I am back in Edmonton after an arduous flight. Fourteen and a half hours from Riyadh to Montreal. It was not has bad as it sounds; Qatar Air Business Class was comfortable, efficient and down-right hospitable. However, alas and alack, there was Montreal and Air Canada – a study in contrasts from the ease of the Middle East.. The Trudeau Montreal Airport now resembles the Toronto Pearson Debacle. Utter confusion, inadequate management, no systems, miserable staff and people. The opposite of the Middle East. The plane bound for Edmonton left late, therefore, arrived late. The man sitting next to me, from New York, briefly spoke.
Me: What is going on? Why this delay in taking off?
He: It is always this way after Covid.
Me: No it is not, not in the Middle East. Everything is on time, efficient and very enjoyable.
He: (shrugged, clearly did not want to hear this). He was coming to Edmonton to do business. Found him to be most insular, most self satisfied, rather rude and unpleasant. Had the following conversation with myself.
Me: He is a typical New Yorker.
Alter Ego: That is a stereotype.
Me: Stereotypes can be true. Sometimes, not always. They can be helpful.
Alter Ego: In what way?
Me: Saves time and energy. In this instance I did not expend any energy attempting to indulge in conversation with him. He was very busy, talking to his children in a patronizing manner, playing with his devices (two phones and a computer), in the end watching an extremely violent movie. I have no idea what his business was – monkey business, I suppose.
Monkey business is mischievous or deceitful behavior. Some apt synonyms are: rascality, tomfoolery; dishonesty, trickery, misconduct, misdemeanor, chicanery, skulduggery; shenanigans, hanky-panky, goings-on, jiggery-pokery, monkeyshines.
My personal favorite? Jiggery-pokery.
Despite this exhausting journey I caught my breath and hit the ground running – employing two more idioms for your use and enjoyment.
Synonyms of catch one’s breath are : Breathe, ease off, mellow out, recuperate.
Hit the ground running is a metaphor; Seize an opportunity; begin at full speed. It is the cliche that landed on its feet and then took off like a bat out of hell.This is the metaphor of the early days of the Reagan Administration, which hits the ground on Jan. 20, 1981 but has been running for some time. William Safire wrote of the origins of the cliche. Two speculative opinions are included:
1. Paratrooper lingo. One former paratrooper recalls this as the instruction given by the jumpmaster before the troopers reach the drop zone; another former paratrooper called to say the first guy didn’t know what he was talking about.
2. Airborne assault-unit terminology. A small helicopter sweeps down and hovers a few feet off the ground; its passengers disembark hurriedly, keeping in motion to avoid enemy fire. This theory is shared by Anthony Dolan, the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter on the Reagan speechwriting staff whose legs are churning in the transition air.
Enough of that and onto good news. CCC (Compassionate Confident Chauffer) met the delayed flight, tracking its lack of progress. He suggested stopping on the way for supplies: milk (for coffee) and bread. We made plans for the next day – which came off without a hitch.
Without a hitch is an expression meaning without any problem; with perfect execution.People use this expression to describe an endeavor that was successful and had no issues.
Discovered that I had planned ahead, made an appointment for a mani and a pedi at Khrone Nails for a mani and a pedi. They were most needed – photos of my hands and feet might follow. Then is was off to Save-On Groceries on 109 Street. That grocery store is a model of efficiency, cleanliness and order. I offered my congratulations at the check-out counter.
Me: I love this grocery store, One would think they were in Saudi Arabia when shopping here.
Cashier: Why do you say that.
Me: Because everything is orderly, clean, efficient. Everything works. You have great cloth bags that meets the rules, your produce is fresh and varied, so much variety, very good prices, courteous staff, absolute cleanliness. Thank you for establishing this grocery store for me (Hahaha).
I usually have my groceries delivered from Save-on but we were out and about, it seemed a good idea. Stocked up on my favorite non-alcoholic beer. Life is good.
A huge pile of mail greeted me. Although MAN had promised to take care of the mail, he had not performed. Man Awesome Manager became Man Awful Manager in my eyes. There are other problems to be resolved, but have not been addressed at this moment. It is best to calm down – not to express anger, be patient. It is one of the tenants of the Islamic Faith and I have found it to be extremely helpful in the management of myself and others.
Many magazine editions of The New Yorker greeted me. Some cartoons will be included, but also some interesting commentary were found. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is ranked as the first podcast candidate for the American Presidency. F.D.R. was the radio President, J.F.K, was the TV President, Trump was the Twitter President.
He: “I do have a chance with podcasts , because I’m able to outrun the censorship juggernaut” Kennedy, an environmental lawyer is an anti-vaxxer for decades. When asked what is at stake in his campaign, he responded. “ Everybody realizes they’re not living in d democracy anymore. They’ve lost sovereignty of their lives, and their futures, as a result they are hopeless. I think it all flows from a cynicism and despair that flows from this corrupt merger of state-corporate power.” He has interesting (to say the least) campaign issues; why America is to blame for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the real story behind his uncle’s assignation (C.I.A., in collusion with the Mob), and the possible connection between SSRIs and mass-shootings. Apparently,one recent Presidential poll shows that he is the choice of almost a quarter of Democrats, making him Biden’s main challenger in the Party.
USA politics is getting interesting but not Canadian politics. Trudeau and his wife are splitting after an eighteen year marriage that produced three children. No reasons are given, guess we shall see. I somehow cannot imagine the once black-faced guy having an affair – but one never knows?
My sleeping patterns are simply bizarre. Today many tasks are scheduled:
- To the dry cleaners to have one abaya hemmed, snaps on another repaired. The black abaya a gift, More details to follow.
- Lunch at CCC’s favorite Indian lunch buffet.
- To the Apple Store to purchase another phone. I have a Saudi SIM card – far better features, far less expensive then any US or Canadian plan. Canadians plan are atrociously expensive, poorly managed with limited coverage.
- To the bank to get a new banker. The previous one, replacing my wonderful Shelby, proved disappointing.
Photographs will include cartoons from The New Yorker plus one showing an addition to the wall in my prayer room. The wall does not face Mecca, but it is of Saudi Arabia, as you shall see. The parcel on the table was a gift received on the night of my departure from Riyadh. You shall hear more of this in an upcoming blog. Bye for now.