‘No fires were allowed. No lights. Two hours sleep, two hours on guard.’ – Read an extract from Angolsh: Scenes from an Army Camp
More about the book!
Saturday Star has shared an extract from Angolsh: Scenes from an Army Camp by Greg Latter.
Written with humour and humanity, Angolsh evokes the atmosphere of the 1970s and tells the story of a man coming of age during a three-month army camp in Angola.
In his new book, Latter tells the story of countless cock-ups, kak food, contraband dagga, rumours and confusion, stubborn dirt and stifling heat, local Angolans and Portuguese refugees, tough guys and tortured souls.
Read an extract from Angolsh: Scenes from an Army Camp:
After a while the flatbed truck got stuck in the mud at the side of the road and wouldn’t budge, all of us climbed off and pushed. That made no difference because that mud was like clay and we all kept slipping and sliding about.
Hoepfel then ordered us to get out our spades and dig. About five hours later we were still digging, stuffing tree branches under the wheels of the flatbed, but none of it helped. We even tried towing it out with the Landy, a pathetic attempt. Any idiot would know a Landy is not going to pull out a huge truck ankle-deep in Angolan mud.
The sun began setting so Hoepfel gave up and told us to pitch camp. It started raining and we didn’t have tents. No fires were allowed. No lights. Two hours sleep, two hours on guard. That’s how it was throughout that miserable night. My guard position was downwind so I could at least partake of one of Kevin’s dagga cigarettes although that gave me the munchies and the dog biscuits in that rat-pack were terrible. You could break your teeth on those things if you weren’t careful.
The next morning we were rescued by some tiffies driving a huge tow truck sent by the Technical Service Corps which pulled that flatbed out the mud like it had never been stuck there in the first place, all of us clapping and cheering our saviours on like mad. But we were now behind schedule by half a day so the flatbed driver had to step on it and the journey became a lot rougher and bumpier than it had been the day before. You had to hold on and there wasn’t much to hold on to.