Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
EllasDevil tagged me for this quirky meme. Here are the rules:
1. Link the person who tagged you.
2. Mention the rules on your blog.
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours.
4. Tag 6 fellow bloggers by linking to them.
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged bloggers' blogs to inform them.
5: When I prepare cucumbers, I slice the ends off and then rub them against the cut edge of the cucumber until a white froth forms. Someone once taught me that this draws out the bitterness but now everyone thinks I'm a weirdo for doing it.
Naturally, being proper socialists and me being just a pretend one, they weren't having any of my not-based-on-some-dead-bigshot's-theories talk about the Home Country. I kept being told that I didn't understand, which for me was curious as I kept pointing out that actually I had grown up in the Home Country unlike anyone else in the room and so was much better placed to know what I was talking about than any of them. The reason they had taken such offence, argued so passionately with me in big important BBC Radio voices, was that I had said the unsayable in a room full of optimistic bright young things. I had said that marshal law was the best thing that could happen to the Home Country because democracy just didn't work for us.
And still they bandied on about it. They explained it to me patiently, the merits of democracy, ignoring and talking over me when I repeated that democracy didn't work for everyone, like marriage. Me being in the room was some sort of blip in their matrix. They paused, stared for a moment when I said something, and then continued to pick up the conversation where they had left out before Reality Check from the Home Country had butted in.
It was ridiculous. I looked around the room and realised what a sham it all was. Who did these people think they were, sitting above a pub in Wales talking out of their backsides about a country they knew so little about? They didn't have family or friends living there or any genuine reason for concern about what happened to the Home Country. I did.
The meeting was drawn to a 'successful' close with the conclusion that Democracy was the answer to the Home Country's woes. Democracy, just any type of democracy. Golly gosh! How come us silly people in the third world never thought of that before? Pick a tyrant and elect him and it'll all be good and proper. I never went to another meeting.
Naturally, that's what the people of the Home Country have just done and demonstrated very clearly why democracy doesn't work for them, because they kicked out a general who was the best of a bad lot and at least stabilised the country a little, and elected a man who has been thrown into jail many times for digging his grubby finger's into the nation's pockets and bought million pound mansions in the UK with the cash of ordinary people.
So you have to then wonder if my fellow Home Countryers don't deserve what they get if they're going to show that they have such appallingly short memories about how badly the same batch of politicians have treated them decade after decade.
And yet... I feel sometimes like I'm watching a country disappearing before my eyes, going up in flames like the iconic buildings of my childhood.
I don't feel sorry for the building. I feel sorry for the ordinary people who worked there, who were just trying to make a humble living. I feel sick at the thought of my friend's fiance being thrown three feet against a wall while he worked in a nearby building. I feel angry when I see the size of the crater and think that someone sat and calculated that level of raw violence, especially in the Holy Month and knowing full well that it would be a busy evening of families out with their children. What kind of sick people are these? I feel impotent because all I can do is watch the news.
In the end, I did find that bag of soil from my village and it now stands in a bottle on a shelf. Just as well because the way things are going, maybe that's the closest my own children will ever get to the Home Country.
I can say that things were never great when I lived in the Home Country but they were never this bad. It all makes me feel very strongly that it's outside hands that are stirring up trouble there, because whatever was wrong with the uneducated and easily influenced people of the Home Country, repeatedly blowing up your own countryfolk was considered a hideous, cowardly thing to do and now it happens all the time. But if you offer a poor person guaranteed financial security for his family with some religious guilt thrown in, his own life seems like a small price to pay.
I bet those socialists above a pub would love to hear my latest theory.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Anyway, I was shocked to learn that this dress had cost EUR 1,500, which isn't so bad except that it was RENTED! Who the hell charges that much just to rent a dress, and why would you pay that much for a dress you can't even keep afterwards? For that much I could have any one of these designer creations, but I can't bring myself to splash out that much on an outfit I will most likely only ever wear once (but I could recycle it to attend other weddings, after all no one in Athens will know I'm wearing my wedding dress to a wedding will they).
Excuse me ... sneezing fit... I've been awake since 5.30 this morning with a fever. Damn summer flu.
Weddings, houses, babies. Or more often than not as of late, houses, babies, weddings. Being an extremely lightweight drinker, on our trip in Crete one evening as we sat by the sea with the Milky Way scattered overheard and a glass or two or white wine in my bloodstream, I admitted my burning desire for a baby to Mr Zeus. It wasn't just an admission like "I'd love to have a child," it was a full on, crazy eyed monologue about how badly I want a child and I don't even care if it's not mine, I'll adopt, and I don't care if I get stretchmarks, I'll get over it, that I have to take a deep breath to brace myself each time we're off to meet someone I know is pregnant and that I see babies everywhere and that all the women we know are having babies which they never, ever let me have for just one afternoon even though I've got years of baby care experience and neither do they tell us when we can drop in to see said bundles of joy resulting in four sets of rattles and baby-groes that have ended up stashed under our bed because by the time we get to see the baby they're too big for the clothes I buy and that sometimes when I'm sitting watching TV in the evenings I feel positively forlorn that I don't have a little person to take care of and feed and fuss over and wash their little clothes.
I stopped talking and held my head. "Am I being ridiculous?" I asked Mr Zeus. But he was too busy laughing at me to answer. Finally, he said "All in good time."
Indeed. And I know he's right. But I still want a baby. If any of you have one, please let me borrow it for an afternoon.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Now that the weather is turning I can close another chapter of summer eavesdropping for this year. I feel a little down about it. I already have my first cold and feel that the summer didn't last nearly long enough. In the part of the Home Country where I lived, summer was so long that it left no room for Autumn, sprawling across a full seven months of the year and leaving a little bit of room in between for the monsoons before taking over again. And so our seasons ran: Winter, Spring, Summer, Monsoon, Summer, Winter.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Crete was great. The people of Crete are so nice and welcoming that they make Athenians looks miserable and Londoners look infinitely worse. We had a totally chilled out time in the South of Crete, swimming, eating, sleeping, listening to Egyptian radio stations and sitting in babbling brooks until something bit my behind and I didn't do that again. It was refreshing while it lasted.
So here we are now post-holiday and in the Holy month which I so far have done a terrible job of observing. I set my alarm clock each day to wake up for a pre-sunrise meal and each night I change the time again, thinking I'll start a day later. I did it again today. So I've had breakfast and I won't eat or drink another thing till sunset now, which isn't playing by the rules but should help me get into the spirit of things.
The reason I like fasting is that is makes me feel like I earned the party at the end of it. And this year I won't be caught out. I'm going to make sure my new moon party is well planned and all guests well informed.
I will post again soon. This was a bit of a lame post.