Friday, December 21, 2007

Yet another black day in our Country's History

I came back to Bahrain for the Eid holidays, only to find that for the past couple of days, demonstrators/protesters & riot police/special forces have been clashing around the island.

The words is that there have been countless numbers incarcerated, many more casualties, and to date one fatality that has been made public.

Yesterday, i could not help but see the road leading to Sanabis & Jid Hafs blocked by police, no one allowed in. The road leading to Dana mall was no different; riot police & Special Forces on the left side of the road, blocking all roads leading into the Jid Hafs area. The same could be seen driving on the road leading towards GEANT.

What bothers me most is that our government officials willingly sets there vicious dogs against its people, these mongrels have been brought to Bahrain and nationalized for the sole purpose of keeping civilians in-line ensuring/preventing demonstrations against the continuing suffering and standing for what they believe in.

Bahrainis, have become second-rate citizens, the newly nationalized now-called BAHRAINIS are living better lives, getting higher paying government jobs, government support & housing. They have infested the Armed forces, Special Forces, riot police & the police stations, just to name a few government agencies; and some private companies/businesses now have a preference towards the newly nationalized Bahrainis as well.

So then, Bahrainis find it harder to live, day-by-day living expenses increase because of inflation and the fact that we now have to compete with high paid expatriates and government backed NATIONALS.

Whereas in other GCC countries the nationals come first, and they have rights guaranteed by their government; here in Bahrain, we don’t even come in second, we come in last to who ever is ahead of us, and there is a queue that gets longer day-by-day.

Our jobs are being exported.

The minimum wage is a joke so long as the government does not enforce it by law.

Our children are expected to compete for the few remaining seats in government schools whose curriculum is so out dated that graduates have to take evening classes in English & computer studies (paid for by their low paid parents) just to bring up their education to par.

When our government allowed Gulf & Foreign national to own land anywhere in Bahrain, they condemned us all to a life along the poverty live, if not below it; a life where most of one’s salary is to be spent on rent.

Where once, we could get a good size land for fifteen to twenty thousand dinars, NOW, fifty thousand will not get you squat.

Government housing is a joke, the Housing Bank’s records, if they are ever made public will show exactly how corrupt officials and employees have been using it as their personal piggy bank.

All this and more has let to the gap between the rich and the poor to significantly increase.

So then, rather than sending negotiators to these troubled areas, to listed to the people’s concern’s, to comfort them in their time of need, to communicated the government’s concerns and wishes, government officials send in their death squad. Why is it so hard to do the obvious, the best thing to do, even if it may be the hardest, rather than what is currently being done?

For god sakes, our government should be defending our rights, and our lives, not leaving us in the open to be trampled over and humiliated.

And now, we come to know that in a month’s time, the leader of the land of the free & home of the brave will come, only his aim is not to demand a stop to the violence, or a request for a renewed period of reconciliation and forgiveness.

No, in a years time he will be out of the oval office and he has now come to the Gulf to collect his expensive gifts, after all its what his father did before him, and I’m sure it’s what his brother will do after him when he is somehow miraculously voted into the white house.

I hope the violence stops immediately, and that there are no more deaths, on either side; that this issue gets resolved peacefully, and sound minds set forward to ensure a period of calm and reconciliation.

There must be concessions on both sides, but I implore our government to change its tactics, violence only begets violence. We have the leadership and the means to get over this, in a manner that is to the benefit of us all.

But first, please lock up the dogs, send them packing…this must be the first step forward.

Environment GOOD, Pollution BAD! So (Plastic) bag it!

This should have bee posted on the 1st of December 2007, as usual i am late...

Development and progress comes at a cost, our environment is being ruined, and the creatures that were here before us, are being forced out of their havens, if they are not already extinct because of poaching or over hunting.

With the discovery of plastic in the early 18 hundreds, life as we know it, or as it was known then, drastically changed. The commercial use of plastic, a petroleum-based by product, was a gigantic leap forward, but it also brought with it a gloomy prospective, of what awaits us in the not too distant future, if we do not wise up and change our way of life, or at least make an effort to reduce the crap we use or throw out.

If you only look at the dump fills around the world, you’d be surprised to see the amount of crap, WE, the so called intelligent beings of this world, consider necessities, only later to have tired of and disposed.

The problem, with any good thing is that there is also a bad trait to it, like yin & yang, one goes with the other. New inventions are used to benefit human being, but the magic word we should be concentrating on most is beings and not ‘human being’. We have the ability to do wonders and the intelligence to back it up, but for some reason or another we don’t; maybe it’s because we do not care, or maybe it’s a flaw in humanity, our GREED, maybe STUPIDITY, ARROGANCE, IGNORANCE, or for any of the many flawed characteristics in us.

Plastic is cheap, strong, lightweight, durable, energy efficiency, available everywhere and has a million and one uses.

Here in Bahrain, it’s no different than any place around the world; as an example…

Go to any mall or hypermarket in Bahrain, or a grocery shop for that matter, and the goods we purchase are handed over to us in plastic bags, we have no say in this matter.

We may choose to carry a cloth sack, but that alone will not be enough, the quantity we purchase demands a minimum of 5/6 plastic bags, at least that the minimum that we leave with; and when at home, the bags go directly into the bin, only to be collected the next day and taken to the local dump, or a land fill that no one is aware of.

We should look to changing our behaviours, take the cloth sack with you, but instead of waiting till the end of the month, go every week and buy the ration for only that week. It may help limit the number of plastic bags being used, then again someone will come out and say that the increased number of visits means that the car would be used more and thus have an effect on the air (pollution).

Yes, but consider car pools where neighbours or friends go together. Or get a freaking hybrid car…..

I don’t presume to know what the best solution is, but we must start somewhere.

The government should seriously look at this matter and introduce measures to curb, if not reduce pollution, and promote the concept of recycling.

How far would you be prepared to inconvenience yourself for the sake of protecting the environment?

One option is an outright ban on the use of plastic bags, but I doubt it would work.

In an article in the GDN titled ‘New push to bin plastic bags crucial’ on Sunday, 22 April 2007, Adele Oshea wrote on the subject of plastic bag pollution, a subject rarely ever discussed in Bahrain or any other GCC country for that matter.

She went on to explain progress being made in the world, where some countries had introduced taxes; some had banned ‘plastic shopping bags’ altogether, yet others had partially banned some forms of plastic bags. She went on to say that reviving the old paper bags was not a solution as the process of producing them caused more damage to the environment that usage of the plastic bags, GO FIGURE.



A Happy Traveller, i am, i am NOT!

I consider myself a very unlucky traveler when it comes to flying on airplanes…My bad luck mostly relates to the passenger(s) sitting next to me; it’s never a preferred good looking (gentle) opposite sex, but rather a guy, dressed in shabby clothes, who smells, absolutely awful.

Flashback to my weekly flights to and from Qatar, in 2004/5, there were many a times when I was unfortunate enough to be seated next to guys that, well basically stunk, and I’m not talking only about their clothes, with gunk protruding out of the corner of their eyes, WHO JUST HAVE TO TURN AROUND AND TRY TO SPEAK TO ME, showering me in the most awful smell to come out of the human body, and that from one’s mouth, not the anus.

Today, my fate has not changed much, I still get stuck with the dudes, where as my (Lucky Bastards) friends, frequently get to sit with normal people or good looking women, or just women for that matter.
I know it sounds like I’m desperate to sit next to a lady, but it’s not that, most of the time women smelly much better than men, that is the only reason, oh yah, and a lot of them just don’t want to talk to you throughout the flight, the PERFECT recipe…

A month ago, it got so bad that the plane I was on smelt worse than a barn / stable. The majority of the people were laborers (I don’t mean any disrespect, but apparently non of them had heard of the importance of Personal hygiene), and to make matters worse, the lot of them were seated all around me; but this time I was not alone, another poor soul was seated close by, apparently he was new to this, not a seasoned veteran like I, so he has a handkerchief stuck to his nose, good use that does. I again survived that ordeal, but with some scars to show….

Two weeks later, on another flight, I was almost out of the woods, when at the very last minute, the BITCH of a stewardess directed two awfully smelling guys towards my direction, and unluckily for me I was seated in the middle; with no option to turn either side, my only salvation was to TURN ON THE AIR CONDITIONER, FULL BLAST, ONTO MY FACE, AND KNOCK MYSELF OUT COLD, it worked, I was asleep until the plane landed, and then the final couple of minutes, until the doors were opened, suddenly did not seem all that bad…Yet another scar, my eyes still twitch when I get close to a plane.

Last week, my @ss of a friend, F*d things for me; I was sitting on the isle(the spelling might be wrong) seat, with a smelly guy sitting to my left, PICTURED (1) below, when all a sudden, the stewardess asked him to get up and showed him to another seat, I was ecstatic, my smile almost tore my head in two, but my dumb ass friend, knowingly reminded the stewardess that there was an empty seat next to me, the BITCH brought another gut with the same odor level and sat him next to me. PICTURED (2) below, the smile melted from my face, and the moment we got off the plane I kicked my friend in the @ss….

(Ignore my crooked BIG nose; i tell myself that it’s from all the smacks I’ve gotten playing basketball with my friends, all of them Bastards.)

Mind U, all this has happened on Gulf Air flights.

During my tenure in Oman, I have used Qatar airways only once, and that has been the best flight ever as the plane was huge, almost completely empty, yet I got to sit next to a woman & the people on the plane did not smell bad; the only drawback now is that the take off is after midnight and I don’t reach Bahrain until 3am.

I am about to fly to Oman tomorrow, GULF AIR’s early morning flight, need I say more…..

The burden of being a movie Critique

I have been watching movies for as far back as I can remember. I believe it was when the first betamax format was introduced to Bahrain during the early eighties, if I am not mistaken. The first movie I watched was ‘Force Five’ a cool action movie, which my good friend calmly claimed was our future, yet to happen, and like a smuck it believed him, of all of five seconds.

From betamax, to VHS, to VCD and now DVD; soon to be replaced by R5 and the likes.

Anyways, I’ve gained a vast knowledge of films, from how the plot should progress to the acting, special effects etc or the ending.

So if I watch a movie that does not sum up to par, or anywhere close for that matter, I get pissed off and turn the bloody thing off. Let’s see, remember the movie ‘The Blair Witch project’, the hype created by the media and the internet let to box office records, the people who made the movie for a few thousand, mere pennies, reaped in millions.

Back then, i rented the DVD, 5 to 10 minutes into the movie, I turned it off, got into my car and drove to the DVD rental shop, exactly 45 minutes after I had first rented it. I burst into the shop and pushed the DVD back into the clerks face, shouting at him that if he did not immediately take the DVD and erase any record of my renting it from their computer, I’d kick his F*ing @ss. He obliged.

In my view, it was so bad that it did not deserve (a) to be listed on my rental sheet or (b) for me to cough up my hard earned money to rent the f*ing thing.

Need I say more, to date I have not watched it nor do I intent to, ever.

Now, what brought these feelings up to the surface, from the dark depths of my soul; the movie ‘The Reeping’, a horror movie wannabe.

Being this aware has its drawbacks, you don’t get to enjoy the movie but sit and analyze the scenes, the acting, plot, dialogue, and of course the bloody ending.

To date, I have watched some fantastic movies a few of which are ‘The Shawshank redemption’, ‘The Extremist’, ‘The Sixty sense’, ‘Fight Club’ & ‘Transformers’, just to name a few.

Granted, if I watch some of these movies today, I might find something wrong/outdated but when they first came out, they were mind blowing.

Now excuse me while I drive to the rental shop and have a few words with the clerk……