Wednesday, November 30, 2005

My little sister



Seeing as this week I am submerged with work I will post a foto of my little sis so that you will forgive me for not writing. Tommorrow we have the annual company pic nic which should be a good accasion to write about funny stuff so, I promise that Friday will post something interesting!

Clarification

Just thought I should point out that the previous post is not my work but was recieved via email.

As "party animal" points out:

excellent piece by Argentinean blogger Hernan Casciari... orsai.bitacoras.com by Party Animalpartyanimal2005.blogspot.com

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Funny stuff in spanish

La verdadera edad de los paises Una lectora sagaz me dice en el comentario 227 del articulo llamadoEspana,deci alpiste, que Argentina no es mejor ni peor queEspana, solo mas joven Me gusto esa teoria y entonces invente un truco para descubrir la edad de los paises basandome en el sistema perro.Desde chicos nos explicaron que para saber si un perro es joven oviejo habia que multiplicar su edad biologica por 7. Con los paises,entonces, hay que dividir su edad por 14 para saber sucorrespondencia humana. ?Confuso? En este articulo pongo algunosejemplos reveladores.Argentina nacio en 1816. Tiene ciento ochenta y nueve anos. Si lodividimos por 14, Argentina tiene trece anos y cuatro meses. O sea,esta en la edad del pavo. Argentina es rebelde, es pajera, no tienememoria, contesta sin pensar y esta llena de acne. Por eso le dicenel granero del mundo. Casi todos los paises de America Latina tienen la misma edad y,comopasa siempre en esos casos, hay pandillas. La pandilla del Mercosurson cuatro adolescentes que tienen un conjunto de rock. Ensayan enun garage: hacen mucho ruido y jamas sacaron un disco.Venezuela,que ya tiene tetitas, esta a punto de unirse para hacer los coros.En realidad quiere coger con Brasil, que tiene catorce y la porongagrande. Son chicos; un dia van a crecer.Mexico tambien es adolescente, pero con ascendente indio. Por esose rie poco y no fuma inofensivo porro como el resto de sus amiguitos.Fuma peyote y se junta con Estados Unidos, que es un retrasadomental de 17 que se dedica a matar a chicos hambrientos de seisanitos en otros continentes. En el otro extremo, por ejemplo, esta la China milenaria: sidividimos sus 1.200 anos entre 14, nos da una senora de ochenta ycinco, conservadora, con olor a pis de gato, que se la pasacomiendo arroz porque no tiene para comprarse la dentadura postiza. Tiene un nieto de ocho, Taiwan, que le hace la vida imposible. Estadivorciada hace rato de Japon, que es un viejo cascarrabias al quetodavia se le para la chota. Japon se junto con Filipinas, que esjovencita, es boluda y siempre esta dispuesta a cualquier aberraciona cambio de dinero. Despues estan los paises que acaban de cumplir la mayoria de edad ysalen a pasear en el BMW del padre. Por ejemplo Australia y Canada.Estos son tipicos paises que crecieron al amparo papa Inglaterra yde mama Francia, con una educacion estricta y concheta, y ahora sehacen los locos. Australia es una pendeja de 18 anos y dos meses quehace topless y coge con Sudafrica; Canada es un chico gay emancipado que en cualquier momento adopta al bebe Groenlandia y forman una de estas familias alternativas que estan de moda.Francia es una separada de 36 anos, mas puta que las gallinas, peromuy respetada en el ambito profesional. Es amante esporadica deAlemania, un camionero rico que esta casado con Austria. Austriasabe que es cornuda,pero no le importa. Francia tiene un hijo,Monaco, que tiene seis anos y va camino de ser puto o bailarin, olas dos cosas.Italia es viuda desde hace mucho tiempo. Vive cuidando a San Marinoy a Vaticano, dos hijos catolicos identicos a los mellizos de losFlanders. Italia estuvo casada en segundas nupcias con Alemaniaduraron poco: tuvieron a Suiza) pero ahora no quiere saber nadacon los hombres. A Italia le gustaria ser una mujer como Belgica,abogada, independiente, que usa pantalon y habla de tu a tu depolitica con los hombres. (Belgica tambien fantasea a veces consaber preparar spaghettis.)Espana es la mujer mas linda de Europa (posiblemente Francia lehaga sombra, pero pierde en espontaneidad por usar tanto perfume).Espana anda mucho en tetas y va casi siempre borracha. Generalmente se deja coger por Inglaterra y despues hace la denuncia. Espana tiene hijos por todas partes (casi todos de trece anos) que viven lejos. Los quiere mucho, pero le molesta que los hijos, cuando tienen hambre, pasen alguna temporada en su casa y le abran la heladera.Otro que tiene hijos desperdigados es Inglaterra. Gran Bretana saleen barco a la noche, se culea pendejas y a los nueve meses apareceuna isla nueva en alguna parte del mundo. Pero no se desentiende:en general las islas vivien con la madre, pero Inglaterra les da decomer. Escocia e Irlanda, los hermanos de Inglaterra que viven enel piso de arriba, se pasan la vida borrachos, y ni siquiera sabenjugar al futbol. Son la verguenza de la familia.Suecia y Noruega son dos lesbianas de 39, casi 40, que estan buenasde cuerpo a pesar de la edad y no le dan bola a nadie. Cogen ylaburan: son licenciadas en algo. A veces hacen trio con Holanda(cuando necesitan porro), y a veces le histeriquean a Finlandia,que es un tipo de 30 anos medio androgino que vive solo en un atico sin amueblar, y se la pasa hablando por el movil con Corea.Corea (la del sur) vive pendiente de su hermana esquizoide. Sonmellizas,pero la del norte tomo liquido amniotico cuando salio delutero y quedo estupida. Se paso la infancia usando pistolas yahora,que vive sola, es capaz de cualquier cosa. Estados Unidos, elretrasadito de 17, la vigila mucho, no por miedo, sino porquequiere sus pistolas.Israel es un intelectual de sesenta y dos anos que tuvo una vida demierda. Hace unos anos, el camionero Alemania (que iba por la rutamientras Austria le chupaba la pija) no vio que pasaba Israel y selo llevo por delante.Desde ese dia, Israel se puso como loco. Ahora, en vez de leerlibros, se la pasa en la terraza tirandole cascotes a Palestina,quees una chica que esta lavando la ropa en la casa de al lado.Iran e Irak eran dos primos de 16 que robaban motos y vendian losrepuestos, hasta que un dia le robaron un respuesto a la motonetade Estados Unidos, y se les acabo el negocio. Ahora se estan comiendo los mocos. El mundo estaba bien asi, es decir, como estaba. Hasta que un diaRusia se junto (sin casarse) con la Perestroika y tuvieron docena ymedia de hijos.Todos raros, algunos mogolicos,otros esquizofrenicos. Hace una semana, y gracias a un despelote con tiros y muertos, loshabitantes serios del mundo descubrimos que hay un pais que sellamaKabardino-Balkaria. Un pais con bandera, presidente, himno, flora, fauna,?y hasta gente! A mi me da un poco de miedo que nos aparezcan paises de corta edad, asi, de repente. Que nos enteremos de costado, y que inclusotengamos que ponercara de que ya sabiamos, para no quedar comoignorantes. ?Por que siguen naciendo paises nuevos -me pregunto yo- si los que hay todavia no funcionan?

Monday, November 28, 2005

Stupid, humid heat

I cant be bothered to write anything today. The hot, humid, air is killing me. I cant breathe, I cant think. All I can hope is that tonight the rain will sweep away this dreadful heat

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Alopecia areata

Yesterday I was talking to a friend and we started chatting about crying. He told me that at times, when he is really tired and sad, he cries. I can’t really say this surprised me as I know most men cry at times but I couldn’t really relate. The last time I cried I was thirteen and I can remember it as though it was yesterday. I remember deciding that I would never cry again.

As a child I had a brief experience with a disease called alopecia. Basically what happens, at least in my case, was that come autumn my hair would start falling off in little tufts until it was all gone. By spring time my hair would start growing back. In other words nature mistook me for a deciduous tree!

This disease hit me more or less when I was six and lasted several years. I would get to the end of summer and start worrying about my hair falling off. Everyday I would pick off a few hairs off my pillow until they became tufts and then chunks. Every year I would get to a point where it was so ugly that I would grab a razor and simply shave it all off. Then one autumn, when I was eleven, my hair did not fall off. All winter I kept my hair. The next year was the same, the one after as well. I thought that it had all finished and then, suddenly, one autumn it started falling again. I remember sitting in the bathroom, my father standing up behind me cutting my hair.

I have this memory of watching myself in the mirror. I stare at the strange child as he tries not to cry, my father standing behind him. I see his pitch black hair falling gently passing his face, rebounding on his chest and slowly drifting to the floor. I see more and more locks falling until his head remains bare. I sit and stare at the weeping child whose head is now a perfect dome, his children’s eyes contrasting sharply with the shiny skin above. I look past the child and stare at my father’s reflection. He stands razor in hand, his eyes betraying the sadness he feels. I try to recollect what I said at the time yet I fail. All I remember is this mute scene played out in an old rusty mirror. No emotions, no sensations, no thoughts

What I do remember is that what made me sad wasn’t really losing my hair but the fact that my father’s face seemed so worried and sad. I remember feeling so bloody sorry for him, as though every one of my tears was stabbing him in the heart. I remember that I stopped crying, dried my tears and promised myself never to cry again. Up until today I have yet not broken my promise.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The writer

The writer sits at his desk, smoking. The swirls of cigarette smoke rise and create pictures and patterns in the stale air of his bedroom. The writer is not a beautiful man. His hair is matted and oily. His fingers stained and crooked. His long neck ends in a narrow chin, his cheeks are pockmarked and hollow. Deep worried furrows line his beady eyes

The writer is not an athletic man. His skinny legs are hairless and white. His rachitic chests heaves as he concentrates. Long pale arms sprout from his sleeveless shirt.

The writer sits in his bedroom and writes. His room is a small room, cramped and scarcely furnished. The writer does not notice how spartan his room is, all he cares about are his pen and the endless reams of white paper which he consumes.

The writer sits and dreams, putting to paper all he thinks. His beautiful supple fingers hold his pen with love and with it he strokes the brilliant white paper. With passion he fills reams with tidy swirling letters, endless and powerful. His eyes light up with a quasi religious gleam and he carries on writing. His memories, his dreams, his fears fill the empty pages and start to live.

The writer is not an average person. Insanity drenches his spirit in waves. The horror and beauty of the world touch him, stroking his brain with icy fingers. His demons scream, his angels sing, his monsters howl and yet by writing he chains them up and makes them less real.

The writer is not a good looking man, the writer is not an athletic man, the writer is not an average man, the writer is not a happy man. And yet the writer writes and what he writes is as beautiful and strong as any man.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I do not beleive in eternity

I do not believe in god. I do not believe in life after death. I do not believe there is a purpose to life, which is as irrelevant as it is meaningless. I do not believe in anything.

I believe only in the swirling patterns that rack my brain, in the swirling thoughts which haunt me.

Indian food and a blowjob

Yesterday was a strange day indeed, though certainly pleasurable. I left the office quite late and met my father for dinner. We decided to try an Indian restaurant (Bengal on Juncal) and when we got there it was totally empty. We sat down and almost immediately realized why it was so empty. The air conditioning had broken down and it was a warmish fifty degrees Celsius inside. We ordered starters, chicken curry and lamb. Every plate that was brought to us was ever hotter and spicier. As I ate I watched my father. His red face was sweating profusely, shiny beads of sweat forming on his forehead. As he kept eating the beads would swell and turn in to drops which would slide down his nose, throwing themselves off like lemmings. I couldn’t see my own face but considering that hot flushes that were ravaging me worse than a menopausal Congolese woman, I must have been sweating quite generously as well. We finished eating and after wishing my father good night, I headed home and called Nancy.

She came over around eleven and we watched a bit of TV. By the time we got bored of TV and decided to go to the bed, I was feeling quite horny indeed! Unfortunately, Nancy told me, to my great dismay that she was having her period and that thus we couldn’t have sex. Thankfully, I promptly remembered the article about fellatio and, extremely worried about her health, decided to convince her to try. The first word hadn’t yet left my mouth when she, spontaneously, decided to take matter in her own hands (actually hands is not the right word!). I lied there watching her and myself in the mirror and felt surprisingly satisfied. Sometimes it is the little things in life which put you in a good mood.

Fabrizio de André

Yesterday I was given as a gift a CD of an old Italian songwriter I used to love as a child. Here is a good translation of one of his songs in to Spanish which I found recently. He is definitely one of the greatest poets / singers of the last century.

La guerra de Piero

Duermes sepultado en un campo de trigo,
no es la rosa no es el tulipán
los que te velan en la sombra de las zanjas
solamente son mil amapolas rojas.

A lo largo de las riveras de mi torrente
quiero que desciendan los lucios plateados,
no más los cadáveres de soldados
llevados en brazos de la corriente.

Así decías y era invierno
y como los demás hacia el infierno
te vas triste como quien debe
el viento te escupa en la cara la nieve.

Párate Piero, párate ahora,
deja que el viento te pase un poco encima,
de los hombres muertos en batalla tu llevas la voz,
quién dio la vida recibió a cambio una cruz .

Pero tu no lo oíste y el tiempo pasaba,
con las estaciones al paso de giava
y llegaste a cruzar la frontera
un hermoso día de primavera.

Y mientras marchabas con el alma en los hombros
viste un hombre en el fondo del valle
que tenia tu mismo,idéntico,humor
solamente el uniforme de otro color.

Dispárale Piero, dispárale ahora,
y después de un golpe dispárale otra vez,
hasta que tu no lo veras exánime
caer en tierra a cubrir su sangre.

Y si disparo en la frente o en el corazón
solamente el tiempo tendrá para morir,
pero el tiempo a mi quedara para ver
ver los ojos de un hombre que muere.

Y mientras le prestas tu atención
él se da la vuelta, te ve y tiene miedo
y abrazada la artillería
no te devuelve la gentileza.

Caíste en tierra sin un lamento
y te diste la cuenta en un solo momento
que el tiempo no te habría bastado
para pedir perdón por cada pecado,
caíste al suelo sin un lamento
y te diste la cuenta en un solo momento
de que tu vida terminaba en ese día
y no habría sido retorno.

Ninetta mia, morir en mayo,
necesita mucho, demasiado coraje,
Ninetta bella, directo al Infierno
habría preferido irme in Invierno.

Y mientras el trigo te escuchaba
entre las manos apretabas el fusil,
entre la boca apretabas palabras
demasiado heladas para derretirse al sol.

Duermes sepultado en un campo de trigo,
no es la rosa no es el tulipán
los que te velan en la sombra de los hoyos
solamente son mil amapolas rojas.

Friday, November 18, 2005

CNN article on fellatio

Study: Fellatio may significantly decrease the risk of breast cancer in women

Thursday, October 2, 2003 Posted: 9:19 AM EDT (1319 GMT)

(AP) -- Women who perform the act of fellatio and swallow semen on a regular basis, one to two
times a week, may reduce their risk of breast cancer by up to 40 percent, a North Carolina State
University study found.
Doctors had never suspected a link between the act of fellatio and breast cancer, but new research being performed at North Carolina State University is starting to suggest that there could be an important link between the two.
In a study of over 15,000 women suspected of having performed regular
fellatio and swallowed the ejaculatory fluid, over the past ten years, the researchers
found that those actually having performed the act regularly, one to two times a week,
had a lower occurance of breast cancer than those who had not. There was no increased risk, however, for those who did not regularly perform. "I think it removes the last shade of doubt
that fellatio is actually a healthy act," said Dr. A.J. Kramer of Johns Hopkins School
of Medicine, who was not involved in the research. "I am surprised by these
findings, but am also excited that the researchers may have discovered a
relatively easy way to lower the occurance of breast cancer in women."
The University researchers stressed that, though breast cancer is relatively
uncommon, any steps taken to reduce the risk would be a wise decision.
"Only with regular occurance will your chances be reduced, so I encourage all
women out there to make fellatio an important part of their daily routine," said
Dr. Helena Shifteer, one of the researchers at the University. "Since the
emergence of the research, I try to fellate at least once every other night to reduce
my chances."

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Pax Americana

Haiku Poems

Four Haiku Poems (can you spot which are mine?)

Pressing Sushi;
After a while,
A lonely feeling

In my empty house
The olives need harvesting;
Yet I am still here

A sudden shower falls -
and naked I am riding
on a naked horse!

Rain slides down my face
Mixing with two salty tears -
A bird starts singing
P.s haiku is a Japanese form of poetry consisiting of three lines consisting of 5 /7 / 5 syllabuls

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Birthday

Well, today I started my second quarter of a century. It is strange how fast time passes. It seems only yesterday that I left home as an innocent eighteen year old.

So far my birthday has been particularly good. Nancy came over last night and at midnight she surprised me by taking out presents (two!) and a bottle of champagne. To be honest, I was actually, quite moved. The last time I got a birthday present was when I was eighteen and I had kind of got used to my birthdays passing by without too much fuss.

We, then, proceeded to put on an involuntary red light show for my neighbors (I really must remember to close those bloody curtains) and, in the end, Nancy decided to spend the night.

I woke up this morning tired but happy and left for work. At the office everyone was also extremely nice and will be going to lunch with all the “chicos” in a while

So far this had been a particularly good birthday. Lets hope the day continues as it has started.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

A little warmth

Just got off the phone with Nancy. She is going to class until ten and then she will come over to “watch a movie”. It seems strange but I seem to get along with her very well even though I have known her so little. I guess the fact that she is a few years older (she is 28) helps a lot. I have always had a better feeling with slightly more mature girls. I think it probably has to do with the fact that they are already bored of all the little games and lies which younger girls are so fond of.
It feels quite nice having someone who wants to see you, someone for whom your happiness is actually important. Furthermore tomorrow is my birthday and it would be nice having someone who cares. I was actually thinking today that the last time I got a birthday present I was eighteen and still living at home!

Moving on

Slowly, awkwardly, gently
I try to forget
Hopefully, softly, passionately
I try to forgive
Angrily, desperately, savagely
I try to move on

And yet
It is so difficult

Monday, November 14, 2005

New Horizons

Well, this weekend proved to be quite successful. On Saturday night I decided that, seeing as the whole Cristela thing is dead, I had better start putting some effort in to getting girls in to bed again. I called an Italian girl who is a friend and a girl I met on msn who seemed quite nice and we decided to go for dinner.
The girl, Nancy, proved to be quite cute and very nice. An Argentinean but with English parents, she looked very northern, with clear blue eyes and a freckled smile.
After dinner we went to a bar in Recoleta and chatted about bullshit for a while. After a while the Italian girl’s neighbor, an Argentinean, joined us.
By two o’clock the Italian was quite tired and thus her and the neighbor left and went home, which left me and Nancy.
I decided to kiss her and before I knew it we were going strong. Seeing as the bar was a very public place I asked her if she wanted to come back to my house, which she refused. I asked again and this time she accepted.
In the end she left my place around seven o’clock in the morning. The sun was out and birds were singing and I was a little closer to forgetting about Cristela.
I wouldn’t even mind seeing Nancy again sometime this week.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Italians and Politics

In Italy, everything is political. So much so that by asking a few simple questions an Italian will know what political orientation another has. Italian Schools, night clubs and football teams are all either right wing or left wing. Normally in football each city has two teams, one called in the same way as the city which is historically working class and another which tends to be more right wing (thus Roma, Milan, Genoa, Torino etc are left wing and Juve, Inter, Lazio, Sampdoria etc are right wing). Music, obviously, is also very politicized. One example is the fuss made about a recent pop song called “Camisa Negra” (the black shirts were Mussolini’s bully boys) which is greeted by boos or fascist salutes in many Italian clubs. Below is a typical left wing song with an approximate English translation (which, however, obviously doesn’t rhyme).

Alle volte mi ritrovo con la testa fra le mani
e penso, penso e rifletto: in Italia c’è un conflitto
una guerra che fa più di mille morti all’anno
tra lavoro e mala sanità, e dimmi tu
se questa qua non è pulizia etnica cos’è come si chiama?
Quando uno che c’ha i soldi può avere tutto
e uno che ne ha di meno non ha diritto
nemmeno a un letto in un ospedale quando sta male e se vuol farsi curare deve pagare
solo che coi soldi che gli danno quelli del lavoro interinale
c’è l’affitto da pagare, il bambino da mantenere
e cosa cazzo vuoi pagare un dottore
quando non sai nemmeno se tra due mesi
c’ avrai ancora un fottuto lavoro
perché il lavoro interinale non è altro che
una prestazione occasionale di lavoro manuale
non qualificato, esattamente il caso in cui
il rischio d’incidente sul lavoro è quintuplicato
e tutto questo non è capitato
ma è stato pensato, progettato e realizzato
dal padronato in combutta con l’apparato decisionale dello stato
per il quale la vita di un proletario non vale non dico niente
ma sicuramente non vale il costo di un’assunzione regolare
con tanto di corso di formazione professionale;
è evidente il disegno criminale o no?
o sono io che sono pazzo?

Sometimes I find myself with my head in my hands
And I think, I sit and think: in Italy there is a conflict
A war that causes more than a thousand deaths a year
Between work and public health, you tell me
If this is not ethnic cleansing
Then what is it?
When one who has money can have anything
And one who has none doesn’t even have the right
To have a bed in a hospital when he is ill
And if he wants help he must pay
Except that with the money he gets from his part time job
There is the rent to pay, the baby to feed
And how the fuck are you going to pay a doctor
When you don’t even know if in two months
You will still have a fucking job
Because part time work is nothing but
An occasional offer of un-trained manual work
Exactly the scenario in which
The risk of a workplace accident is five times higher
And all this didn’t just happen
But it was thought out, planned and carried out
From the owners together with the state
For whom the life of a proletariat isn’t exactly worth nothing
But surely it is not worth the cost of a regular hiring
And a professional formation course
Is the criminal intent evident or not?
Or am I simply crazy?

I nearly died last night

I nearly died last night.

It was just past eight in the evening and I was walking around Recoletta. Molten head lights and chatting voices mixed in the springtime air like streams. Scents glided past like currents: the hungry smell of roasting meat, the inviting perfume of giggling girls, the acrid stench of a pool of vomit. I strolled the cobbled streets aimlessly, watching the crowds. Next to me rose the cemetery’s brick wall, straight and towering. Suddenly I half see something move above me and look up in surprise. I am just in time to see a brick drop through the sky, graze the point of my nose and smash on to the floor in an explosion of shards. I stare at the several kilos of brick pieces littering the street and realize that if it had hit me; bits of my brain would be mixed with the debris and my blood would be staining an Argentinean street.

Then again, if the brick had actually hit me, I would surely not even have ever known.

Life is strange in that way. One worries about not smoking, about eating healthily, about not going in dangerous places (well, I don’t but some people do..), and then you find your life truncated by a wobbly brick!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Two drunken poems

Searching for a taxi

Walking the humid streets
Desperately searching
Dragging my tired legs forward
My shirt sticks to my back
My suit heavy and coarse
I turn, hopeful and expectant
But the headlights roar past
Roaming the night lit streets
No taxi in sight

Ode to a pint of beer

Golden liquid, bubbles rising gently
A drop slides down the misty side
My lips kiss the soft white foam
And I swallow a first bitter gulp
I swallow again and the golden brew
Slides down my parched throat
Soothing and cold, filling and sweet
It hits my gut like a velvet punch
Expanding my throat in icy delight
I put it down and wait
Another gulp, then two
Another pause, another sip
Until all that remains is an empty glass

Is it love or Streptoccocus?

The last ten days have been particular to say the least. It all started mid way through last week and finally came to an end today. Like usual I was particularly stressed and frustrated trying to chase down Cristela (which was having none of it) and kept feeling very tired and miserable. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t work. I kept telling myself that love is such a bitter and sadist bitch and was feeling sorry for myself in a way that only a melodramatic love-struck imbecile can feel. Every day I kept feeling worse and worse.
Some colleagues at the office convinced me, on Monday, to go see a doctor so pessimistic and down trodden I left for the hospital. I spent the whole afternoon there while they took blood samples and carried out various tests. I was convinced that the doctor was going to tell me it was simply stress and send me home, instead I was informed by a smiling doctor that I had a severe bacterial infection and that he couldn’t believe I was walking around. He prescribed antibiotics and three full days rest.
Today got back in to the office and felt great. What I thought was love turned out to be simply an invasion of streptococcus! I guess sometimes I should forget my rampant melodrama and remember to keep a touch of realism.
Good news is that I have lost five kilos in ten days (could try marketing streptococcus based pills for the morbidly obese) and that I have definitely decided to abandon the whole Cristela thing.
At least, I am, once again, healthy, hungry and free!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Latest Ladies kitchen Accesory

CIA torture camps in Eastern Europe

Today we received the happy news that the CIA has set up torture camps in eastern Europe were they can keep Muslim prisoners without worrying about international law. Several newspapers carried this item, including this article in the Guardian and one on the Italian daily, Il Corriere.
The European commission is set to investigate these claims that the CIA is holding al-Qaida captives at Soviet era compounds in Eastern Europe seeing as the secret jails would violate European human rights law prohibiting unlawful detention.
Poland and Romania are thought the most likely locations in Europe while Hungary, Slovakia and Bulgaria have denied involvement. The Czech interior minister, Frantiszek Bublan, said the US had approached Prague to build a camp but the request was turned down.
As usual I am not even surprised by how barbaric and immoral US foreign policy has become nor by how weak and degrading our foreign policy is

An October day - Times Square, Hong Kong

The rays of sun languidly drift down through the hazy clouds and fall upon the exposed surfaces of Times Square like a blanket of dust gently settling after a commotion. These rays no longer carry the menace of strangling heat. No longer do they strike with untold hate the panting bodies of businessmen wrapped in a stifling cocoon of gray and blue. Yet, even now, as October turns into November, they do not totally forget their memories of scorched earth and sweating flesh. They strike the ground languidly and bounce off seemingly disinterested in the whole affair.
The large Sony made screen, which towers over the square keeps showing images of the first Chinese space mission over and over again. An incessant set of images; the rocket blasting away, red communist flags proudly fluttering and a beaming president chase themselves on and off the screen. There is no sound. The cheering masses on screen seemingly muted by the power of broadcast. The real masses, bored by this endless repetition, pass by unperturbed without even glancing at the screen.
An old lady pushes me to get past and this jolts me. I stop gazing at the screen and instead start following this unlikely assailant with my eyes. She is a typical Hong Kong middle-aged woman. Minute but seemingly made of gnarled wood, sandpapered to a surprising smoothness, her light mahogany skin appears anything but creased. I get pushed aside again by the moving crowd and this time I turn around clamping down a rising sense of irritation and find myself suddenly staring straight in to the eyes of a pumpkin. It takes me a second to understand what I am seeing and yet another second to recover from my surprise. I take a step back and silently look at the five foot pumpkin man in front of me. I glance around and spy several more of these walking visions. My head starts to throb, I desperately want to close my eyes and fall asleep.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Puppy love

A couple of words, one sweet comment, a stolen glance
A couple of questions, a sudden laugh, a squeal of delight
It is the little things which make me crave for you
Stupid insignificant details which to me are joy
I wait like a puppy for any sign of recognition
To then explode in to a festival of ecstatic bliss

A busy no, one bad joke, a stolen glare
A couple of questions, a sudden frown, a sigh of boredom
It is the little things which make me crave you
Petty, irrelevant things which to me are pain
I wait like a puppy for a sign of love
To then deflate in to a tragedy of dejection

Monkey and a steam bath


For the series, Things which you should do..... monkey takes a steam bath

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

A train carriage in China

Sometimes it is the strangest things which make you feel as though you fit in. I remember an instance when I used to live in China which describes what I mean. A (Chinese) friend and I decided to take advantage of the long weekend and travel to the southern city of Nanjing for a touch of sight seeing. Unfortunately we decide to go quite late and by the time we bought the tickets the only ones left were in the standing up compartment. This compartment is actually quite similar to a cattle container and is packed with an incredible amount of people. It is basically like a rush hour metro train except that you travel thus for several hours.
So, I get on the train a couple of minutes early, push my way towards a corner and look around. The first thing I notice is that I am totally surrounded by Chinese farmers; I am the only white person in the whole carriage. The second thing I notice is that every single person is staring at me in total silence. Actually staring is not the right word, glaring at me would be better. Everyone is looking at me as though I am some sort of monster.
After several minutes of this psychological stand off, I watch a little child walk up to me, point and say the Chinese word for American. The mother hastily grabs him and starts dragging him away and so I decide to use an ace. I manage to say, in a very barbaric Chinese: “I am not American. I am a European. I spit on America!”. As soon as the words leave my mouth a complete silence descends upon the assembled passengers. Every single one of them stares at me and I can tell they are trying to work out what the hell the foreign devil has just said in their heads.
Then, suddenly, the whole carriage, starts applauding. I am a bit frightened by the site of three hundred farmers suddenly erupt and start clapping their hands and cheering but I smile sheepishly at them. People start smacking me on the back and shaking my hand as though I was some sort of celebrity. The mother even lets her child come and play with me (well actually he was trying to pull my beard but fair enough) and people offer me drinks and un-identifiable bits of food. I, thus spent, three hours in a packed train, surrounded by beaming farmers, trying to swallow strange local culinary rarities instead of skulking in corner too scared to move.