This post is in response to a photo I saw today. One that has gone viral, one of a little girl putting her hands up to a journo with a DSLR. She thought it was a weapon. A Syrian girl. The BBC is calling this “the photo that broke the internet’s heart” What a load of codswallop. It breaks peoples hearts. YES. It does. LOOK LOOK at this girls eyes and then ask yourself why you as a good person can’t get together with other billions of good people on this planet and do something about this.
Anyway I blog about my life – this photo has affected me. If you don’t like it don’t read it. It has also highlighted some issues of life here in wonderful Sri Lanka. “Real issues”:
There maybe issues in lots of countries…I have friends globally from the UK, Germany, Russia (yep even those buggers) to Nigeria to Fiji (and obviously Holland). Most complain. Nowhere is perfect. Holland may seem idyllic – oh except for the fact that Pim Fortuyn was assassinated during the 2002 Dutch national election campaign for being a racist asshole basically. And good riddance. At least we have a cute Royal family. And orange rocks and cheese and heaps more.
Sri Lanka is of course paradise, only it had a bloody 30 year civil war, with possible war crimes still pending – one will see. And while one waits the presidents brother dies in an axe attack. A local politician was shot in my home town days ago.
People are nervous, I am. Not just for my beautiful life here but for the world at large.
I love Sri Lanka with the entirety of my heart, however sometimes things happen which wind me up beyond belief….and I’m a pretty chilled out person. Anybody can lose their temper. For me it takes a while but I’m a Taurus and when I lose it eventually it’s not pretty and can lead to crazy behaviour and violence (don’t be too worried – this is usually an arrack in your face (without glass) – unless you wave a red flag at me). In this case it was a tree cutter next door who cut through my rain drain around the roof (why he was even that close I do not want to know). I shouted, he shrugged. This made me more mad.
It’s over now so please don’t close the blog….just wanted to share the following…
Anger can be productive actually (just contradicted my first line but bugger off I’m on a roll)…it makes me write much better, think clearer and figure out where you want to be and what you want to do. Get rid of the anger inside, which may have been rotting for years. Against your parents (this is gladly not relevant in my case any more – we’ve made up – love them…..it took time but was worth it), old friends who let you down, others who did, just bad experiences, robberies, rape, domestic violence – the list is not endless but karma is. So I fully believe in what comes around goes around. Over the years I have relaxed considerably thanks to my experiences and views of others in worse places than myself.
So why do I still occasionally lose my temper – because I can. I am intelligent, not hugely ugly and I can probably win an argument 90% of the time. This means I am pretty cool, if not exceptional. End of rant.
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.
A blog about freelance translation as a digital nomad, travel, food & drink and all things Sri Lankan and Dutch.