Fat Geese

Yesterday, Eid was declared, also Arafat Day, thus everyone is girding their loins for battle at airports, in the stampede whereby two-thirds of the country decides they don’t like it here any more and heads off to either find relatives or snow. Two more ‘teaching’ days to go and papers to mark, before the fairy lights and advertising penetrates my consciousness. Thereafter, I shall enjoy some peace and quiet – all hail the festive eve being celebrated without a fat goose this year. Applebee’s has Far Eastern staff bedecked in Santa hats, just for the Americans, one supposes, but mercifully, the beery bonhomie so characteristic of the UK is conspicuous by its absence. I am delighted to report that I shall not be sending Xmas greetings this year, instead a SmileBox, perhaps. Watch this space. Or not, as you choose.

My beautiful car has suffered another black eye – this time at the hands of a dirty Mercedes-Benz which was damaged much worse than mine. Traffic in Shuwaikh resembles the retreat from Baghdad at the best of times, crossways being unpoliced and free of all inconvenient encumbrances to progress like traffic lights, thus the mentality is at best impatient – much cacophony with shouting and horns – and at worst, savage. Driving on the pavement is commonplace and, in some places, de rigueur. The body shop will replace my front bumper, unlike the Merc which will need a new wing and doors. That’ll teach him to attempt to drive away…

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