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Africa

Notebook 2: And on the tenth day, the commander created Sunday

Text by Marie Sophie JOUBERT , Special correspondent on board the Floréal in the Indian Ocean

Latest update : 2009-03-04

Our special correspondent Marie-Sophie Joubert is aboard the Floréal frigate, accompanying a military manhunt for Somali pirates. She discovers that Sunday is whenever the commander says it is.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

 

“Check!” yelled Cécile Cornier, ensign First Class. She’s holding a good hand. She has an air of concentration, focused on her opponents gauging the range of possible scenarios. It’s going to be a close game. The tension is mounting. Not even a fly is stirring in this room.

 

In poker, it’s every man for himself. But military reflexes prevail here. The officers are seated around a table, devising strategies. The first player throws in a chip worth 50. The next player places a bid. Discussions are brief and efficient. Not a single wasted word.

 

The game ends an hour later with no winner or loser. Gambling is forbidden by the army, at any rate. Everyone returns to other business. Nothing too strenuous. It’s Sunday, after all. A day of rest – sort of.

 

On a military installation, Sunday can happen at any time and with any frequency, at the whim of the commander. On the Floréal, they’ve been waiting for their poker night for 10 days.

Date created : 2009-03-01

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