Saturday, 18 May 2013

Prostitution in the Gulf

Where the mange dogs go to die or toying with prostitution

Prostitution has always been something I have had a natural aversion to, it just doesn't seem right to me either as a potential buyer or seller of services. It seems (in best pompous voice) grubby and corrupting and unimaginably degrading for both parties yet it does appear to supply a type of need. However, grubby and seamy as it may be I once lived in a flat overlooking a street in the red light district of a deep Spanish town it provided great street theatre for me and my pals up on the balcony with a glass or three of Rioja watching the amusing comings and goings. It also helps being on friendly terms with the genial women and and gypsy runners and minders in the local scoring bar watching genial whores hustle and the hustlers whore - the majority of clients seemed to then be nervous virginal conscripts who would then, a fleeting and unsatisfactory orgasm later, reappear with a cheesy grin and go and score a hunk of dope and a beer and then shuffle out with their pustulous pals. As outsiders we were treated well and were doubtlessly unaware, possibly wifully,  of any ugliness that may have been going on...

So I am well aware that the foul temptation of a quick trick does occasionally hit upon many a man good and true, especially in this part of the world in which new thrills and excitement are always sought and needed for Expatland, or at this soulless part, can indeed be a conscience free zone. Eyes can easily be turned by an exciting and tempting short deal with particularly dirty and filthy, certainly amoral folk. Yes, I held my nose and put in an application for a post to sell my undoubted talents, modesty and soul, definitely my soul, to some particularly nasty military carpetbaggers in Saudi a place I swore I would have nothing to do with, a place that is Yemen or Afghanistan with money and some medieval magic rocks, governed by superstition, a fucked up version of a messy religion and rich inbred men with beards. A candidate for the worst country in world. Yes, the Big Company - big in guns, oil, torture equipment probably too, like all Big Bad companies they had controlling shares in the appalling criminal Bush / Cheney gang. 

Lest we forget
Attractive eh? Of course,  as they and you and I know, it's only about the Very Large Salary, and great conditions - albeit in the modern Middle Ages - paid for teaching of the very lazy rich, uninterested people laced with an odour of in-breeding...and then I would be surrounded, in a luxury compound with the delights and frolicsome fun enjoyed by other well paid low life whores. It is the place where the dead mange ridden dogs go to scratch, rut, and die...I know I have met many. Refugees in the EFL world, once on the outside they tend to have a dead eyed glassy stare brought on by the soul shredding hell-Horrors they have seen and the contortions of conscience they have made, and many, most disconcertingly, are called Colin.

Whither the idealism of career entry in education? Well, everyone has their price (yes YOU do) I? I have done the maths and (wistfully) most tempting and tantalising I could never need to suffer the indignity of being an economic migrant, being an educational wage slave again after three years. I would never have to consider the possiblity of walking into a secondary classroom again or have a McJob in an EFL languish's a tax-free temptation that's for sure. Mucky and grubby all the same.

It might be a laugh, it might indeed be worthy, I might even touch a few lives. It does happen in teaching. I have been around, seen some mostly amusing but despairing things, I have survived the worst of over-promoted incompetent micro-management  (that's you Rachel), feral students, unsupportive, failed parents and of course useless education ministers that prat Gove being the latest dangerous incarnation. I can keep my mouth shut and my head low, I can keep my face straight now when folk get all Bronze Age religious on me and try to convince me their fairy tales are true and that their god is better than the other guy's god. I can usually find the good things in a culture and people and always meet good folk on the EFL circuit who are not cat lovers, sports bores, terminally lonely, or need those special holidays in the Philippines but perhaps my biggest advantage is not being called Colin.

Choices choices....

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Creeping torpor in Expatland

Well, fuck this as they say in the nose bleed inducing upper echelons of pointless professional development circles. Inevitably the initial glow of pleasure at the escape from the professional and mental constraints of living and whinging in the education micro-managed mincer of very Little England has since receded. Not that I am complaining about life being too easy here and wish to be back there, oh no, pas de tout, as I might once have said, that would be very wrong and indeed a tad ungrateful for what I have here. No, a four hour day suits me more than fine as it would most of you. I'm reasonably well paid but want a little more but not sure exactly what. Stupidity and occasional wildness would be good but that last happened during the Bad Behaviour of Xmas and New Year when friendships were amusingly breached with ladles full of ire and umbrage lapped up slurpingly by those who really ought to have known better...

...and they do, they too are just bored and want to imbibe bagfuls of ire and umbrage to give some meaning to the too long time they have spent in this pleasant but ultimately unlively neck of the Gulf. I suppose it is a kind of expat langour caused by an unstressful semi-detached life in which meaning is not always clearly defined. Some turn to extreme exercise - triathlons, climbing, cycling, sailing (does that count?) all in extreme heat. Others seek fun in bad choirs (only the former Soviet staff do amateur music well), some women (never men) snuggle up to house cats (a messed up concept if ever there was - the house cat that is) and others, usually Brits and the running dog Aussies (or is it the other way round?) lend themselves very well to genial genteel affable alcoholism, if there is such a thing,which sometimes, I am told, leads to well (coughs and blushes), inappropriate liaisons and equally healthy or not, a worrying few have taken to religion, some going native. Each to their own I suppose...

...and now it's raining, proper biblical wadi rupturing rampant storms showing up the rubbish nature of the semi-slave built buildings and roads,  as cars, goats and stray forgotten excess last children get washed away in a brown slurry of Koranic rain and cheap infrastructure. Hey, it's all part of Allah's great plan so a bit of death, destruction and muddy mayhem is nothing to worry about. And like our crap snow days in once Merrie Englande, we get rain days out here in the Gulf as the washed away roads and power cut combo means that no one has the slightest idea how to deal with anything which is actually a rather pleasant  excuse to stand outside on the balcony with a glass of red and watch the kids frolicking in the floods as ours did in the snow before it became boring.