Monday, June 30, 2008

It's not that I mind really

But why does EVERYONE have to assume I'm South Asian. OK, yes, I'm in Pakistan, and yes I'm brown; nevertheless does that automatically mean I am desi?

I have come to realise that I am this non-ethnic specific brown that seems to blend into whatever melanin-enriched group people are most familiar with. Even in London I have people speaking to me in some South Asian language. It wouldn't be so bad if some people didn't take offence to the fact that I "deny my true heritage."
(Insert Random South Asian Here) - "Why do you call yourself 'Andy', why don't you go by your real name?"

(Me) - Because, I don't like the way most people mispronounce 'Andres'!
Though I have had 2 interesting comments during the trip:
  1. You look Pakistani, but you have Latin eyes. (I'm not quite sure what that means. I guess it means I don't have the dark circles that South Asians seem to be predisposed to)
  2. For a white guy you are OK. (WHITE GUY!? I couldn't pass even if I was on the phone to someone while sitting in a dimly lit room)
Oh, well what can we do. I guess it is human nature to categorise, label, and catalog others in order to make sense of the chaotic swarm that is existence.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The fascinating phallus

"those possessing more than 8 inches (20 cm) making up less than 2% of the world’s population"

"No racial or ethnic group is uniformly large and no group is uniformly small."

Who gets to conduct this research!?

Find out more in: The Big Penis Book

Why does heat make you so sleepy?

I'm trying really hard to concentrate. I must finish these proposals and reports. I can barely keep my eyes open.

Right now is a balmy 38C/100F with 50% humidity. Yeah it's toasty. And I'm seating in an office with a faulty air-conditioner and a ceiling fan that just moves the heat around.

I need to work. I need to get these things done. I need to lay down and have a nap.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

So I'm in Pakistan right... for work nothing too exciting, just drafting 2 new project proposals, delivering 2 different trainings in 2 different cities, and monitoring 3 projects among 5 partner organisations across 5 different cities - no biggie.

The issue I have is with this whole concept of "load shedding", at pre-selected intervals (6-8 times per day) electricity is cut-off across segments of the city in order to not overwhelm the power plants, which cannot produce enough electricity to meet demand/need.

The reason the power plant gets overwhelmed is because it is summer - which means air conditioning season.

It's in the upper 40'sC (110'sF), not a really cute time to be without a/c. I don't know how we used to cope before but I do know that I am not built to stand it now.

In a week and a half I head to Dera Ghazi Khan, where temperatures will be in the 50'sC (120'sF). I fully expect to be hot, miserable, and bitchy. I already warned the project partner there that I am likely to find fault with everything - he's scared.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sometimes it's just not worth getting out of bed

Today was not a good day to get out of bed.

It started out with getting stopped by the police for a "random" stop and search of citizens for potential threats. Under the auspices of the Terrorism Act of 2000, police can stop potential suspects or random individuals without cause.

I am not sure which one I am, however considering I have been stopped twice now for the same reason, I begin to question the whole randomness of the selection process. I personally think they are just going for brown males.

However, they really do need to be a bit more selective.

Honestly, do I look like a terrorist!? I carry a purple satchel for goodness sake. How many terrorist would put a bomb in a purple Crumpler? And if they are searching for weapons, again they are kinda missing the boat. I guess I should be grateful that they think I look butch enough to carry a knife (gun crime is low in the UK, here people just stab each other), but as my father would say "I'm not exactly He-Man, now am I?"

These cops really do need to fine-tune their detective skills a bit.

Moving on to the rest of my day - it was crap. Work is sucky hectic at the moment - long, long days in preparation for a couple of trainings I am doing in Pakistan.

And then to end the day I loose my phone on the train home :-(

Yep, should have stayed in bed today.