Wednesday, September 29, 2004
News at the Mountain Bedu Front!
Faisal, my private student & one of the biggest race-horse owners in Riyadh and the amiable private No1 secretary of the local No 2 prince Prince Faisal bin Khalid bin Abdul Aziz , a few nights ago, off the cuff, and quite flippantly, offered me 'a filly' ie one of his racehorses as a gift!
It seems its important for him that I might share the pleasures of owning & watching one's horse race & compete in Saudi racing scene......... he was flushed at the win of one of his horses on the weekend,that he just showed me on video, it won a 100, 000 Riyal (~$27,000Aus)....I was thinking well I need to make a film not own a horse just then he even said "if you need money then you just tell me, we put it in market, sell it & I send it you!"
I was somewhat taken aback to be sure, couldn't quite believe what he was saying, I said I'd think about it, fearing corruption in the soul but on reflection, I feel it is indeed a generous impulse from his heart, and thereby from God, most Exalted & Generous. The arabs have a deep respect for the 'ustathz' (teacher) that has been lost by society back in the west, to quote "you are my fabulous teacher, and the teacher for me is something....something...how can I say....?" then we got interrupted...as usual by one of the many workers that buzz around the prince
Anyway last night I confirmed that indeed after discussing it with my father I should like to accept his offer & he kind of blinked & he said "your father will probably want to come! to Saudi & see these beautiful horses!" and then we got interrupted again & until the end of the lesson; but not likely thought I!
Not a further word was mentioned about it, so time will tell if he is actually serious or not, but if so, it will fundamentally and radically change my financial state tremendously and the ability to shoot 'The 64 Squares', which was recently & miraculously saved by the Grace of God from incineration when my house recently burnt to the ground (see Monday, August 23, 2004)
some kind of grander plan of God (Exalted Be He!) is slowly emerging.....
keep you posted! Godwilling
May The Peace, Grace & Blessings of The Beloved Be Upon All who Chance Upon This...
Thursday, September 23, 2004
Hir Bo! and Salams to All.....
An unpleasant moment in yesterdays obligatory Thursday morning attendance (we have clock in to do nothing for 4 hours, to make up the 48 hours stipulated in our contracts), I was buzy Internetting when one of the well-meaning smiling Syrian part-timers, happily chirped,
"Mahdi, ta'ala! (come!) you want to see the amriki get his head cut off?" as if he were asking me for a cup of tea, and he was still smiling
I couldn't believe what I was hearing, with a raised voice I blurted
"are you serious? why would you want to watch something like that!? are you sick in the head? "
he said something like
" I always want to watch such thingks, every time!"
like it was good & normal to watch whitey get his head slowly hacked off with a big knife as he screams like a pig
(May God Forgive Him for his terrible suffering at the hand of evil)
this went on for some time with me spouting the usual cliches about these terrorists being an enemy of Islam etc thank God we didn't get started on whether he actually thought he deserved it or not....
anyway he got a little hurt after all of this & lost his smile after all & kind of said
"well if don't want to watch it, just say 'I don't want to watch it', that's it bus (same meaning) "
this set me off again having to deal with once again this infernal mind control, peer-group publicly acceptable pressure thing these Arabs here, spew, ad infinitum, at you without the slightest reflection or awareness as to their conditioning and it's effect
I really reverted to full khawaja (white Anglo-Saxon westerner) mode & gave him the self-righteous spiel, you know the one, about how I 'll tell you what ever opinion I want to tell you without you telling me what I should or should say, that's my right & privilege as a free-thinking individual not some kind of mind-control automon etc
Unfortunately I've been through this a few times now and they kind of don't know what to say and go quiet as indeed he did as the steam slowly drifted out of my ears
I'm ashamed that I can't control my anger at these moments it just kind off goes off like a bang, so much progress to made in this area, part of the test the the Beloved has placed before me, May I triumph, eventually
I've noticed when you fast, it's a lot harder to lose one's temper, you just don't have the energy, it just drifts over you without attatching but some of these people as nice as they seem, have the most odiously ignorant & foulest opinions about west, and it's what makes living here, I guess, at heart difficult.
10 minutes later he was one of 4 seperate co-workers insiting that I accompany them to the carbohydrate nightmare breakfast that somebody's mother had made, of course & as usual, I refused as politely as I could, one of several times over, before I was shouting good-naturedly at the last guy to leave me hell alone! I'm not an Arab! re-iterating that I don't have to go if I don't want to, I'm buzy, I'm dieting & I don't like sitting around listening to you all jabber on in Arabic eating "look I'm becoming a balloon" food, I'm a westerner... I come from a different culture & we do want we want when we want not because everybody else is etc
confused they always ask "..but why?"
it's unimaginable for them to refuse a group eating session, they just can't envisage that it's not enjoyable for someone like me in this particular situation
there is also the religious edict via the Prophet's hadith that says
"Go with him when your brother invites you"
that contributes to this
it's actually hard to do when your the only westerner most of them have ever met and they eat the same food over again day after day: chicken & rice capsa, variation in diet is not something they seem to think about
capsa, capsa , capsa CapSAA, capsa capsa, capsa,capsa,capsa CapSAA, capsSAA CapSAAAAAaa
every flippin' day of your life....
how would you be if everything in you life was like that?
May God forgive me, I should go but when I'm buzy I'm buzy! and it's another thing that doesn't seem to register, it's always assumed any interruption to whatever you're doing is welcome, another source of frustration for the Khawaja under siege
but they let me get away with it precisely because I'm a khawaja: they genuinely seem to enjoy my occaisional hysterics, as do the students, it kind of turns into impro performance theatre, "the outraged Khawaja!"
Anyway they eventually left me alone & sure enough out came Farouk the good hearted bangla coffee-tea co- worker with a plate full of cinnamon coated cake to leave beside me....they couldn't help but include me proxy-style in the end!
oh God Bless 'em !
one and a half months to go....tick tick tick
// posted by Matthew Thistle @ 4:19 PM