Sunday, June 08, 2008

Gems of a Find

As I settled into office today, my ex-student came along to tell me about his recent discovery - some shop in downtown Dhaka that apparently will slash the prices by as much as 50% on good t-shirts and jeans.

Now, why he felt like he had to share this information with me puzzles me somewhat. It wasn't small talk, since he actively sought me out in my office to tell me this. We don't have that friendly-friend thing going like I do with some of the other students. And I hadn't put word out that I was looking for a bargain on clothes.

Maybe I just look like the sort who would be interested in such information? Is there even a look for this?

The real gem of a find this week was that my favourite advice columnist Dan Savage actually does podcasts. I have been reading his columns since I stumbled on the syndicated version on The Onion's AV Club. Not really because I need the advice (clearly, as you will realise if you check it out), but just because I'm such a voyeur and I enjoy his crude lucidity and no-nonsense common sense.

I can only download one podcast a day, but to be able to hear Dan yell at a caller's "wife-stealing-ass" and to tell her to get her "clingy, emotional, meathooks out of her" is well worth the time.

So I'm plodding along. I like that word - plod - even though it seems rather clumsy and awkward - something the Economist's style guide might call "ugly" (wouldn't know, haven't gotten to "P" yet) - because that's exactly the sort of sound my life would make if it had to be translated into audio.

Last night, at the usual cafe, I found myself sitting with a friend that was only with me because he had nothing else to do. Dude. You have no idea how much I empathise.

Just as we were about to get up and leave, when I turned around in my seat, there it was, a young calico cat sitting daintily at my feet. I have no idea how it got there, since we were on a balcony of sorts on the second floor. But it just sat there looking at me, and I bundled it up and sat it down in my lap and it went on to play-bite-scratch me. The pain was exquisite.

I know most people who keep cats try to discourage them from biting, lest it became a habit. I never could be bothered to do that, and now its something that I've become very fond of.

Hmm.. Maybe I do listen to Dan Savage for a reason.

Anyway, I have a class soon, and a fancy dinner tonight, a farewell/welcome party for both the incoming and current Singaporean High Commissioner to Bangladesh. A Malay guy working at the office here gave me a call last week to invite me, and hearing his slight-Mat accent with a heavy, heavy dose of Singlish on the phone just made me smile like crazy.