Top five things about being back in the UK

1 - A reliable postal system
There is nothing better than receiving a letter. Well, other than being given money for free. Or sex, but letters generally last longer and are not riddled with those self-conscious moments. If we were to liken reading a letter to having sex, the postal system can be likened to foreplay, that unnecessary wait before the main course. And the Kuwaiti postal system can be likened to the sort of foreplay that makes you wonder if you’re going to get any at all, as you wait in the desert with your trousers around your ankles. Thank God for the Royal Mail.

Why is the postal system in Kuwait so poor? I’ve wondered this myself sometimes and I speculate that it could be due to one or more of the following factors.
i) No fucker’s got an address
ii) There are no street signs
iii) Buildings don’t require planning permission
iv) The postal staff are required to work in the 50 degree sun while getting paid about £20 a month and having their passports confiscated by their employers who beat them – morale at the post office is at an all time low

The Romanian postal system was alright but in Kuwait I would be lucky to receive mail 3 months after it had been sent if at all. Christmas presents in April was always a possibility.

2 - The law
Alright so it’s not perfect and people who live here all their lives will moan about it but I’d much rather have one Met police officer in my neighbourhood than any amount of those corrupt, lazy twats in the desert. One day I was walking home from the Hilton, Kuwait and a police car pulled up. The officer took one look at me and, assuming I was a Filipino bitchboy he decided to give me some shit,
“Where are you from?” he says
“London” I said
as usual, this dumb Kuwaiti (you have to be Kuwaiti to be in the police force there – equal rights hasn’t really made it’s way there yet) couldn’t process the information that a non-white person could live in the UK so he corrected me.
“No you don’t” he asserted. “You’re from the Philippines”
Of course, I forgot I came from the Philippines, thanks. You dumb fuck.

Quite used to ignorance on this level by now I decided that, if he really did believe what he said, I’d see what happened if a policeman pulled over a Filipino. Those guys out there have absolutely no rights whatsoever and are paid about £30 a month and treated like shit, so I thought I’d just see what the law would do if they believed I was one.

“OK,” I said “I’m from the Philippines. What seems to be the problem officer?”
At this the officer got a little suspicious and asked to see my ID. I fumbled around hoping that he’d just beat me. Getting agitated, he must have noticed that I probably wasn’t fair game. Finally, and slowly I pulled out my Civil ID with the words BRITISH CITIZEN emblazoned on it in glowing letters. And suddenly he developed some manners in front of my eyes. It was an amazing transformation!

3 - Librarys
I am a library addict. Most of you probably know that I am too much of a cheapskate to buy books as I only read them once so I get graphic novels out of loads of libraries to save money or buy books in charity shops. In Romania the concept of a library is so rarely used they use the word library to mean bookshop and use bibliotecha to mean library and rarely ever use actual libraries.

The concept of a library is completely lost on the Kuwaitis as is the concept of reading.

4 - Decent management
It’s very worky of me I know, but for those of my readers who live in Kuwait and are aware of the loonies that run that asylum, you’ll know why I had to put this in. Management here know what they are doing, and are not complete control-freaks. And there are some fit birds on the staff too. What the hell is Mrs. Jennings doing wearing those pink trousers!? She’s meant to be senior management!

5 - Basic manners and conversation
Imagine a place where no-one says please or thank you. Imagine that in a queue at the supermarket everybody feels it is their god-given right to push in front of you and no-one ever says hello. Imagine a place where you can go and be shown no hospitality by anyone for a year. Welcome to Kuwait!

All the little courtesies we take for granted here in the UK they have yet to learn. It’s a funny old world.

Apologies to everyone out there trying to contact me – living on site here at school has meant that I’m on the school network and can’t access my hotmail account or msn so I’ve been a little remote. I’m lookin to get the interweb set up in my room soon so I should be back online by the end of next month I reckon.

Happy birthday to me and happy new year to all my yellow brothers and sisters around the world!

This week I have read:
1. “A child called ‘It’” by Dave Pelzer – the true story of an abused child whose mum systematically tortured him and how he was saved by the system. I’ve never heard of anyone being made to eat dog shit by their own mothers. Worth reading to make you buck up your ideas and realise that your life isn’t really all that bad after all.
2. “Batman – Child of Dreams” by Kia Asamiya. Batman graphic novel by renowned Manga artist. Pretty good storyline , black and white manga art works quite well to depict the dark knight. Not outstanding like Knightfall or The Dark Knight Returns but then you’d not expect it really
3. “Swamp Thing – Bad seed” by Diggle and Breccia. The relaunch of the series made famous by Moore, the new writers have done a great job resurrecting the character. It takes a lot of guts to follow up any work by Alan Moore especially on a series as creative as groundbreaking as Swamp Thing. How could you hope to follow up a series like “A murder of crows” but these guys have done it. Though lacking some of the subtleties of dialogue that Moore used to open up his characters souls and the intricate artwork of Totleben and Bissette, the new guys have done really well to adapt the characters to their style while following up a legend. The relaunched series of Swamp Thing could well be worth looking at from this showing.
4. “The Driving Skills Workbook” – yes you thought it would never happen – I’ve started driving lessons!


Pony – I have sent you yet ANOTHER letter – I spent hours on this one only for it to end up being dumped in the desert no doubt. And don’t use the excuse that your ISP burnt down to not answer my emails!

Cata – I’m ready and standing in the corner. See you Friday?

DAD crew – thanks for all your birthday wishes!
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