Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Three curiosities

Raise the roof

1. I learned on Monday that the wellness center I clean every week was LIFTED OFF ITS FOUNDATION so that the basement's ceiling could be nine feet tall instead of whatever it was originally.

2. Later I was talking to a client about Egypt. She works extensively in Africa and has since I think the 1950s. She and her husband were based in Rhodesia right at the beginning of the troubles there, and were urged to leave by the embassy (they didn't, and eight years later fled to Kenya.) She had fascinating insights on the true meaning of Keep Calm and Carry On, which is absolutely all one can do in the face of a crisis like this. She gets news that we don't get yet, as she has many colleagues in right in the heart of Cairo and across Egypt. The most upsetting news she had was that looters have been breaking into the national museums and destroying national treasures. Beheading mummies. Something from the arms of King Tutankhamun was taken. I honestly got choked up. I've never seen anything of the history of the Pharaohs, and hope to travel to Egypt someday and see these extraordinary artifacts, there in the land they have always belonged to. For me, a foreigner, it is these things that seem to be the heart and soul of the country. Of human history in general. To tear them apart is an insult to history.

Guards formed a human chain to keep people out, which itself was upsetting. Living humans protecting the dignity of the dead. It certainly made the riots much more complicated for me, and this was before the army began to tell people to stop, before the counter-riots began.

This was not a curiosity -- this was a lead bead I had to carry in my stomach for the rest of the house. It was one she and her husband have been carrying around for a week now. She had a cute story about Suez however. One of her colleagues was visiting for the first time. I'm not sure if he came from an urban setting, or what his background was, but it was clear that the desert was a new adventure for him. He was admiring the great sandscape and the beautiful sunset out his hotel window. Then a SHIP crossed his path, right outside the window, giving him a fright.

He had forgotten, of course, that he was on the Suez Canal.

3.This is the sort of thing I wish was around when I was in high school. People who questioned illogical fashion stuff directly. I did it, but I didn't have a great public soapbox to stand on.