Archive for Category ‘disappointments‘

Things I did tonight instead of writing this blog post

1. stayed late at work to attend a staff meeting
2. ate delicious vegan hot dogs with salsa.
3. ate turkey jerkey thus rather defeating the purpose of the above.
4. played Lego Star Wars for about an hour (or two)
5. went to the gym
6. Avoided looking at the pile of marking sitting on my desk.
7. wrote THIS blog post.

Normal programming will resume soon.

A billion dollars will buy you…

- Sponsorship of more than 54,000 ‘dollar a day’ children for 50 years.
- Almost 100 Bugatti Veyrons
- One million houses in Detroit
- Bebo (well last year anyway)
- Safe drinking water for everyone in the world for at least a month
- about 666 black market clones of yourself

and of course, 1 billion dollars. As “art”.

What 1 billion dollars will not buy you (according to the ever-so-down-on-their-luck Gulf construction industry)

- Safe transport to and from work for your poorly paid immigrant labourers.

This will in fact (apparently) cost 1 billion Bahraini Dinars. At the current peg of 2.66 US Dollars to the Dinar, that’s a lot of clams.

It would be an absolutely absurd, hilariously audacious claim, were it not for the fact that lobbying from the construction industry has (again) delayed the enforcement of this (2 year old) law and that the Pakistanis, Indians, Bangladeshis and others who are the underpinning of this whole 5 star hotel fantasy will continue to be huttled to and fro on the back tray of light trucks. If they’re lucky there’ll be a couple of wooden benches and a makeshift canopy. It goes without saying that the back of a truck usually doesn’t come furnished with nicities like air bags, crumple zones, or even that new fandangled ‘seat belt’ I’ve been hearing about.

Throw in some winter cold, some blistering summer heat, and some of the worst, most reckless driving you’ve (well, I’ve) ever seen, and these people are obviously going to keep getting mangled and killed at a fairly consistent rate.

At least they’re cheap to replace.

Disappointments 3

(this is like, the 2nd to last one I promise.)

On the occasion of the new year and the general state of things.

From ‘A State of Seige’ by Mahmoud Darwish

[To a killer:] If you reflected upon the face
of the victim you slew, you would have remembered your mother in the room
full of gas. You would have freed yourself
of the bullet’s wisdom,
and changed your mind: ‘I will never find myself thus.’

[To another killer:] If you left the foetus thirty days
in its mother’s womb, things would have been different.
The occupation would be over and this suckling infant
would forget the time of the siege
and grow up a healthy child
reading at school, with one of your daughters
the ancient history of Asia.
They might even fall in love
and give birth to a daughter [she would be Jewish by birth].
What, then, have you done now?
Your daughter is now a widow
and your granddaughter an orphan.
What have you done with your scattered family?
And how have you slain three doves in one story?

Here’s the whole thing, its pretty good if you like that sort of thing.

Disappointment

Or is it dissapointment? (I teach English for a living by the way). Anyway, episode 1 of a probably increasing depressing series:

I’m trying to get on this ‘write more even if its crap because that’s how you get better you idiot and otherwise there’s no point in having a blog’ so this week’s theme is disappointment, (something readers will get a great big dose of if they’ve bothered to stick around) which is fitting given its the holiday season an’ all.

Let down number 1:London Bridge.

I guess  it fell down. Fell down. Fell down. My Fair lady.

I was in London recently (More on that later perhaps. In Haiku form?) and was quite looking forward to checking out all the historicityness (English teacher remember) of the place. The many bridges over the Thames included. The newer ‘millenial’  ones were predicatably drab and ‘modern’, tower bridge was mostly swathed in scaffolding and tarpaulins, but what I was really looking forward to was ye olde London Bridge, that magnificent span of song and rhyme and the only way across the Thames from the time of the Romans until the 17th century. Once a bustling thoroughfare, packed to the brim with shops and carts; screaming fishwives; strolling gentry; and various mudlarks, footpads, pinchpurses, knaves, scoundrels, cads, bounders et al, this sounded like something to see.

Unfortunately I was about 178 years to late to see it. They built a new one in 1831 but I was too late for that even, as in 1968 it was sold to a guy in Arizona. Really.

The new bridge looks like this:

This is where a picture of London Bridge would go had I taken one. It turns out the present strip of grey concrete is too dull to even excite the light sensitive elements of film or digital camera sensor, even google images produces only the more picteresque Tower Bridge.