I’ve always been a bit of a rebel; going against the grain of what was expected of me. It started in my pre-teen years; alcohol, boys, bleaching my hair (I must add here that the first two were quite formidable because I grew up in one of the strictest Muslim countries in the world – Kuwait). My parents had amazing ways of sourcing booze, crates of Johnie Walker delivered by the pick-up load through the rear entrance of our villa, interesting forays into trying to brew beer and make wine which most often than not resulted in exploding glass bottles in the spare bathroom due to miscalculations of storage temperature and dodgy stomachs due to early tasting sessions – bless them.
I had amazing ways of consuming this highly prized alcohol and bar a few grounding occasions, one particularly painful kick up the arse by my adorable Dad and numerous vomiting episodes (one particularly violent one whilst on anti-biotics when 15 after drinking 60% ethanol) I live to tell the tale. I now credit these early experiences to my decent ability to hold my drink.
This ability continued into boarding school in the UK, where I would have been expelled on numerous occasions if it were not for the fact that I consistently got high marks. Good friends were not so lucky. There’s English boarding schools for you down to a T. Listings matter, students do not. I hope this is changing now in our more touchy-feely society. More often than not kids drink and cause havoc for a reason – address that and you’re half-way there. One point of note – the intelligent kids tend to rebel more. Give these kids space to vent their feelings and perhaps some of this wastefulness could be controlled. Youngsters with talent need to be nurtured…whether they are in private schools, government schools or living on the street. I once had a conversation with a teenage run-away in Kings Cross in London (admittedly I had had too much too drink and was feeling maternal) who was addicted to crack and this girl (who I hope is alive and well) was more articulate than some people I met at University.
Some of my favourite authors are (or were) rebels, why is Gordon Ramsey so rich, why does Madonna still have sell-out concerts, why has Keith Richards become more popular than Mick Jagger? They are interesting and smart and have a damn good story to tell.
I’ve digressed a bit but the gist of this post is that people who do bad things aren’t always bad or even to blame. Listen to people, try to understand where they are coming from even if class differences (as in Sri Lanka) are huge and you have nothing in common. Listen a little bit, just for 10 minutes and you may find out that they also adore classical music, the feel of the sand between their toes on the beach, the cuddle of a dog. We are all human. It’s about time we started to act that way.
No pictures needed – just a rant. Thanks for reading and I promise that more recipes and sarcasm will follow soon. I must be having a good day.