This past week I was taken, quite unexpectedly, on yet another Army trip. This adventure was to the oddly-named Canada Centre in Metula, a recreational centre most famous for its ice skating rink. Being on the very border with Lebanon, near the now-closed border crossing “Good Fence”, Metula is the farthest north I have been yet – just a wee bit further north than the Nimrod Fortress. While everyone agrees that Metula is amazingly picturesque, we were mostly indoors enjoying the attractions at Canada Centre.
As it was a large chunk of my base’s population all visiting the Canada Centre at once, we basically took the place over and had a great time doing so. For some reason, perhaps not to overwhelm the locals, we dressed in civilian clothing and only a handful of us brought guns.
When we got inside, getting our hands stamped as we did, my two American friends and I embarked on a mission to find some food. We only found Pringles so we went swimming, and since I didn’t really want to go swimming I sat on the side and guarded my friends’ possessions. After swimming we had some Army lunch and then headed for the famous, Olympic-sized ice skating rink.
As soon as I strapped on those beginner skates I was just itching to get on the ice. With probably close to ten years spanning the gap between my last ice skating experience and this one, I gingerly stepped onto the gleaming ice, my hand clutching the wood wall at my side. My two friends are, simply put, better ice skaters than me but after a few cautious loops around the rink I detached myself from the wall and began to make steady progress. I must say, having to help a Russian learn to ice skate makes for good jokes but there were some Bedouins who, despite being semi-nomadic herders, were surprisingly agile on the ice. Before long I was slicing through the hordes of people and, without falling even once the entire time, enjoyed a quick game of tag with my friends.
After ice skating we were quickly ushered into a basketball court where a comedy troupe from the Army entertained us with jokes, skits and songs. Once that was done we were hustled back onto our Volvo tour buses and headed back to our base in the Haifa area. This has got to be one of the shortest blog posts I have written, especially within the last year, but despite the fact that all I really did of interest was skating, it was an army trip and it was a great time.
Until the next sporadic trip!