Saturday, April 21, 2007

A word with the headmaster

"Oh Amnesiac! You're so witty and I'm newly divorced!"
Any excuse to publish Hany's picture

The doctor vs. gardener saga took a new twist on Thursday when the very understanding boss called me in to his office for part two of the ‘talk’ began two days ago, in which I resisted the urge to tell him that through no fault of his, or his organisation, my job makes me want to shred a paper effigy of myself and instead told him that I wasn’t feeling passionate about the role. On Thursday afternoon he rested his chin on his knuckles and said, “so…” which usually indicates that someone is about to: tell you that it was great but sayonara and can he have his CDs back; suggest that you examine issues relating to your childhood and/or change your prescription, or; tell you something suggesting that it might be a good idea to clear your internet history so that your replacement doesn’t discover the inordinate amount of time you spent googling your colleagues.

Boss reminded me that he is travelling for two weeks, and that this is an opportunity to reflect on what I want to do while completing the half-arsed colouring-in project I have to do until Daddy gets back and does it properly. He also reminded me that the next two months are going to be super challenging for the organisation and for the human rights community generally and that it might be a good idea to consider before this time whether I am ready to give a hundred percent rather than being a slacker and that he'd be sad to lose me but he wants me to do what makes me happy and don’t worry about leaving and creating problems for the organisation Amnesiac since your absence will make no perceptible difference and also the money used for your salary hasn’t technically arrived and basically it was all a very nice (and I mean that genuinely) piss off.

I am starting to think that I should leave if for no other reason than that the low-level silent rage against my job has started to manifest itself in the form of occult happenings in my presence. Over the course of three days one window blew shut and the pane broke, another window suddenly blew open and banged into an idiotically positioned shelf causing a perfectly formed half circle of glass to be magically cut out of the pane and a water filter fell off the top of the fridge and shattered when I closed the door. It’s all very Exorcist and surely indicates the presence of an unsettled soul.

I took his advice to heart and have scheduled time for reflection next week at some point, possibly while waiting for water to boil for tea. In the meantime I went to see Wust el Balad and specifically lead-singer Hany Adel perform a concert. Like many other thousands of females with beating hearts, the vision of Hany and his underwear catalogue physique and rhythmic head-nodding revives the teenage obsessive fan I thought I’d left behind with Tom Selleck and Andre Agassi. I recently engaged in a discussion about attractiveness and popularity, in which it was posited that Hany is the bait which brings in the girls, hence why blokes and true music connoisseurs think that the band is otherwise a bag of balls. I remembered that conversation last night because it was it the first time (of the three times that I have seen them) that I have seen Wust el Balad sober, and I was slightly troubled on more than one occasion by Hany’s guitar solos, which I have never before remarked on, and which reminded me slightly of John C. Reilly’s guitar playing on ‘You’ve got the look’ in Boogie Nights.

Still, Adham’s mawwals make up for it, as do the ninety-two other string-instrument maestros which make up their number, and of course Hany’s voice is great. And if nothing else hunky Hany’s existence serves the function of confirming that one is still alive. His presence, and the faux Spanish rhythms the band employs, do however have the negative effect of compelling women to simulate playfully coy flamenco dancers, which is always painful to witness and frankly made me want to bitch-slap someone.

*It has been drawn to my attention that this post seems to be implying that somehow the organisation I work for might be the source of my current work dilemma. I would like to point out that nothing could be further from the truth, and that indeed it is because the organisation and my colleagues are so fantastic that my dilemma is made doubly harder: if the organisation, my boss and my colleagues weren't so great there wouldn't have been a dilemma in the first place. What I meant by a 'very nice piss off' was just that: the boss is doing everything he can to make my decision easier but he has of course got to think of the interests of his organisation too, and is basically giving me a limited amount of time to think. Which is excellent of him.


Basil Epicurus said...

Tom Selleck!!!!

You could have swept the floor of Wist il balad wiyh that mustache of his..

Anonymous said...

Never heard of Wust El Balad before. I guess they're not international yet. But I just went to their website and listened to a sample of their music - good stuff!

I bet they have the most kick-ass performances... I'll be sure to go to one when I'm in Egypt.

Ki said...

Eh dah? Meen dah? When did this happen? Had I known about the existence of such an exquisite specimen, I would have reconsidered my decision to flee the country....swoon, indeed.

N said...

lol. i was a groupie for two years straight, watched them play in after eight twice a week. i even chatted with him a few times :-)

MEGA flirt. ain't it grand? :)

take me with you next time!

Forsoothsayer said...

west el balad make me want to hork. dude, i can say nothing more than when M was in the deep throes of foreign country lust, i took him to a concert and he made me leave right away (as did all of my friends). if his wide-sweeping enthusiasm cannot deal, then they must be shite.

tom selleck rocks.

Scarr said...

Basil: Selleck is like sultanas in savoury dishes, you feel somehow it's wrong to like him but you do nonetheless. The moustache only added to his manly ruggedness.

Nilegirl: Not quite kick-ass but enjoyable.

Ki: Yes indeed.

N: And you let him escape your clutches?? Is he thick? Please tell me he's thick and I'll stop salivating over him.

Forsooth: A bit harsh I think. Like I told you, better under the influence.

Anonymous said...

Been reading your blog for a while, i normally get a laugh and leave. However, this post prompted me to document a massive ewwwwwwwwwww.(not at you)

Wust el balad are shit. I heard so bloody much about them and thought ok let's give this a chance, when i heard their shit and watched them on tele, i honestly thought the whole thing was a joke. I thought, for most of it, that i was watching a spoof sketch thing. But no.
That was real.

They're a really shitty imitation of different American and British 70s artists, one of their songs comprised of frequent wailings and crappy animal noises in an attempt to do "i can be your body guard..." Egyptian style.
You've been in Egypt too long, i'm sure if you weren't living there you'd think he looked gay.

And good luck with work.

Wael Eskandar said...

I agree with anonymous about wust el balad.. to a certain degree.. but people here are dying from musical starvation, and wust el balad are merely giving them a different variety of music, not so great but for a country with a great poverty in variety, it seems to work well with the masses.

Scarr said...

Anon: I can be your bodyguard Egyptian style! lol

Bit harsh, anon! I can understand how they would annoy however.

As for this looking gay theory, not sure I understand, mate, to be honest. Several sources who have met him (including one straight male) have attested to the fact that physically he is well fit.

Thanks for the good luck :-)

Will:I disagree that Wust' popularity is dependent entirely on the absence of an alternative.

Anonymous said...

a) wanna job?
b) west el balad may be over-hyped and may well play the same set ad infinitum. But in those few last places where you can still dance and get your groove on WelB do the job better than most.
c)wanna job? tell kimbuz you're interested or call/mail/sms/whatever me.

Scarr said...

:-D Ok.

Forsoothsayer said...

people don't offer me nearly as many jobs on my blog!

Anonymous said...

I saw Hany tonight at the Efteksat show at Sawy. He is eye candy, mos def, but his "singing" - there are only 3 people in the world allowed to scat: Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, and in a pinch, Scatman Crothers. Everyone else needs to be taken out behind the Coffee Roastery and shot.

Scarr said...


I am thinking of somehow banning funny/interesting people from making anonymous comments because it frustrates my nosy desire to know something about them.