Monday, March 07, 2011

Conehead, again. On rocks, marathon runners and rare-done goats liver

Well, after Conehead the Barbituate's first report, which deconstucted the signficance of airports in the degeneration of late monopoly capitailsm (I think that was his point), the international man of mystery logged his latest observations in the comment section of that post.

I feel it is only proper to post the comments in full here, if only because it gives my blog content without me having to do any of the hard fucking work of writing (which I find a fucking annoying distraction from beer).

Surprisingly, Conehead confirms the rumour he has been in Western Sahara. Which, for the record, has been occupied by Morocco since 1975, despite a 1991 UN deal for a referendum on self-determination. Not that stops Australian capitalists from buying phosphate stolen from the Saharawi people.

(Kids, don't ever say this blog is not fucking educational. Carlo Sands is a regular fucking encyclopedia.)

Conehead returns to his favourite theme of airports and, bizarrely, accuses Carlo Sands of making things up.

I post his comments below:

I'm pleased to report that I've found an airport where you can smoke cigarettes after you've gone through security: Tindouf, in one of the more remote parts of Algeria, in the middle of the Sahara Desert in fact.

I was happy to see not only were plenty of people lighting up inside the terminal buildings but many of them were uniformed officials. So I happily smoked the last of my fake Marlboros.

All in all, quite an atypical airport. Looks very old-world, kind of expected to see Humphrey Bogart wandering past (with a cigarette in his mouth of course.)

Going through the first security my carry-on bag was taken apart. At first I couldn't work out what they were looking for, but they then they asked "Do you have any rocks?"

And when they said "rocks" they meant rocks — this was not a code-word for drugs or anything like that — they meant stones, pebbles, boulders, that sort of thing.

They were also looking for sand.

Two things occurred to me. One was why the fuck would anyone want to put rocks in their luggage, the other was why would anyone care.

Weirdly enough, however, the dilligent security officers seemed to uncover all sorts of rocks, pebbles, stones, and sand in the bags of marathon runners, which were duly confiscated (the stones and sand not the bags).

The motivation for this attempted crime I think can be understood by the mentality of marathon runners.

They like challenges. These are the sort of people who think running 42km is not enough of a challenge so they run 42km in the Sahara Desert. They're planning one in the Arctic next year.

So obviously lugging lots of bags and suitcases around remote airports is way too unchallenging, so they fill any space in their bags with rocks and sand to make them heavier.

Why the authorities try to stop them is harder to explain.

Someone said something about them wanting to protect their natural resources, but I didn't observe any shortage of stones. And sand seemed quite plentiful: I don't think they are in much danger of running out even if they let every visiting marathon runner take as much as they want.

In case anyone is wondering what I was doing at a provincial Algerian airport with a planeload of marathon runners, the answer is pretending to be a journalist. I didn't manage to convince many people, however, except for Algerian immigrations authorities (who seem a bit unwelcoming towards journalists, not that I blame them).

It goes without saying that all the rumours Carlo posted about me are … FUCK! THERE'S A WORD LIMIT FOR POSTS!

Yes, Google can be fucking pricks. Conehead returned to his tale in a fresh comment:

It goes without saying that all the rumours Carlo posted about me are untrue, but I am interested if anyone knows of any NGOs who would be willing to sponsor some Parisian beggars to go to Australia to give workshops on entrepreneurial skills to our local beggars.

The truth is I acquired some money through entirely legitimate but thoroughly dishonorable means (inheritance) so there was nothing to do but give up my lumpen lifestyle, buy a suit, and travel the world prentending to be various things that I'm not.

To get on the plane to Tindouf, journalist seemed a better option than marathon runner. I don't think I would have even convinced the Algerian airport officials of that — for one thing they didn't find any rocks or sand in my luggage.

While I may not have made a convincing journalist I did find out about the nightlife in the local Saharawi refugee camps. Drinking tea is the most important recreational activity.

But this is not your dunk a tea-bag in boiling water sort of tea, but an elaborately made brew whose preparation involves boiling tea-leaves on a little open fire and pouring the contents from glass to glass from a great hight for hours.

The result if you wait (& its extremely impolite not to wait) is very sweet and very strong. Among Bedouin people the most impolite thing you can do is refuse anything.

Which is good news if you like very strong, sweet tea, camel meat or rare done goat's liver. The latter is given to guests at baby-namings & refusal would be particularly offensive.

Baby-namings are a popular recreational pasttime whereby new-born babies are named by lottery — potential names being represented by necklaces pulled out of a bowl of camel's milk.

Rather cool culture if you ask me. I know you're not meant to put on weight in a refugee camp but I didn't want to offend anybody.

Like anywhere, of course, there is juvenile delinquacy, and it was explained to me in one of my interviews that there was a problem with young people sitting around all day drinking tea and smoking cigarettes. This problem is being proactively dealt with through organising youth to be more socially engaged, readers will be pleased to hear.

And it should be said that smoking cigarettes in these parts certainly qualifies as substance abuse.

The only readily available cigarettes in the camps is a brand called "American Legend" which says on the packet "real American flavour".

This is a lie. The flavour, similar to glue, unmistakenly points to Chinese origin. I should know, I used to live in Footscray.

You can get a higher class of Chinese counterfeit cigarette, fake Marlboro's, if you are willing to spend a lot more money. These cost 200 dinars ($2.75 in Australian money).

Ok, thank you Conehead. You can stop being so interesting and witty now. This is Carlo Sands' blog and I don't like the competition.

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