Saturday, 20 October 2007

Short-Sleeved Business Shirts and Ties, All the Fashion in Iran

Engineers are funny folk. I think I like jokes about engineers more than lawyer jokes. A friend of mine - an engineer - tells me a joke. You've probably heard it.

An engineer is walking across a park. A beautiful woman is riding her bike across the park and sees him. She stops in front of him, strips off her clothes and says "take what you want." The engineer picks up the bike and rides off.

Later he tells the story to his engineering friends. At the end one of them says "good thinking - the bike is far more valuable than the clothes."

Shut up, I like it.

When I was working for the WA govt I was telling the same friend about some traffic engineers I have to deal with in the public sector. He shuddered - a similar shudder to when I refer to my dentist as "Doctor Brown" in front of my doctor mates. After a couple of moments' careful thought he said to me deliberately: "a public sector traffic engineer would be the very definition of the worst of the engineering crop from any given university - that pretty much ticks all the boxes for uselessness."

Putting aside that I ticked at least one of the boxes as I worked in the public service, I've thought about that comment regularly since then (I work with traffic engineers wherever I go as a planner).

Imagine my shock then when I find out that the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, was a traffic engineer. He's got a PhD in it to boot (his very existence can make the engineers and doctors shudder at the same time - kudos!).

Bearing this in mind, some of his comments make a lot of sense. For example "there are no gays in Iran" - he later added "because I don't know of any". Coz that closet they come out of is see -through you see...

And he wears his "characteristic grey suit" in public. Of course he does - and he has a short-sleeved business shirt, and a tie, underneath (always a good look).

And to top it off, he says he has "no time for economists" - he gets his economic information "from his butcher." Brilliant. This man is building a nuclear reactor - and/or a nuclear weapon.

But more than anything else, this probably illustrates why his country treats women so very badly. I wonder how many of them are lying naked in a park, while the men steal their bikes and ride home. Poor girls.

Oh yeah, and he blogs.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Tis the Season

What is it about September? After seeing only a few people rock up from out of town in the previous 12 months, in September a whole heap of people have turned up in London in their travels. Yes, there is the Rugby World Cup, but not all the people I've caught up with are here for the rugby.

After a bit of thought, I think I have it. It's the weather. If you come in winter it's unbearable, and not worth it (you're missing the southern summer also). Worse, if you come in summer and it's miserable, you feel genuinely let down. Some of that famous English pessimism infects you (it's the closest thing they have to a traveller's disease here, and you can't get a jab against it).

No, the main reason people travelled here in September is because there is still a chance of reasonable weather, but if it's rotten you can just shrug your shoulders and say "oh well, I must have missed summer."

Either way, I've welcomed a heap of people from Perth here in the last few weeks: Mellor, Millsy, Kareena, Benny Crawford, Nolesy, Burgo, Jethro Allen - oh yeah, and mum and dad. It's been great having them here!

And Vicky will be here next week. She's always been a bit tardy.

Pics from the monstrous bender last week are here also.