Monday, 3 November 2014

Life outside the brothel

I always asked folk not to ask me what it's like being back - leave it til November I would tell them. It is as if I am expected to have some kind of breakdown and zoom off back to the over-paying, foolish and sleepy end of the world again. Reasonable supposition I suppose as it was known that I did quite enjoy the hot weather, warm water, great beaches, over-priced beer and bar-life and all the trimmings of being a semi-detached expat. The kind of expat theatre that is just not on offer in rain swept, intelligence empty, Mail friendly, UKIP voting Thanet. And, at more irrational times you get to thinking there is also something to be said about living in a dictatorship when Fucking Farage is due to become your MP, that's very worrying on two counts. That said among a certain type of expat for whom Little England totems such Marks and Spencer (the Daily Mail of shops), Marmite and a Sunday roast are the acme of civilization.

Still, the work here, though poorly paid which is TEFL outside the Gulf brothel,  is good fun and a short walk from home. Now only teaching intelligent adults, all on the IELTS 7 and above scale aside from the Gulf men of course who seem destined never to get beyond the 3.5 they left Saudi with. Shame their more motivated and interesting sisters are not allowed out. Doubtless, they would be unable to control themselves and  morph into lust filled jezebels and feckless harlots were they to ever be allowed out by the fear inducing father dad or Big Brother. A dose of shame would be hoist upon their families and the dodgy daughter would unable to marry their already DNA shy first cousin.

I kind of feel for these guys with none of the bluster and arrogance and even charm they have back home. The news reporting of all things Arab and Islam cannot make them comfortable especially since the actions of Brother Isis is nowt to shout too loudly about which is of course why it's much easier to talk about football, then so long as its only Barcefuckinglona and Bloody Real and then filtered down to the star player of each side.  So talking about the celebration of devils, ghosts and women in sexy witch costumes is way beyond the comprehension of the Gulfies.  Though Guy Fawkes, or at least its, anti-catholic origins, do spark some recognition all of which makes me regret not learning Arabic if only to find out what they say about their time in Kent and its devil worshipping not always sober men and women, children dressed as demons and  a pagan fire lust. Cultural diversity and understanding across the nations - 'tis a wonderful thing

Friday, 5 September 2014

A dose of nostalgia - fat bloke and his birds

Meant to post this way back but forgot / got distracted / couldn't be bothered but now far away in England at the far arse-end of a squib summer not returning to warm places a small burst of nostalgie took hold...

....taking a stroll along the mightily long length of the beautiful white sands of the Corniche on a recovery walk one Friday afternoon, bordering the warm blue welcoming Arabian Sea my mind was moved to poetry but fortunately wisdom and good taste prevailed.  Yes, at such a time you get to see many fine and interesting multi-cultural sights. Tories and other smaller UKIP style minds - if they can indeed be credited as such -  would foamingly sneer and hate it.

Usually, when the heat has become bearable by 5.00 the beaches are taken over by serious groups of lithe young men playing footy at quite a good level in their ubiquitous Barcebloodylona tops, or daringly, no top at all. No, were this the local beach in Kent, there would be a profusion of pale, fat, tattooed wobbly, hairy guts and a good look it would not be even for the men. Ho ho.

Before the football boys emerge for their frolics, other wildlife is also at play including large Indian families having a bustling fragrant barbecue. Not an overcooked quarter pounder in sight nor thankfully can you see a packet of Pringles - a crime against food if ever there was. Nor any wobbly tattooed bellies nor any shiny advertisement encrusted footy tops.

Non-Gulf Arabs abound too having a feed in which contrary to petty prejudice and sullen stupidity the sexes do mix and even women may wear a fashionable scarf and definitely no ninja clothing at all very elegant really. No baggy tracky bottoms here nor lumpy pink flesh with cheesy tattoos on show that's for sure unless you're a tacky Brit with various tendrils, names and dates graffiting the purulent pink flesh.

Why? 

And if you are a Brit you are likely to be snaffling a cheeky poorly camouflaged drink, if only because you can...(blushes as he writes)

On my way for a sundowner
There are plenty of tattoo free easy-on- the- eye scantily dressed Euros unselfconsciously sunbathing in the most self-conscious of ways that the knowingly easy-on-the-eye so do, while being most unself-consciously letched at and photoed  by the myriad foreign workers on their half day off from the slavery, sefdom or bonded labour at one of the scores of building sites where European standards of  health and safety sadly do not apply and a hi-vis jacket is well, quite possibly,  to do die for. They will often openly take photos of these women, and they are not picky even the tattoo infested ones, to fuel or indeed satiate whatever frustrations they doubtlessly have away from their own or being socially, physically and psychologically hemmed in by crap pre-Dickensian labour laws and per-Medieval bollocky uptight controlling religious precepts. A pretty iffy combination you will agree which makes you wonder, but not too much because we know, how bad things are for them to feel moved to leave their own people, villages and towns for an over-populated labour camp to be contracted out to local and western contractors. But anyway, this is just a stopgap for them because as we know they are all trying to get into Mother England...

European women conforming to local sensibilities
Ah well - fat bloke and his birds are there. A fat Gulf Arab bloke, for the ones on show are always fat, a sign of wealth apparently, in his Barcabloodylona shirt and shorts with bulging gut surrounded by a coterie of women around him - wife / wives, children perhaps but...always unlike hubby beautifully and elegantly turned out. No theologian me but there is surely something wrong that allows a fat slob to show off his clan yet appear a total slob and there are many like this.

Ah well, who am I to comment or pass judgement? Me, just an itinerant teacher, EFL at that,  passing through on my way to the Intercon for a recovery refreshment. But it is a pleasant few kilometers to stroll with a cheeky camouflaged bottle of something and a world away from the Blue Flag beaches of home..

.and I wish I was there now (sighs) Updated Nov 14, 2014

Thursday, 14 August 2014

'I tell you it's herpes I have...'

Well...what can you say? The immaculate, gorgeous but unpouting young Swiss lady in the group came into class at 9.00 with what I thought was toothpaste on her top lip...foolish me for quietly and discretely  pointing it out...however, in her in  best comedy German accent she declaimed in very certain terms 'nein Prentice, it is not toothpaste it is to be treating mein herpes' which she pointed with a dramatic but matter-of-fact flourish...shaking my head and not wishing to make a big deal of it, I explained that though she might be medically correct to refer to it as cold sore. She mulled this over and asked for clarification and found it did not compute. How could you call something which is one thing something else? After a few seconds she decided that it was not to be a cold sore but that she would be proud and importantly accurate in referring to her sore a an STi. Her choice....

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Ramadan struggles....

Well, back in Britain now and doing a summer school a world away from the overheated Ramadan dry, uptight gender-segregated, pre-feudal semi-slave states of the Gulf...how I do not miss it. Maybe my time is done there and perhaps I will not make the return flight. It seems a good thing not to do.  This has been a nagging thought because aside from the bucketfulls of money...and the amusing ex-pat life in large paid for accommodation... and ...er...OK waiting list free health care ...and ...the easy teaching,  there is no other reason to in such Allah-forsaken cultural vacuums...nope none at all. A dreadful life.

In the meantime though this has been a bit of culture shock to say the least - summer clad pouty, leggy Italian and Thai women in the same classes with Ramadan dry Saudi, and Emirati males having a rough old time going 19 hours without food, drink or fags...their choice of course...all for an IELTS 4.5, eventually. I am quite enjoying the teaching and at times worry how deskilled I have become in the Gulf. My fault of course and before I returned there a few years back I was concerned that fucking Gove inspired micro-management, led by the loon-eyed head and the Northern Nazi (see past entries)  at the scummy academy in East Kent in the god-forsaken hole that is Herne Bay, had done the same...ah well, now I find teaching bright multi-national groups once again that no such thing had happened I could always teach it's just that if the materials are crap the outcome also is.

Fish