Friday, May 28, 2010

The England Vs. America Debate

A cartoon from 2004:

A lot of English teachers are complete blowhards who think they know everything. (I suspect they get into English teaching because the students have no choice but to listen to them.)

Those kind of long drunken cheap-bar-table arguments might be a thing of the past soon, however; with 3G and Iphones that easily connect to Internet, facts can be proven true or false very quickly and easily. (Drives my office mates crazy.)

Now that's one aspect of "the old days" I won't be sad to see fall by the wayside, I think. . .

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Better Living Through Chemistry

I have a bad cough and a bit of a temperature ever since a sandstorm last week. I suppose the two are related.

Things which you CAN'T get in a normal Saudi pharmacy: aspirin and analgesics, anti-septics, and any kind of cough syrup or mouthwash other than herbal kinds.

Things which you CAN buy in a normal Saudi pharmacy, without a prescription: antibiotics, Prozac and other psychiatric drugs, human growth hormone, and all of the erectile drugs -- Viagra, Cialis, etc.

Before you ask, yeah, I tried it.

Smiley face. LOL. Impersonation of Austin Powers saying, "Yeah, baby."

It was a couple of years ago, actually, I had a student who was a pharmaceutical representative and she gave me some Cialis.

It turned out to be, when I actually think about, a clear case of my underlying hostility to women.

Long story short, I was going out with one girl and then after we broke up briefly started going out with one of her friends. During this period we did not have sex, as she was waiting to break up with her OTHER "sex partner" first.

Then I got mugged one evening walking home completely drunk at 4.00am, and sent her a text message the next morning about it and received one in return saying "Sweetie, what's the difference between Arab an Arabic?" It seems she was busy texting some Egyptian tour guide she met on a recent holiday.

(These brutal stories from the savage days of 2005 can be seen in my old blog here.)

As was my wont in those days, I insulted her in the most piercing ways I could think of and then refused to speak with her again.

But then I saw her a couple years ago at a nightclub and I finally deigned to speak to her again. We hooked up that night but drunkenly fell asleep; she came over a couple days later and I took some Cialis and had sex with her for the better part of three hours. I received a text message the next day saying, "Last night was wonderful! I can't stop smiling!" Hey, account settled!

For me it was okay, but not the best night of my life or anything. It's about like walking on the treadmill at the gym at 4 miles per hour -- mildly taxing and stimulating but you know you can do it for a long damn time.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Typical Teacher Types Part 3: More Fun With Stereotypes

My usual disclaimer applies: these were drawn in 2003. If I have met you after this period, I was only insulting you with my telepathic visions, because we hadn't met yet. I'm kind of the Nostradamus of Assholes.

Seems like it's been a while since I saw a loving travelling couple of the type pictured; I met some people in Prague like that in 2000 but that was the last time.

These days the unhappily married man model seems to be a bit more prominent. (Although there has been the occasional example of guys enjoying their marriage to some small foreign woman they have very little in common with, I have to say that the odds are kind of against it, in my experience.)

Still plenty of crazy guys, but they are tolerated less than they used to be. We had a good one here shortly after I arrived; he would greet you cheerfully, ask you a question about something, then begin talking nonstop about something completely unrelated like the time he was arrested as a suspected terrorist in Thailand, all the while his face twitching like a Tourette's patient and his watery unfocused eyes darting around like a hammered steer. How he passed the phone interview nobody knew, but they got rid of him quickly. Perhaps he went off his meds in the interim.

It seems like the "language guys" that I see these days very quickly realize that teaching English and studying a foreign language just plain don't go together and give up quickly. A few stubborn ones remains, but a situation where you're working in English all day is unlikely to give you a good grasp of any language except English anytime soon. With very very few exceptions, if somebody wants to speak to you as a foreigner in their country, they want to speak English.

In fact, one of the Language Guys that was in Russia a few years ago started studying Polish with a Russian teacher, to get the Russian teacher to only speak Russian with him; even when he tried to study with Russian teachers they would speak to him almost entirely in English.

Obviously I was starting to reach a bit, because "The Money Grubber" and "Mr. Ambitious" are usually one in the same, and I forgot to mention their endless hours of teaching people individually in the hope that they'll end up in some rich guy's will or whatever.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Best of X: Typical Teacher Types, Part 2

Looking at them again, I'd say many of these probably qualify as subtypes rather than particular types. But nonetheless. These can be viewed in their original form HERE.

Remember, these were drawn in 2003 -- if you are a personal acquaintance of mine thinking that this is about you, it most certainly is not. Probably.

Of these, I've noticed that many of the political-minded ones aren't hippies anymore -- mostly what I see nowadays are conspiracy theorists who think the world is about to collapse at the hands of the Bildeberg Group or whatever. (far from me to say it isn't.)

And it seems like it's been a while since I've seen a businessman's wife doing this. I guess they wised up.

And of course everybody asks me: which one are you?

Well, of course, the answer is: I'm the blank one on the right.