Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Adventure Begins (again)

June 18, 2012



2 packs, 7 countries, 140 odd days, 6 pairs of undies. Should be fun.


The subliminally implanted choice of a new generation

April 20, 2010

This comes via one of my students, who gave a presentation this week about the development and effects of video games (or something. It was about video games anyway).

They began by running through a few ‘classic’ video games (classic to people born after 1990) including the usual cast of hedgehogs, bandicoots and italian plumbers. The greatest nostalgic sighs however were reserved for this guy, heretofore unknown to me :

Game synopsis (based on my viewing of the above): Our spandex clad corporate branded hero, Pepsi Man, is on the trail of a delivery truck with an improperly secured cargo of sugary caffeine water. On his way he must battle the evils of the municipal trash delivery, jaywalkers (who by the looks of things he ruthlessly murders on contact) and white picket fences. Each level ends with our hero posing mightily in front of a Pepsi vending machine, from which he drinks a well-earned can of Pepsi. Its a shame they felt it necessary to cut the most exciting part, where Pepsi Man restocks the machine with the bounty of soda that he found on the roads, backyards and living rooms of the game’s denizens.

By way of background: Bahrain was for many years a no-Coke zone, for various reasons that I can’t be bothered researching properly (*cough*bottling-plant-in-Tel-Aviv*cough*). Pepsi was (and to a large degree still is) the sugar-water of choice. The good folk at PepsiCo obviously decided that the next step from complete monopoly was ‘use video games to indoctrinate a generation of spandex clad Pepsi fueled super-soldiers’. Death to the Jaywalker!

NB: I understand that the sequel: “Pepsi Man 2:  Battle against Type 2 Diabetes and Tooth Decay” didn’t do so well, despite what critics described as a “thrilling final boss fight” (against colon cancer).

Borneo Diaries Day 1

January 11, 2010


After passing the signs that said “SELAMAT DATANG!” (“Welcome!”) and WARNING DEATH FOR DRUG TRAFFICKERS UNDER SINGAPORE LAW (“Warning death for drug traffickers under Singapore law”) I had the following delightful exchange at Singapore airport:

POLITE, SMILING MAN IN UNIFORM: Excuse me sir, could you please come with me?

ME: Sure.

PSMIU: Would you mind putting your bag on the xray machine.

ME: No problem.

PSMIU: Where have you come from today sir?

ME: Most recently? Uh Colombo, just for a stopover (apparently this is the wrong thing to say)

PSMIU: Ah. And you are aware that it is illegal to bring empty bullet casings into Singapore sir?

ME: Uh… okay.

PSMIU: Please put your bag on the table sir .

(I do so)

PSMIU: Do you have any bullet casings sir? Any knives or guns?

ME: Uh… n…

PSMIU: How long were you in Colombo for sir?

ME: About two hours? I got on the plane in Bahrain

(PSMIU gives me a quizzical look)

ME: …it’s in the Middle East (this is definitely the wrong thing to say)

PSMIU: Ah. Because as I said it is illegal to bring empty bullet casings into Singapore

ME: Okay

PSMIU: And guns

ME: Yes…

PSMIU: And knives.

ME: ….Okay. Because I don’t…

PSMIU: Okay? No bullet casings.

ME: Yes, sure but I don’t…

PSMIU: Just so you know. For next time. No bullet casings.

ME: yes of course…

PSMIU: Thank you sir! Welcome to Singapore!

ME: Uh, thanks, I… what?

If I knew nothing else about Australia…

June 1, 2009

Aside from what I observed at last week’s Australian Society Dinner, I would think:

1. Oily, shirtless American Marines are an important national symbol of some sort, as they both opened the show and circulated all evening, bringing joy to the heart of many a ‘just one more wine dear’ middle-aged woman (and several men I’m sure).

2. Aboriginal people look just like Filipino people, but with paint on. Also whenever they appear they are accompanied by jazz/ballet dancers and piped Yothu Yindi

3. Kylie Minogue’s hits are only to be performed by men in drag.

Actually that last one might be true.

The only thing that stopped the whole evening from being deeply racially offensive was the slathering of absolutely bizarre homo-eroticism.

That’s Australia fer ya.

Would you like larvae with that?

May 16, 2009
I guess he/she didnt eat much.

I guess he/she didn't eat much.

Differences between [redacted] and [redacted]

April 30, 2009

EDIT: Now with bonus self-imposed censorship!

Part 1 in a saga of epic proportions:

In [redacted], if you wanted to get propositioned by a scrawny [redacted] prostitute, you’d have to pick the right bar (preferably near the [redacted] Naval [redacted]) and then fight your way through the [redacted] punters.

In [redacted], you need only wander 100m from your hotel in search of food, and you will be literally flooded with offers to spend some [redacted] and contract new and [redacted] diseases.

I seem to have a knack for finding the most [redacted] [redacted] parts of any city I visit. I guess that’s like a kind of really [redacted] super-power.

Howto: Vegetable Soap.

April 30, 2009

INGREDIENTS:Sodium Palmitate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Aqua, Glycerin, Fragrance(parfum), Titanium Dioxide, Sodium Chloride, Tetrasodium EDTA, Triclocarban Tetrapsdium Etidronate, BHT*.


*I can only assume that this is the vegetable content.

A Pledge

April 25, 2009

I will write something every night this week.

This is something.


The bank saga continued (concluded?)

March 22, 2009

OR How to expedite dealings with [INSERT BANK NAME] in one easy step.

1. Go into a bank branch and tell them you are closing the account and that you would like them to cancel the credit card applications that have now been pending for four months. They will beg you not to close the account (which you will accede to, if only to avoid the spectacle of making a rotund Bahraini man with braces cry) even when you say that you have arranged for your salary to be deposited into an account with a competing bank. You may assume at this point that, given their insistence that the only thing holding up the credit card issuing was the fact that you had not yet made frequent enough deposits, had not provided sufficient bank statements, pay slips and stool samples and please would you give us one more chance we can change we swear we can, that this would be the last of it and you could move on with your life, free of [INSERT BANK NAME].

Your credit cards (3) will arrive by courier, unannouced, in 8-10 working days.

Things that probably shouldn’t be a thing

March 22, 2009


– Kevin Garnett of the Boston Celtics

– Monty Python’s Search for the Holy Grail

– Corporate shilling for Gatorade

The result:

What a world, what a world.