Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Second-hand bad dreams

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Last night my subconscious decided to treat me – for the second time in a week – to one of my recurrent bad dreams, and I dreamed about being called up for my compulsory military service, despite having already served my country twenty years ago.

A sad, boring dream – not really a nightmare because it was not scary, but simply exasperating – in which I spent my time running around carrying a thick folder of documents roving that I had already served – to no avail. I ended up in a uniform, surrounded by people much younger than me, in a strange air base somewhere1.

ea7eba8e424d801098463e7e644bbafaIt usually happens when I am under stress – either I get recalled in the armed forces, or I have to take my high school graduation exam once again.
Which is funny, because I don’t dream about my B.Sc. or my Ph.D. exams – but the high school exam gets a rerun at least once a year… in my dreams.
Or maybe it’s because I sleep with my windows open.

And it turns out that doing the military service all over again, or taking the high school finals again are the two most common bad dreams/nightmares for most males in the Western World – only, those countries that have no compulsory military service get more reruns of the high-school finals.
Which I find interesting, because I always thought of my high school graduation exam as a sort of rite of passage – not a true exam, not a true test of my knowledge, but just a final act of bullying to see if I could stand it.
I could.
But still get bad dreams.
Weird, uh?
Andthey are not even good enough to use as inspiration for a story.


  1. incidentally, I saw it happen: a guy that had been in the Air Force three years, and was a Lieutenant, received the call for his compulsory service. he presented himself in uniform at the preliminary visit, causing some embarrassment. 
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Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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