Monday, January 31, 2011

I swat 'em like flies, but like flies the buggers keep coming back

I visited Egypt for a couple of weeks a few years back. I wish I had a greater understanding of what was going on there right now, but a fortnight of eating, sunbathing and visiting tourist traps doesn't tend to enlighten you on the niceties of political infrastructure and social turbulence. Nevertheless, I do recall talking to a tourguide after visiting some temple* or other. He was telling me about a village near the temple that the government want to be razed in order to build carparks and hotels and shit like that. The villagers, who look markedly different to any other Egyptians I encountered, claim to be the last descendants of the pharaohs. It's pretty much impossible to prove or disprove that claim, but it is without doubt that the people there have occupied that land for hundreds, maybe thousands, of years. When they first refused to leave their homes so that their village could be knocked down, their government shut off their electricity. When they still didn't move they cut off their water, too.

I don't know what developments have taken place since then, it's a hard thing to google when you don't remember which temple it was. But yeah, that's what I know of the Egyptian government. So if you're Egyptian, Andrew says go nuts right now. And if you're Irish, vote Fianna Fáil. They'd never do anything like that.

*Here's why I make a very poor tourist: My brain simply can't deal with visiting heaps of places of massive historical importance within a very condensed period of time. Nor do I keep a diary or take many photographs. Holidays for me need to be "Right, Andrew, here's a fascinating old place. Take about seven hours to look around it at your own leisure and then we'll take you home. Go to a waterpark tomorrow and then spend the day after that sleeping off the excitement and then we'll see you on Thursday for lots more time at another, single, fascinating old place."

3 comment(s):

Jo said...

Ugh. That's a horrible thing.

I wonder why the article ended on the information that she had BPD though. Strange, the need to pop it in there. Either it was a factor, or it wasn't. No need to hint at it.

It's scary, that the chief of ESB earns so much while St V de P are paying people's fuel bills this winter. None of it makes any more sense than a woman dying of hypothermia in her house, in 2011.

I was just in the dole office today, reading graffiti on the desk in front of me, that said 'warm in here, cold at home'.

Andrew said...

Did you read the post on the Anti-Room about it? They were making the exact same point - that whether or not she had a mental condition is really irrelevant in this situation.

If winters are going to carry on being as cold as the last couple have then this kind of thing is going to happen again. Regime change is not necessarily going to change attitudes towards the disadvantaged, unfortunately.

Jo said...

It's happening already :( I read a couple years ago that a Polish girl in Galway lost her legs to hypothermia. She'd lost her job, then her flat, then ended up homeless and had had to have her legs amputated.

The irony is, she said it was the best thing that had happened to her - she got lots of care and attention and a new place to live and helped out with welfare etc. Why do you have to lose your legs to get that?? It's fucked up.