I am not the world's greatest fan of people between 12 and 18. However, when I see riot police knocking them about a bit (and then some in some cases) I have to admit I like it. By now, you're probably wondering what the ??? Let me explain.
Part of my job is (occasionally) driving military personel around. From the driving range to the base or from the base to some far off field in Farawayistan. However, we also have to pick up college kids who want to join the armed forces and are now in a 'orientation' year in school. They get taught how to march, how to obey (brilliant), how to be soldiers, before they have to make their final choice. Every once and a while they have to go into the field in either army, navy or airforce and learn the soldiers' ways. Today they learned that a stick from the riot police hurts. A great deal!
This morning I had to pick up a coach load of college kids and take them to the army training grounds close by. After we had finally found it, everyone got off the coach. After about half an hour they all scattered into the woods, tied themselves to trees and generally making a big nuisance of themselves and scaring the squirrels. Not long after that the riot police showed up in full gear and started driving them from the woods. After only five minutes the first kid was taken into custody and shown to the arrest vehicle (my coach). Within about half an hour all kids were out and (of course) the riot police had won. Half an hour later, the kids moved into the woods again and a new platoon arrived to chase them out.
In the afternoon it happened for a third time. But this time there was a little catch. Since the terrain they were using is army terrain (riot police was army riot police), there were actually soldiers using the terrain for training. And when suddenly the shots got quite close, it turned out they were using the same area the riot police were using! Good thing they were using blanks... Anyway, the some of the kids loved it and really got into the swing of things, others just thought it pointless and stupid.
I loved it!
The part I didn't love though, was the part where I got back home and realised I had to clear and clean up after the lot of them. Sand, heather, twigs, leaves and other assorted junk and debris covered the floor and even some seats! It took me over an hour to get the coach presentable for tomorrow! But my day was ok!