told me,in a heavy French accent and very broken English, I was expected and would be taken care of... Wow, couldn't.
Off I go to where ever it was. The place was called "point jeune" (young point), a shelter ! Found it without fuss, I had the map highlighted. Was a typical type of parisian building to me, integrated amongst other family dwellings. ..well i never!
Showed my pus/face and was told to come in by a woman with jet black hair, brown eyes and small waist (am from Scotland and we appreciate this kind of thing). I was shown the bathroom and told to shower, and use the soap. She took my clothes and the rest, was to put thru the washing machine, yeah one of them. It was only me as client, till a young black girl turned up. We would have our meals together, prepared by this woman and the black girl helped her out in the kitchen. Was a dude too, but the woman was in charge. The dude and I would set the table.
He poured me a glass of red wine and i drank it. Bizzare stuff was my impression. The woman in charge said something in a disapproving way... Okay, I get the drift, no more wine for me. We, the black girl and I were given 4 métro tickets each day and some pocket money. She spoke French, might of been French, who knows and who cares? Black like ebony, thin, older than me, the contrast was some thing that can be measured. We would set off after washing up the lunch (stayed over a week ) and do the métro. She showed me how to jump the tourniquet without using our métro. We did Paris, the historical stuff, she showed me most. At the Place de l'Étoile (where the Arch of Triumph is), we chilled some, watching the passerby.
Ran short of smokes, she took our métro tickets and punted them. Took me to a bureau de tabac to buy cigarettes. I bought the cheapest, Gauloises sans filtre (plain tipped Gauloise). They seem like Gitanes, but they aren't/ Back to the shelter and that woman, fixed me an appointment with the consulate. Gave me the address and the time to be there, the following day. I went,met an English chick, while waiting my turn, blond, small, cute and about 10 years older than me. She told me she had her bags and her money stolen, while on a skiing holiday. We waited hours and near closing time we were called. She received money and I was given a train plus ferry ticket to Scotland.
The train leaves Gare du Nord at 9 pm some thing. Have to go back to the shelter for my kit. Meets up with the English girl and i didn't have the opportunity to say good bye to the black girl... Dammit
Enjoyable trip back, English girl treated me to some food and drink on the ferry. Gets to Victoria station and separate... ah
Direction Scotland now, not that i wanted to... All i had in mind, was, am going back... and I did (that's another story).
Extinction des feux (lights out)
 
#24
Yeah, but you're not paid for thinking, you're there to do what's told. I remember one time I was driving a lieutenant in the Finnish military around the base with a Jeep. Then in the middle of the barracks parking lot he told me to "Drift this Jeep here, that's an order". So obviously I couldn't get that heavy car to slide like it was suppose to so we just drove slowly really large circles about 8 times in the parking lot until he said Ok, enough. He never explained why to do this and I was too confused to ask. It didn't make sense then and has not ever. :cool:
Got a free coffee coupon to the cantine tho....
A soldier that don't think will end up in a wooden box, think that old myth of "your not paid to think" is a recipe for disaster!
 
#26
Omg Le petit . F me if I understood half of what you told us in you last 2 posts . :)

I can only recall some black, English and French chicks helping you on your trip.
Life is one big trip and with out some chicks to help you on your travels. ..life becomes a lonley planet
The intention was to explain , if you set your heart out to do some thing, like joing the Legion and you fail, what ever the reason s! Détermination counts for lot. ...but hey, you haven't heard the follow up
and thats another story. ..stay tuned, more to come (03 h 00 ) btw, patience is a virtue. ..and that is a generation thing
Now a days. .kids seek instant satisfaction for there desires,i want it now and i want it all attitude (technology obliged) and that is killing curosity
Will post soon a follow up (my return to scotland and my second attempt in enlisting...so stop getting your G string in a twist
 
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#30
A bit disappointed by the story petit caporal... Was expecting some juicy details, like did you sh*g one of the ladies you came across in your adventure or something like that..? :D More seriously, and if you want to share, had you informed your parents that you were going to France to try and join la Légion étrangère? What did they say when they saw you back, after your first try?
 
#31
Life is one big trip and with out some chicks to help you on your travels. ..life becomes a lonley planet
The intention was to explain , if you set your heart out to do some thing, like joing the Legion and you fail, what ever the reason s! Détermination counts for lot. ...but hey, you haven't heard the follow up
and thats another story. ..stay tuned, more to come (03 h 00 ) btw, patience is a virtue. ..and that is a generation thing
Now a days. .kids seek instant satisfaction for there desires,i want it now and i want it all attitude (technology obliged) and that is killing curosity
Will post soon a follow up (my return to scotland and my second attempt in enlisting...so stop getting your G string in a twist
Great stories Petit caporal. Really well written and brings home that all our journeys to join the Legion are adventures in their own right. Some more than others, it’s true. I like your determination. I also found the gendarmes to be very helpful as well as complete strangers while I was in France. Was quite the experience. I can't wait to read your next chapter.
 
#32
No one in my family knew i was trying to join the Legion as I was placed in an assesment center / école de redressement, at the age of 14 for various reasons, mainly delinquant stuff. I was a trouble maker and detested all forms of authority, event my parents. I recall, at school, 3rd year or 5ème, si tu préfères. Fighting with my French teacher because he slapped me in the face, oh the irony of it.
In the center where I was placed, isolation the first 3 weeks, then integrated with the others. Some of the surveillants, were ex British army ! Alcholics with bull shined boots and didn't hesitate an instant to give you a kick in the balls, happened to me twice, for no apparent reason.
Dormitory was army style, 8 to a room. Patrol at night to see if everyone was sleeping. The guard, would shine his torch on your face...and if you blinked, thump you with the torch.
Early wake up call and 1 hr of cleaning etc (exactly like i would learn later in the Legion) Présentation and inspection, then marched off to the dining hall, wearing my plastic shoes, always the same shoes. Breakfast laid out ready when we entered. A bowl of corn fakes and 2 slices of toast, already buttered, with a cup of tea. No knives allowed. Breakfast was consumed standing. This is Britain. This is Thatcher.
During my spell there, my mother remarried. Father was doing his thing, as usual. Was liberated 1 month after my 16th birthday, just like that, after a short passage in front of the child rens panel. No questions asked as to what are my intentions or how to i intend to surive... but free to do what I want.
Lived mainly in caravans (are my roots... am a mink, traveler, pikey, gens du voyage, call it whatever pleases you, I don’t care and never have
Anyway, mother’s new husband sent the dosh for my tickets to get home, but i have no home
Gets to Scotland and drops in to see the Auld lady, she’s had another child, my step brother.
Didn't feel welcome and spring is near, i soon cut my stick else where.
Some low paid jobs later and i was 18.
I hated Scotland and the rest of the UK, bloody island mon Keys, fuque them, am too clausterphobic to be hanging here. .
Am off to France and you can all pogue ma hone !
So off i went, but better prepaired this time. I have a 1 year passport, filled in the application at the post office,no security check
Travelled by bus, the stage coach, Aberfeldy Perth London Dover Calais Paris Fort de Nogent. ...only sight seeing i took in, was from the bus window ...glad to be rid of, to be honest
Arrived at Fort de Nogent, presents myself. ... and in i was ! Not in the Legion officially but behind their walls. That’s progress, now to get to Aubagne...

Le Misérable
 
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#33
Do you not think that part of the attraction of going the Legion prior to social media and the amount of content and information that is about now was 1 the need (personal reasons for going) and 2 that it was like going to the moon, not a lot known about it but what you did hear was pretty negative! The two together along with the unknown just upped the pressure! Just a thought.
 
#35
I dared me. ..if it wasnt the légion, what else could have i done...defect to the east ?
Just more civi jail for me in my situation so the unknown verses a cell for about the same period of time was a no brainer regardless of not really understanding what the Legion had to offer, also I was clueless to understanding how difficult it was to get in as their was nothing about to tell you or inform you. The only thing I new for sure was any freedom was better than jail and hey the Legion couldn't be that bad!!!!!!!!
 

Joseph Cosgrove

Moderator
Legionnaire
#36
Do you not think that part of the attraction of going the Legion prior to social media and the amount of content and information that is about now was 1 the need (personal reasons for going) and 2 that it was like going to the moon, not a lot known about it but what you did hear was pretty negative! The two together along with the unknown just upped the pressure! Just a thought.
It has to be said that, in our days, you were literally going into the unknown. Perhaps not the unknown, more the little known. I personally did not know if they were still in North Africa or not. I'd read Beau Geste and Legionnaire by Simon Murray and saw the cartoon strips in the papers of beau peep all took place in the desert.

Then one day going back to my commando unit in Arbroath, Scotland after leave after another 4 months in Norway, I said F- it, I'll go and join the FFL. Managed to put up with it for seventeen and a half years without knowing what I was letting myself in for.

Just a foot note, when you signed your contract in those days it was in French. And you did not get a copy of what you just signed.
 

DCLXVI

Legionnaire
#37
So last Sunday night, I got to Aubagne. Few hours had been walking around town, very nice place to live, so i tooked hotel in the monday morning coz it was starting to rain, and i was afraid of catching cold, or having lungs problems. I had slept in a hotel all Monday, taking shower eating and sleaping. Tuesday moning I went up the hill to preselection center. Said hello to a young Russian speaking sergeant, he showed me how I should do 7 pull ups, I did them, then we went inside, he explained how to do the test for the beginning. I had did the test, then he decided that I should do another time 7 pull ups, I did them. Then he decided that I wasn't good enough, and said bye-bye, come try after a month. ;(
You failed the BASIC test, it had nothing to do with pull ups. Had nothing to do with too many guys, ANYONE who passes this FIRST BASIC test is admitted. There is always room. You did 7 more pull ups jus to humor him. He didn't just decide anything. It is simple. He looks at the test and looks at the master copy with all the answers, you failed the test. You did not get sent home because of anything else. It is s simple as that, nothing more.
 
#38
You failed the BASIC test, it had nothing to do with pull ups. Had nothing to do with too many guys, ANYONE who passes this FIRST BASIC test is admitted. There is always room. You did 7 more pull ups jus to humor him. He didn't just decide anything. It is simple. He looks at the test and looks at the master copy with all the answers, you failed the test. You did not get sent home because of anything else. It is s simple as that, nothing more.
Which test exactly get you to try after a month if you fail it? it's a little ambiguous. Pardon my ignorance, what is the first basic test? Surely you do not mean pull-ups? Is there something after that?
 

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