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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

    Wednesday, May 28, 2008  
    Still waiting for the internet bloke to come up and install a wireless internet connection for me.
    I fell out with the last bloke I’d engaged to do the same thing because he kept me waiting for three hours* and it looks like I’m headed the same way with this bloke.
    I called him last Friday to confirm my interest and have him go ahead with it and he told me that he would ‘’get back to me on Tuesday or Wednesday’’.
    This is insane.
    I’ve been laughing at it ever since.
    Since when do tradesmen ‘’get back to’’ people?
    Tradesmen are summoned and they attend.
    Common people have run amok in this egalitarian era.
    In ye olden times his predecessor, the TSP (telegraph service provider) guy or, even earlier, the CPSP (carrier pigeon service provider) guy, would have been summoned and would have attended immediately, cap in hand, mumbling ‘’good day me lord’’.
    Nowadays, you have to chase him and he will ‘’get back to you’’.
    Common people can do whatever they like nowadays, it’s gentlefolk who are burdened by propriety, protocol, manners etc.
    I want to live like common people!
    I put all this change down to the fact that the aristocracy don’t oppress people anymore.
    Not that I’m in favour of oppressing people but in the old days plebeians were kept polite because they were kept under the thumb of the ruling class.
    Now the ruling class don’t care about the manners or mien of the people anymore as long as they work for them, pay taxes to them and vote for them.
    A little bit of oppression goes a long way towards keeping people polite and in their place.
    And I must stress that I am not a snob, I’m every taxi driver’s best mate after all, I just insist that people treat me the same way I treat them.
    No, not write nasty things about me (my writing is done by my evil alter ego – I’m not this mean and obnoxious in real life although I can be worse at times) but treat me with decency and respect.
    I’m for egalitarianism but this is not egalitarianism this is just a reversal – commoners now oppress gentlefolk.
    People here will give you that old chestnut about this being Lebanon so you have to be patient and put up with these things.
    That’s no excuse.
    The taxi driver was recently telling me that he was punctual because he has a ‘’Western mentality’’.
    I told him that I don’t have a so-called Western mentality but a civilized Lebanese mentality.
    There’s no such thing as a ‘’Lebanese mentality’’ and a ‘’Western mentality’’, there are civilized Lebanese and there are uncivilized Lebanese just as there are civilized and uncivilized Westerners etc.

    *He wanted me to wait outside for him (because of the police checkpoint)!
    The nerve!
    The arrogance of ignorance is astounding!
    Anyway, he didn’t need to ask me to wait outside for him because I had to be outside anyway to review security, see to it that the red carpet was unrolled and placed properly, to check the honour guard, to make sure that the brass band was in tune so that I could receive him properly. This guy kept me waiting for three hours (albeit indoors although he would have kept me waiting outdoors if he had had his way) and would have kept me waiting longer if I hadn’t have called him and cancelled.

    7:30 pm

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