Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Today and yesterday

Had an interesting start to my day: got on the service taxi only to realize that all the windows were missing, the knobs were only half there, the seat stuffing was all out and the back seat smelled strongly of pee. Actually, in retrospect, the cab looked like it was straight out of a war movie. I looked into the driver's rear view mirror and realized that one of his eyes was half shut and the other only half open - dark purple in color. He had obviously just about survived a big fight. With the election results out just yesterday my hypothesis is that he got into some post result brawl. Of course, he could be just born with two black eyes, who knows.

The cab crawled on while the one eyed beauty squinted at me in the rearview mirror. Screech, he had stopped to pick up not one, not two, not three, but five giggling girls in jazzy designer hijabs. They all squeezed in and instantly tried to involve me in a very animated conversation about something..it was all in Arabic so I feigned many different emotions. Screech. Another halt. There is a rally of cars in front of us, blue flags hanging out and loud celebratory gunfire (I can hear the guns but not see them, thank god!). Now that I think about it, yesterday was even more surreal. While the whole nation celebrated or mourned with gun fire, we, an even stranger group of expats (one Italian, two British, one French, one Lebanese and two Indians) were sunbathing over glasses of white wine in a beach side resort. And while we sipped our wine we complained about this strange culture of shooting in the air. Somewhere deep inside me a voice sniggered and said: "If there is something way weirder than shooting in the air, it's sipping wine in a resort and commenting on it." I am not sure what exactly to make of that voice.

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