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  • prequel

    "Top blog/Renato Obeid's World/Today's pick: This rambling weblog is worth reading not so much for its satirical posts but more for its insight into the minutiae of life in Lebanon, including the etiquette of road accidents and how to hire a taxi.” -Jane Perrone, The Guardian

    Sunday, June 30, 2002  
    Watched the Harlem Globetrotters vs. Germany World Cup soccer final on the big screen at Javanotti’s in Leichardt with Anthony.
    It was a full house and great atmosphere as usual*.
    Most of those in attendance were supporting Brazil but I wasn’t.
    I got yellow carded on several occasions by Anthony – he thinks that the term “nig-nog” is “unsavory’.
    I think that it’s only “unsavory” if there are nig-nogs around – I’m not politically correct just polite.
    And seeing that there were no nig-nogs around (nobody could hear us anyway) and that neither Anthony nor I are nig-nogs, then I didn’t see any problem with it.
    I suppose it could have been worse – Anthony has red carded me on at least one occasion (dissolved our conclave over another instance of political incorrectness).
    Besides, I did learn something (I always do when I’m with Anthony) – there are no jungles in Africa.
    Who knew?

    *Our cousin Eddy Makhoul, the proprietor, is a great host and my choice for man of the tournament.
    And “the portions are so generous!”We had a lot of fun saying the in a New York Jewish accent, “how do you pay the rent?”

    8:00 pm

    Saturday, June 01, 2002  
    For a myriad of reasons, I hate shopping.
    That I’m so fussy is just one of them.
    I spent the past “working week” traveling into Sydney (by train) in the morning and returning in the early evening, as if it were a job or something, shopping.
    And all this for just a mere handful of items – working out to an average of one item procured per day.
    Despite this, one would be mistaken to assume that I was just ambling around – although a lot of time is taken up with little return, my method within this time-wasting is pretty industrious.
    I blitz through scores of shops, select a couple of “candidates” and, towards the end of the day, make my ultimate selection.
    The items I find the hardest to shop for are eyeglasses and shoes – to the extent that I’ve almost given up on finding a pair of glasses and am not really looking anymore.
    My main gripe with today’s fashion is that glasses are too small (wearing those new thin glasses is like viewing life though a letterbox or Ned Kelly mask) and that sneakers are too big – puffy, glowy and with extraneous bits stuck all over them.
    I’ve had my current glasses for ten years (my brother says that they’re bound to come back in fashion anytime now).
    And I figure that it’s way too early to look for another pair of sneakers, as I only got my current pair about a year ago after scouring Sydney looking – especially looking for the exact same pair that I brought the last time I was here (1998) that have apparently since been discontinued.
    Even in their heyday, they mustn’t have been the most popular line ever because, at the time I brought them, they were two for the price of one.
    I took one pair back to Lebanon with me and tried to give the other pair away before I left but didn’t have enough time for such a Herculean task so I outsourced that to my aunty who didn’t have any luck either, amongst any of my cousins, and finally ended up giving them to the caretaker.
    Understandably, my aunty, being the exact opposite of me (Anthony calls us “The Odd Couple” and hums that theme tune whenever he sees us) has little patience for shopping with me and can often be heard inquiring incredulously “you can’t find a whatever in the whole of Sydney?!?”
    I correct her – my search also includes Melbourne and Lebanon.
    Mum says that I should establish my own small factory and make clones of all my clothes and accessories.
    This time around, I looked all over Sydney until my sister Maha stepped in and broke the impasse – taking me on a mercy mission to the Fila outlet at Birkenhead Point where I finally found the pair I wanted – a pair of plain navy blue good old-fashioned sneakers.
    They were the only pair and my exact size – the tag said that they were a sample and, seeing I haven’t seen any other pairs around anywhere, I’m assuming that they were as popular (or unpopular rather) as my last pair.
    They were only thirty dollars but I would have paid much more than that and God knows I did indirectly, when you consider all the hours of my valuable time that I put into the search.
    Although I’m not into brands, I did make a startling discovery – much of today’s “fashion” clothing doesn’t fit me.
    At one designer outlet, I couldn’t even fit into an extra large and left in shame.
    I analyzed this and came to the conclusion that the demographic for fashionable menswear these days is mostly gay and Asian.
    Hence, the sizes are going to be smaller because most of that demographic is in better shape than I am (Asians naturally and gays narcissistically).
    And it’s not like I’m fat, although a “gay” extra large doesn’t fit me I’m usually a medium or (at most) a large in hetero sizes.
    Anyway, as I’m fashion averse, I don’t care if I’m condemned to a lifetime of King Gee.
    I find shopping for books a lot easier.
    I can’t remember the last time I bought a book I didn’t like and can count only about ten of those in my entire reading “career”.
    One such book was “Catch 22” – couldn’t get into it and found myself in a veritable catch-22 over whether to persevere until I got to the actual catch-22 part (the reason I bought the book in the first place) or to put it away.
    I put it away.
    I’m not much of a book reviewer but I know what I like.My all-time favorite “book review” is Noel Me Mate’s stand-up comedy line - “I read “1984”…in 1983…and I remember thinking ‘I thought Year Seven was tough!’” (We were in Year Seven in 1983).

    I recently opened an Ezy Banking ‘’bank account’’ (sic) which I can use anywhere except inside an actual bank.
    I can make EFTPOS transactions with it, use an ATM etc but I can’t use it inside a bank.
    It’s like those British passports that were issued to Hong Kong residents that don’t entitle them to actually live in Britain.
    I feel very unwelcome (about as welcome as a bank robber).
    A second-class citizen in this new two-tier banking world.

    12:00 pm

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