Thursday, 22 April 2010


Like millions, my flight arrangements were cancelled because of dark ash swirling above the clouds.

The Museums were - and perhaps always will be- significant. Mainly because they make you feel so insignificant compared to the world around you. I paid attention to the museums, unlike last time - where I spent my time trying to decide if the person who had told me that it was 'bare chilly' outside, meant it was barely chilly or it was bear chilly-as in it was so cold, you need fur of a bear.

The houses of Parliament were even more so interesting. On the walk up to them, I passed the man in the tent - the one who has been continuously there since the start of the War. I'm not sure how to describe how I felt. It was perhaps akin to nothingness.
After security checks, I walked in. A tour guide met me warmly, and coughed. He was what can only be best described as an 'old Englishman'. I worried for his health as he wheezed.
Westminster Abbey was Gothic and cold inside, made only scarier by the guide's revelation that I was standing on the graves of Britain's finest poets,writers, politicians and lords. I looked longingly at the steps leading out of the concreted graveyard.

It was interesting, and the abundance and luxuriousness of it all, occasionally comical.
Soon, my tour guide was replaced by a younger guy, as the old Englishman was showing tiredness. The younger guy continued on enthusiastically, and the older guide walked on with us, occasionally adding classical detail.
We passed a large tour group - it was a school class. Unfortunately, I couldn't stop trying to (discreetly) stare at them. The majority of them were in brightly coloured tracksuits, and one girl loudly popping gum. Their attitude showed disinterest.
I turned my gaze back to my guide, but the old guy had spotted me.

" Are you annoyed that they are in those clothes while you are in a suit? Do you wish you had worn something more casual? Or do you think they should wear something smarter?" he asked me curiously.

I was dressed in a skirt suit, and my heels would tap against the concrete and marble as I walked, contrasting with the shuffles of everyone around me.
Most, if not all, in the class tour group were wearing trainers. Some brightly coloured and new, and some muddied.
I had no idea what to answer, and silently thought of what to reply in my head. I chose to reply truthfully. Which was - I told him I was shocked that they didn't hesitate to act, and wear what they want in such places.
The younger tour guide turned around to check we were still following. After a while, the old man returned to the subject and dramatically said:

" It is because they see it as their right. Whereas you see it as a privilege."

The tour came to an end.

I checked my flight status again, and tried to repack again, in effortless hope.
Around the evening my parents called. And that is where the title of this post comes to play.
My father watches the world snooker. A few years ago, out of boredom, I watched a game with him.

(Ashamedly?) I started watching every year, and started to even know the players names.
This 'hobby' of mine was disclosed to my friends by accident on one occasion. They were commenting on 'Doherty's drug addiction'.
In shock, I replied " I never realised snooker players lead drug fuelled lives! Won't that disqualify them?".
Everyone looked at me like I was speaking a different language. One of them asked what i was talking about, and I naturally gushed about how snooker is a calm sport, with little or no scandals. They told me Doherty wasn't known for snooker. I asked what he was known for, to be answered with 'The Libertines'.

My reply to this? I asked "Aren't they French hippies from the 1800s or something?".
The whole room was engulfed in chuckles, as the girls around me hugged me tightly and gasped with hard laughter. I blushed in confusion.
It was a while later until I realised I had been talking about Doherty the snooker player, and they had been talking about another Doherty- a singer.

As my mother finished asking about the flights, my father started talking about snooker.
I didn't feel myself fall asleep.
(And an hour ago I woke up)


Ihsiin said...

Haha, snooker's a wonderful sport. I once made that exact same Doherty mistake, only it was never really made apparent to my friends. After all, Ken Doherty does look somewhat drug-addled, doesn't he?


Oh my word, I've just checked the latest scores and Steve Davis is beating Higgins 5-2. It'd be lovely to see him take the championship (no chance, though).

JG said...


When I saw you mention Doherty's drug problem my first thought was 'Ken Doherty has a drug addiction????' :)

I love snooker. It's a great sport to watch on a Sunday when you're relaxing. It's soothing.

Like Ken Doherty I'm from Dublin and I have great memories of him winning the world championship in 1997, watching it with my dad and brother, the tension was unreal!

It's crap getting stuck. I got stuck in the US when the 9/11 thing happened. Not fun.

Touta said...

lucky you, and yes it is wonderful.
I personally think its his glittery eyes. They do look somewhat glazed at times.

haha, all i can say is great minds think alike :D
snooker does have a quiet tension though, and i have to admit your being stuck is probably worse than mine, because of the resulting paranoia.

JG said...

Quite tension, that's exactly it.

Yeah it was a bit weird alright. Hope you get going soon. My sister's been stuck in Malaga for eight days already!

khalid jarrar said...

just for your information, i played snooker for a long time, sometime back in my youth days, its brilliant, very very precise and much more fun than pool :)

halaw touta :) are you back home yet?!

Anonymous said...

I don't know anything about the sport or the singer LOL

programmer craig said...

I have no idea what snooker is, but I enjoyed the way you told the story :)

JG said...


Pool for smart people! ;)

Touta said...

I hope your sister makes it safely back! Although i don't think I would want to return from tropical islands.:D I managed to get onto the first flight out, and airports are back to normal-ish.

your youth days? ya?! you're an old man now lo sheno? :D
Halaw khalid, I'm back home! :) been here a few days, but too jet lagged to write.

the sport is okay to watch, but too difficult to for the singer..generally a7san you don't know. :P

programmer craig,
thanks for the compliment. I'm generally worried my stories won't be typed up as much, because of the inconvenience of the electricity and internet here. :D