Thursday, July 29, 2010

30 Ramadans Later

Ramadan is almost here, a couple of weeks away.

Another year has passed.

I do remember when Ramadan used to fall in the summer time. I am now experiencing Ramadan in the summer time again. The first time was 30 years ago. Back then, me and my sister wanted to experiment with fasting, we wanted to be like adults. We wanted to be praised because we did the impossible and fasted for more than 10 hours. My father would come from work at 2 pm and after his siesta would sit with us and we would play cards and backgammon thinking that by entertaining us time would go faster, if we only knew then how fast time really goes by, all by itself without any aid from anyone, faster than we would ever want it to, too fast for any kind of comfort.

Once my mother told us that the next time Ramadan would fall in the same month it will be more than 30 years from that date and I remember me and sister sitting during the long long hours of the fasting day and daydreaming about what it would be like in 30 years, what would we be doing, where would we be living, what would we look like. We thought that when we are in our 40’s we would have achieved all our dreams and totally happy, in full control of our lives, and we could stay up all night and no one would dream of telling us to go to bed, isn’t that an achievement all by itself? We would have our own money and we could buy anything we wanted, mainly ice cream and chocolate were on the menu at that time. No one would tell us that they would ruin our teeth, “enough sugar for today” was not really in back then, we would sleep all we wanted and never have to go to school again. Those were our biggest goals of the time, little did we know that in our 40’s staying up all night would be the last thing we wanted to do, and when we did it, it was not always for fun reasons (worry was not on the agenda then), buying whatever we wanted would not always be an option, and ice cream and chocolate would loose their incredible appeal, sleep would still be a rare commodity, however, getting up for school would eventually seem like a nice thing to do compared to the days we never thought we would have to face, and school would become a distant fun memory, yes fun, who would have known.

Do I miss 30 years ago, damn right I do, do I sound unhappy writing this, maybe I do, but it is not unhappiness that I feel, it is just my contemplation about what we thought would happen and what really did happen. Is it better or worse? I don’t really care to compare, it is just different. I don’t know if what we visualized in our little minds was the right thing to dream about in the first place, after all, at that age we were not exactly well versed in the art of living, but those dreams at that tender innocent age had their charm and appeal. They had a kind of dreamy unrealistic fairy tale”ish” thing to them that is sad to think you did not achieve. They were never logical, rational, nor achievable, maybe that is why they sounded so good, enough to make you sit and reminisce about them.

Are we happier than we thought we would be? Are we less happy than we thought we would be? I don’t know it depends on the day I guess, but we are what we are. We have crafted our lives that we are living by choices that those kids started making 30 years ago and continued to make along the way. And yes in so many ways we are happy, we have to be happy because happiness is another choice that we make, or rather, have to make otherwise we will sit and feel sad that 30 years have passed, we have to choose to be happy, to able to enjoy the memories of those 30 years and create ones for the next 30 years.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Mating Dance

They came in their nicely pressed navy blue suits.

The same familiar handshake

The same smile

The same laugh, hehehe, yes always three hehehe’s, not more, and with the exact very well rehearsed way. Not laughing out loud, God forbid, but not too too formal either, just enough to be friendly without being too close. That laugh is always followed by A***ole in my mind.

Within seconds all the credentials were laid down on the table. The original country of birth, not totally local, no no no, a foreign background is there somewhere, some foreign blood runs in the veins, which gives superiority and more credibility. Foreign education is also on the CV, but of course, how could we even think otherwise. After dropping a few names, very appropriately chosen and a few quite expensive hobbies later, a thoroughbred pen was pulled out of the jacket pocket along with a paper pad that lives in a quite expensive Mont Blanc home, business commenced, but not before perceived social class was determined, rules of conduct were laid down and the SOP’s were set.

Why do we feel uncomfortable without all of the above, why do some people feel that they need this mating dance before they start talking about what they really need to talk about? Why do they need to give credibility to themselves through the use of every element except those which truly are crucial and detrimental to the situation.

Monday, July 19, 2010


Noise, noise, noise.

Everybody knows better, everybody knows exactly what needs to be done, everybody knows exactly what needs to be said.

They all know better.

And, you have to sit there and listen, nod, approve, smile, shake your head, up and down at certain statements, left and right at others. Use “Aha” when appropriate, and breath a hearty “hmmm” where you should. But, that is not really enough, you have to say an outright “Yes, YES, you are right”, and all of that because you dared show people that you are low, that you are a bit confused, that you need guidance.

Yes, guidance, ask for it, even in passing and the silliest person you know can suddenly transform into a Guru, a beacon of knowledge, and a treasury of solutions. Sometimes I wonder, is that why we like people in distress? Is that why we like to hear about them, know their problems, delve into details of what went wrong in their lives. Does that make us feel superior? Does the mere fact that we are divulging precious gems of advise put us on a virtual pedestal that only exists in our minds? Why do they feel compelled to be so knowledgeable when what was really needed in the first place was a simple pat on the back, a simple “don’t worry all will be well”, a little silence until you finish stating whatever it is that is bothering you and that’s that. that is all what you really needed, to speak out load to a human rather than your own mind.

Thank you very much, I will retreat to myself.