Sunday, September 10, 2006

Satellite Guy

Isn’t it strange the people we meet, some of them surprise you and some of them disappoint you. It strikes me as odd, the things you hear from people reflecting how they think. An example of a very strange encounter I had with someone was when we were installing our satellite receiver.

We struck up a conversations about a variety of things, I listened to him talk about his philosophies in life. Though seemingly a simple person some of the things he said were interesting and had a fair amount of truth to them. Other things didn’t make much sense. I’ll recount things he said:

Two rumors spread through the whole of Egypt just before the elections. The first being that the current president has stolen enough out of the country, his pouch is full, he won’t be stealing much more, so why elect someone who will start to rob the country all over again. Well I tell you now, this applies to a petty thief, but not to a gang leader, you see the problem with this theory is that it assumes the president is stealing small amounts that he’s just a common thief, but in fact he’s a gang leader and those around him steal as much. He’s like a thief that knows where the safe is, if someone new were elected, he wouldn’t know where the safe is, that would give time for us to enjoy the country at least for a while.

The second rumor that was circulated is that there is no one better to rule. Now there are probably people who are better and can do well in this country with a population of seventy million people. But good people can never rise to places where they can be of use. In the first place being president is a big responsibility and it seems foolish to step up. Consider those who nominated themselves for presidency, Ayman Nour and Nomaan Gomma, they’re both in prison.

America wants Mubarak. They’ve told Mubarak he can win as long as he enforces democracy. Now Mubarak did enforce democracy, and what happened when he did? A lot of members of parliament were from the Ikhwan Muslimeen, a radical party, at which America told Mubarak to halt the democracy and get back to how things were before. I guess America only wants democracy that will serve its purpose.

When asked about a former prime minister who was kicked out, he said Bees can’t live anywhere but hives, and no other creature can live in a hive. You have to belong to be able to make it somewhere, if you don’t belong you’re kicked out. The government is too corrupt to accept men of integrity.

Egyptians are doing so well elsewhere, but when it comes to Egypt, no one with the right talent is in the right place. I agreed with this and told him we have many jackasses in our midst. He said, the problem isn’t with someone who’s a jackass, the problem is with someone who insists on being a jackass. In a famous movie by the name of “Ramadan foa el Borkan”, featuring Adel Immam, he plays the part of a crook who calculates that it’s better to steal and do the time than it is to work. He goes out of prison and starts a con company and then one of his friends from prison comes to work with him. So Adel asks the guy, do you know how to read or write? The guy answers no. Do you know how to answer telephones? No. Do you know how to do anything at all? No. Do you understand anything about anything? The man replies no. Adel then says, “In that case, hire him as a member in the board of directors”. This is the kind of people we have.

What happened to the world we asked, why are things so different. The satellite man asked if thirty years ago one could catch a cat. Those who could answer the questions answered no. Cats used to run away, no way you can catch it. Then he asked, back in the time, how were the dogs? Those who could answer said that dogs were more vicious. So the satellite man said, these days cats stick like glue, you shoo them off and they keep coming back. Dogs are afraid these days, kids have tamed and scared them. There’s a change in the environment around us, the times are changing and things aren’t what they used to be.

By that time we were nearing the end of the tuning of the channels. He said that women would usually watch whatever channel they see, and men would just keep flipping the channel. Women weren’t as curious as men, and men didn’t want to see the channels for their content, just more of an exploration. He commented that there were many porn channels stored. There’s no problem with the channels themselves, he has a kid who he tells that it’s okay to be curious, but becoming addicted is the real danger.

We asked him if he enjoyed his job. He replied, I always do what pleases me and what I like that’s what counts in the world really. But the beauty of the world is in its obstacles. If you want something for 4 days and buy it on the fifth, you’ll enjoy the five days more than you enjoy the time after you get it.

This is a very brief account of the conversations that went on between us. We talked of how people abroad respected the human being, and that it’s always better and how life was smooth. He said it was always better to live outside Egypt because of how smooth people have it. This is almost the only place I made a statement. I told him, but I thought you said life without obstacles is not livable, Egypt here has all the obstacles we need for a good enjoyable life.

It’s strange the people you meet and the opinions you hear. Not all conversations are memorable and not all parts of a memorable conversation are new, but perhaps sometimes you hear things out of people that you don’t expect. It’s all a matter of opinions and expectations I guess.


Anonymous said...

thanks for the link :)

MechanicalCrowds said...

thanks too!

Wael Eskandar said...

oh you needn't thank me, it's not a favor of a personal nature :)