Numb to it all

Take me back to the days when terrorist attacks were uncommon or preferably when they did not happen; back to the days of disbelief and oh my goodness woows what’s going on?.
The good old days when I could and would rant for hours about the cowardice and heartlessness of these evil perpetrators. The days when I still bothered to ask why,
Those days when these acts were still foreign to me. Back when I was still shocked and outraged.

A thousand and one hashtags later and the worst has happened- I have become numb.
The cycle is repeated too often and it seems we are acting a rehearsed play.
Attack happens. Activate mourning process: Rant about cowardice and evil; update the staple hashtag-pray for *insert city here*;change profile picture; attack Muslims; Defend muslims; remind people KKK are Christians and so were the Crusaders; complain that people only care about these attacks when it happens in the West and why didn’t we create a hashtag for the attacks in Somalia; say we will not let ISIS win; praise the solidarity; and scene. Forget all about the attack until the next one. Repeat cycle. 

I am tired. My heart is tired of the rigamarole and has retreated into its shell.
I have been tired for a while. I remember the moment the numbness set it. It was yet another attack and I wanted to rant and pour my heart out when I realised there was nothing I could say that I had not said before. The words were utterly meaningless. Rest in Peace lost meaning to me then- and it still doesn’t mean much. Pray for blah, rest in peace to the victims, we will not let blah win, Fuck Isis/Boko Haram/Blah- it all means nothing.

I am impressed that lots of people still display strong emotions and I wonder if they really feel the words they write, or if it just muscle memory/reflexes; the need to contribute something to the mournful outrage and not be left out of the dirge.

We never know when we are living in the good old days-it only dawns on us when things get worse. Rock bottom is a long way to go-you think you’ve reached it then something else happens and you realised we really are in a bottomless pit.

I wish people did not have to die in such a manner. I wish we did not have to live in fear. I wish the news of a bombing made me angrier, sadder-anything but this numbness and resignation, this what is the point of it all?

There is no place to run to.

The Wallace Collection.

I only first heard of the Wallace collection a little while back. I randomly came across pictures of it on the internet and immediately I was struck by how beautiful it looked. So when I got to go into London, there was just one thing on  my mind.

The Wallace Collection is a national museum containing works of art collected by the first four Marquesses of Hertford between 1760 and 1880. The 4th Marquess of Hertford, Richard Seymour-Conway, left it all to his son Richard Wallace, whose widow so bequeathed it to the nation on the condition no part of the collection should ever be removed from it not even as a loan to other exhibitions.  It is open to the public every day, completely free of charge- donations are of course welcome.

The Wallace Collection is just as beautiful as I expected. There is so much to see- armories, furniture, sculptures, miniatures, and my favourite- paintings. I spent almost three hours there and could not fully in take in every thing. I would enter a  new room and think wow there is still so much to see. The lighting is not the best and in some parts I could not take pictures at all, so I had to be content with mental images.

Art aside, the rooms themselves are so gorgeous. My absolute favourite room was the Great Gallery. Oh my. I took picture after picture and could not capture just how beautiful it is. I cannot say for sure what it is about it that took my breath away- the spaciousness, high ceilings, beautiful paintings adorning every inch-but I really liked it.

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The curtains and wallpaper (wall cloth?) are so regal. Each room was art. My camera (plus poor lighting) could not capture the rooms to my satisfaction but I remember walking into each room and just taking in and enjoying the beauty.

 

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The furniture was stunning as well. The mirrors and chandeliers were breathtaking.

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I smile every time I see this painting. The look on her face is precious.

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I was immediately drawn to this picture. The expression on her face is so captivating and sad. Strawberry girls were little “waitresses” who sold strawberries. Little children hawking or working to earn a living makes me sad.

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There were a lot of religious paintings, particularly of The Virgin and Child.

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Mary was truly done. “Not another picture!”

The whole thing was very ethereal and I am happy I went. There are literally thousands of things to see. The Wallace Collection is located at Hertford House Manchester Square Manchester Square, London W1U 3BN England.

Unpopular Opinion

Ahmed’s clock was not a clock

A contraption in a suitcase
Not a clock
It might have started out as a clock
but
by the time the mischievous boy dismantled it and put the carcass in a suitcase
Nope. Not a clock.

We can stand and still say that thing did not look like a clock
A passerby does not see that on a bench and wonder what time it is
The time is the furthest thing from the mind of a person who stumbles upon this invention
Open suitcase with wires strewn everywhere
What else could it be if not a clock?
It did not look like a clock

The only thing that made it a clock is that they said it was
What is that? would have been the question if they hadn’t said it was a clock beforehand
“Ohmygoodness is that a…?”
Wise people to have prepared the ground first
so by the time the clock was unveiled everyone was already standing
The Powers That Be agreed that this was a time telling device invented by the boy
and no one wanted to be the fool who said Not a clock
                                          You know how they get
and so the Emperor walked around the town naked.

Lesson of the day: men and pee

I just found out that men can pee sitting down.

Now it sounds ridiculous, even to me, that one would think men could not pee sitting down. I just always assumed men peed standing up because they had to, because their penises would dangle weirdly in the bowl and they would not be able to pee or something like that. I never gave it much thought, but if I had that would have been my thought process.

How did I stumble upon this startling revelation?

Well I was watching a youtube video in which the youtuber answered questions he had never answered before. One of the final questions was “Do you pee standing or sitting?” Before he even responded, I thought “What a silly question. What man pees sitting down?” and I expected him to react the same way. I even thought the person who asked the question was trying to be rude. So imagine my confusion when he replied “NEVER pee standing up!” and he even went on to say it’s bad manners to pee standing up.

Straight away I ran off to google this interesting phenomenon and was surprised to see the first article “If you are a true gentleman, you should pee sitting down” followed by “10 reasons you should teach your sons to pee sitting down” and even some medical advise urging men to pee sitting down. I was stunned. Governments in certain countries even encourage the men to pee sitting down.  Prior to this, the only reference I had seen about men sitting to pee was a tweet that read something like: “Tired of men peeing on the toilet bowl. If your penis is too short to aim correctly then sit down like the woman you are.” You can understand why I assumed the question was derogatory.

There was also a Dear Alice column featuring a woman worried about her boyfriend’s unusual habit of sitting to pee as well as a bunch of articles from men justifying why they are sitters-to-pee-ers.

Now that I know that there is no physical hindrance to men peeing sitting down, the thought of them standing to pee seems weird and daft. Why risk getting pee everywhere and making an utter mess when you could just sit? [Although in a public bathroom no one should be sitting.] I have two brothers, a father and lots of uncles but I have never seen pee on the toilet bowl or floor so the horrors of men who could not aim probably was not on my mind.

I wonder what else the world is going to reveal to me.

Mr. Fox

When I think of Helen Oyeyemi, imaginative, unconventional and confusing are the first things to come to mind.

My introduction to Ms. Oyeyemi was through her first book Icarus Girl. I do not remember much about the book except that it was quite imaginative and deeply confusing to me. I remember there was a girl who travelled back home to Nigeria, and maybe her name was TITI (I just checked, it’s Jess) and there was a character called Tilly Tilly who I assume was a ghost/figment of her imagination but never really understood.

So when I came across another book from her-Mr. Fox- I debated for a while whether to buy it or not. I expected it to be just as confusing as Icarus Girl. I was wrong about that; it was much more disjointed and unusual.

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Lessons of the day: Remuneration and awkwardness

Today I learned two things:

Lesson one

The word is Remuneration not Renumeration.
I spent a good amount of time searching for renumeration in a document and of course I could not find it. I then decided to google what I was looking for and dear ol’ google popped up with “Showing results for blah blah remuneration.” I had this face for 20 seconds;

I cannot pronounce remuneration. It is so unnatural to me and I kept tripping over it. My tongue and my heart want to say renumeration and my brain is there fighting for remuneration to prevail. I am going to say it 30 times before bed tonight.

Lesson two

When you run into someone you know know at the train station, say hello with a smile. If there is time, ask how they are; how their day has gone; where they are going to. To bring the conversation to an end say “It was nice running into you. Enjoy the rest of your day“. It is okay to skip the conversation after hello and just say “…it was nice to see you…”

What you should not do is raise your voice twenty octaves and then mumble over yourself, repeatedly saying “I am so happy to see you” unless of course you are really that happy to see them. But that reaction is usually reserved for a lover or the pizza delivery guy. Odds are you are not really that happy to see your senior work colleague.
Now you are going to spend the next hour thinking perhaps it is finally time to start working on your perennial awkwardness.

The memoirs of the eternally awkward.

This reminds me of a few years back when I ran into an old friend at a party. I was quite surprised and actually pleased to see him. I was also so overcome with awkwardness that I cupped his face in my palms. He leaned in because he probably thought I was trying to tell him something. No dear, I am just holding your face because isn’t that what people do when they run into people they haven’t seen in ages?

It was weird.

Today reminded me that I am still that awkward.