Friday, August 29, 2008


Just wondering how long is 'long enough' to be ignoring someone?

or longer.

or is the answer similiar to the old 'how long is a piece of string' chestnut.

And if you stop ignoring someone, how easy is it to go back to ignoring them if you find that you made a mistake in un-ignoring them?

And then what if the person you are ignoring isn't actually ignoring you. Is ignoring therefore just a one-way thing or can 2 people equally ignore each other. I tend to think its more of a one way thing. I could be wrong of course. It's happened.

If you are going to un-ignore someone then how do you make the effort to do it. What's the opening line? 'Sorry, I was dead that's why you haven't heard from me for awhile.'

Is un-ignoring even worth the bother.

* yes, i know its not a real word but thats how all English words became born - by thicko's making them up.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I got an email the other day at work. Nothing strange about that to be fair though this one touched on the subjet of Ramadan and is fairly relevent given that I live in a Muslim country. It was quite interesting to read actually. It mostly touched on the 'do's and don't's' during the forthcoming month.

Essentially, it is the time where Muslim get closer to hardship by fasting between sunrise and sunset. A difficult thing to do a the best of times but especially given they can't even drink water even although its going to be around 40C during the daytime. Apparently, they have a large breakfast before dawn followed by a rather healthy portion of dinner after dusk. There is no way I'm going to criticise them for that. That's how they do things and that is to be respected.

The upshot is that the 'other's', though not requiring to follow suit, need to be respectful of this. At times, I have my lunch at my desk because I don't always have time to do anything else. But, I will need to be really careful if I want to do this in the coming month. Out Muslim brothers and sisters should not witness this. The same goes for an innocent tea, coffee or even a cup of water that might be sitting on my desk. Such items might cause offense. If I need to have any of them, I need to be discreet and do it in private. It all seems very cloak and digger to be honest.

Meanwhile, outside on the street - no eating or drinking. Period. In fact, if a Policeman saw me doing any of them, I could in theory be arrested. An expensive munch. Clearly, I'm going to be avoiding that. Though, if you don't hear from me for a few weeks then you know what might have happened.

Not sure what the situation is with bars and restaurants during daylight hours. I'm sure they would be open at night but I'm not sure. We'll see what happens. The last thing I want to do is start an international incident.

Friday, August 22, 2008


So I guess it is almost an anniversary of sorts. Give or take 2 years from my exit from Korea. 2 years in which I've been a student, I've graduated, I've taught in College and I've left again but not to Korea. The thought had crossed my mind to go back both to work and to visit. It's only been a 'thought' though and nothing has been done about it. It remains to be seen if that thought does become some kind of reality. I suspect not. Of course, I could have a Connery moment and say 'Never' but that might end up as a 'Never say never again' thing. I'll leave it at an 'unlikely'.

Actually, going back wouldn't really achieve much. I'd have a look around, take some photos, maybe see some people, have a beer and that would be about it. But doing that would evoke 5 years worth of stuff that I can't really be bothered evoking. And there would be the systematic and premediated avoiding of certain places and indeed people. Yes, definitely people. I wonder if all that would be different had I left in happier circumstances. Perhaps.

I'd probably be correct in stating that in the intervening 2 years, I've had at least 1 thought of the place each day. Is that normal? Or is it a bit weird? I can't seem to decide which. I would say normal because of the richness of the place. I don't mean in terms of the culture or anything I just mean in terms of the 'whole' living your life richness. People met, places visit - everyday stuff that I would do that I probably wouldn't do that much outwith the country like nip down the road to buy some kimbab for example. Surely you just can't blank 5 years. That would be weird.

And that's all I've got to say about that.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Football alert.

Another not overly inspiring 'friendly' between us and the Irish. If ever there was an advert for not resurrecting the Home Championship, then this was it. Dull and well, crap. 0-0 says it all. We really don't have a very good record in 'friendlies' so much so it's a wonder we still play them.

Anyway, I still don't understand why managers have this innate ability to instruct their players to play in a position that they don't play in with their clubs. What's the point of selecting them if you're not going to select them in their best position. You're not going to select the goalkeeper to start as a right back now are you? It's silly. Play them where they are meant to play. Surely that is how you get the most out of them and if you get the most out of them in that particular position then the team benefits. I guess England have had this problem for awhile. But we're Scotland and we shouldn't be picking 'names' we should be picking teams and within that time are the individuals which should be able to show they're best. If that means we get beat then fair enough but if they're not at their best and we get beat then that is something completely different and a cause for concern.

Of course, its only Burley's 3rd game in charge and it would be foolish to be overly critcal. When we are a few games into the World Cup qualifiers then we may have a better picture of what he's upto.

My tuppence worth is this. Goalkeeper - either or. I think we have 2 of the best 'keepers in Britain and wouldn't Capello five his right arm to have such a dilema? The defence kind of picks itself though a more disciplined left-back would be good. The midfield is clearly out strong point, so play to its strengths and that includes Brown in the middle, not on the flanks. This new Derby bloke looks like he has the skills to do a job though it might be better to get him in with 20 minutes to go. Up front worries me. Away we can call upon Miller but lets face it, he is the Scottish Heskey - can't score for peanuts. At home, it has to be 2 upfront. But who? One would have to be McFadden the other would have to not be Miller and /or O'Conner.

The main thing though is the points. 4 out of 6 would not be a disaster, but no wins would.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


No-one actually does any work on Thursday here. For those who think that the weekend is on Saturday and Sunday - well, you're wrong. Here it is on a Friday and Saturday hence the notion that no-one actually does any work on Thursday. Certainly, in my office I'm the only one who seems to 'do' things. Granted I'm a 1 man 'Department' with the others in the office taking care of 'safety', so I have to 'do' something otherwise nothing will get done at all. The others, whilst not exactly slackers, do take it easy on Thursdays. I'd rather be quite busy than have nothing much one. I get bored if there isn't much on and if I'm bored, I get tired and that's bad. Anyway, this Thursday was especially bad with the day finishing at 11am, followed by a 3 hour lunch which consisted of pizza and chocolate cake which was nicely washed down by finishing early as is the norm on Thursday. To top it all off, the Boss was there as well!

I'm hoping that doesn't become normal because if I'm surrounded by tha kind of enviroment then I'll probably join in and to be honest, I've got enough to be getting with and being the only 'English' guy then it would become fairly obvious that I wasn't doing anything constructive.

Which leads on nicely to the fact that today was the last day that my Boss had to sack me. Alas, my 6 months probation is over which means he could still sack me but he would need to give me 4 weeks notice rather than the 1 week he could have gotten away with. I did say that I wanted to get through the 6 month barrier in one piece. I mostly have which is cause for a small celebration.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


I finally got a driving licence card. I was expecting a nice, smart, sturdy looking piece of plastic with my picture on it, something not unlike a credit card. How wrong was I?

It's a ugly looking thing. Credit card is shape but it's not smart, sturdy or anything. In fact I'm really quite underwhelmed by it all. I'm delighted that I have 'it' but 'it' isn't that great looking which, given the amount of money spent to get the damn thing, is disappointing. In saying that I did get a holder to, well, hold it in courtesy of the Driving School. It's the least they could give me in all honesty. After all, they have managed to create a business that has people throwing money at them.

But a licence is a licence and that's good enough for me. Now, which car should I get? Something small would be fine for my first car though just looking around Dubai, I'd quite like a Dodge Charger. The original muscle car. If I got one of them, I'd quit my job and just drive around all day long. Some of those Infiniti's are O.K. Not a bad looking 4x4. Protection though is important here that's for sure so perhaps a Chieften Tank might be more appropriate. 0-60 in 12 weeks. Nice. We'll see whats about. Not sure I'd want a brand new one though. What's the point in that? Worst investment you could make. As soon as you drive it away from the show room, you've lost money on it. Not good.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Olympics is on.

In 2 words 'big deal'.

Yes it's sport but is it?

I mean why give it to China?

It had nothing to do with sport or the facilities or what they might be able to build and it certainly wasn't about having a nice climate and having ease of access to those around the world wanting to go.

It was all about the money.

The money from sponsorship and tapping into the mass Chinese market. All 1 billion of them. Do you think that McDonalds cared about how much they would have to pay put there name next to it after all, such sponsorship would have paid itself off even if a few percent of the Chinese visit their restaurant.

And what of all this fake singing and fireworks? Manipulation. That's all it is. I don't believe half of what I read these days and of the 'stuff' I do believe, I get a number of different prospectives before I do actually believe it. The media is full of it. 'Celebrites' getting stories planted to increase their exposure, the Government(s) spinning it stories. It's all a faff.

Tune in, turn on, turn off.

Sunday, August 03, 2008


My slow descent into fully fledged adulthood took another small forward step. I joined the massed ranks of those who can legally drive a car. Yes, I passed my Driving Test. I can now drive a car either automatic or manual. Alas, its not a British Driving Licence but a U.A.E. Beggers can't be choosers though and any kind of licence will do. I suspect I can now get an International Licence also.

I started taking lessons back in May. At first, I had to sit a signal and parking test which I did even though I managed to stall the car when attempting a reverse park. I guess they either took pity on me or saw that I didn't panic and got on with the job of 'fixing' the situation. I then had to sit an 'Inside Test' which was basically a test with a Senior Instructor. I failed this though. Apparently, I did not pay enough attention to 'things' when I was driving. At the time I thought that was something of a kop out because there really wasn't all that much wrong with my overall driving. Anyway, I had to retake this practice test. I passed that with no significant problems.

And then it was time for the real Test. I was scheduled for 11am. I arrived at 10.30 and was ready for the Test. But no-one else was. The Test Centre was packed with other people wanting to do the Test. 11am came and want and nothing. No call to go and do it. An hour later, nothing. 2 hours later and I was raging. Why schedule the Test at 11am when there was never any chance of me getting it at that time. Finally though, I was called. At the time, I neither cared if I passed or failed. I was tired of waiting and tired in general.

My chariot was a Nissan Sunny. Small but functional. The problem being that there were 3 others taking the Test with me. In the same car. With the Assessor. A Sunny is not designed for 4 adults. Anyway, the 1st person was asked to drive. He did so, then the next person then it was my turn. I got into the driving seat and sorted myself out. Doors, seat, mirrors, seat belt. And then I was off. I drove to the end of the road, then took a left turn. I then drove along this road for about 100 yards before taking another right turn. I was then asked to parallel park which I did by the skin of my teeth. I was inside the 2 white lines but only about 4 inches away from one of them but all that was required was that I was inside them. And that was it. I drove for less than 5 minutes.

Back at the Test Centre the Assessor came up to me and handed me the assessment sheet. I looked at it and it was almost blank apart from my name. I wasn't sure what the deal was. In the end, he said 'you passed'. He hadn't written anything or marked me down in any of the categories. And that was that. 3 months of lessons and 5 minutes of driving. I'm certainly not complaining about it. If that's how they assess then thats fine by me.

I guess now I have to apply for the Card itself. I'm not sure how long that will take but I would imagine that by the end of the month, I'll have it. Whether or not I'll start looking for a car, I'm not sure. I guess I might. I'm abit hesitant about it all actually. Suddenly, after all those years of not even having the option to drive, I now can. It will take a bit of getting used to.

Friday, August 01, 2008


hot is when you go outside and your glasses steam up.
hot is when you take your camera out to take a picture only to find that the lense has misted up.
hot is not me in the morning or ever.
not that kind of hot.
hot is when your computer has been on too long.
hot is when you enter a room, it takes 30 seconds for your clothes to cool back down to 'normal' temperature.
hot is when you burn your mouth.
hot is the woman that you never meet or ever speak to.
hot is those red flakes in your curry.
hot is glowing red.

hot is all in the mind.