So, life on the rigs never stops with the amusement! This series, 'Crazy Rig Conversations', chronicles a few of the G to PG rated things that get said on a rig in an everyday context that make me internally chuckle in disbelief and misguided mirth. Enjoy...
NB: Generally, each person is referred to as ‘old mate’, or OM for short. ’Old Mate’ is Australian for ‘that random dude’, or someone whose name you have forgotten.
OM: Oh it's good you're back on shift. The other guy was too hard to understand, I could never get what he was sayin' over the radio.
Me: Oh, was he talking too fast? Sometimes he talks too fast...
OM: Oh nah, he just talks too Asian. It's like COPYYY, and he's like *puts on an unidentifiable ethnic accent* "wha?! wha?!*
During a long winded, mostly joking argument with a roughneck about women are in general, he comes back with this:
OM1: Listen Yassmin, men were created first. Women? They were an afterthought, and only made for company.
In hindsight, I should have said something like "Oh yea? We were just version 2.0, the latest edition...but at the time I was too busy scoffing.
I asked someone how they got to their position, as I usually do. Had they been on the rigs for long, etc.
OM2: Oh yeah, I've been around for a while. But you know, I just kinda slept my way to the top. Even from school, that's how I got my grades you know, and I mean I was Captain of the Rugby team and ripped and all that, so it was no wonder with all those young teachers and that... yeah. Just kept doing it, and it worked for me ya know?
Well, that was one bit of career advice I was not going to take...
OM3 is the Aussiest bloke around. He starts off this conversation very clearly telling me about how he doesn't really subscribe to any type of religion. I braced myself, and got my comedy-wit boots on!
OM3: So, like, do you hang around only African people living in, like, your own world that has nothing to do with the rest of society?
Me: No, well that's not how I see it, and most of my friends are from everywhere because I went to a Christian [ecumenical] high school...
OM3: Oh okay, so you don't get together and do like, bomb throwing practice or anything?
Me: Oh... nah not really...
OM3 starts laughing.
Me: ...but of course, if that was something you were interested in.. ;) [I start laughing, he sort of stops.]
[and now I am worried I have jokingly written this on the internet, I am so going to be tracked by some sort of law enforcement]
At the end of the conversation, which was surprisingly quite detailed and extensive about what we Muslims do, where I pray and what I eat etc, OM3 starts to leave. He stands at the door and turns around, cheekily.
OM3: Now I'm gonna tell all my mates I spent time hanging round a Mozzie! Doing crazy practice throws!
If you haven't seen it yet, check out my interview on the ABC with The World - it was quite exciting and an honour to be on the show!
My regular collection of internet links and tidbits for your enjoyment…! Leave any recommendations or thoughts in the comments box below =) Today we have 12 year old app developers, a little about Asian/Australian politics, why the password is defunct and much more!
The video below is a short, moving film dedicated to the children in Syria.
Forbes’ List of 30 under 30. Inspiring stuff! Makes you feel like you have underutilised your life perhaps…or just inspires you to do more – better late than never! =)
On another note, An All American Nightmare: Remember Guantanamo Bay? Yes. Torture as part of national policy isn’t acceptable, for any country.
At what passes for trials at our prison camp in Guantanamo, Cuba, disclosure of the details of torture is forbidden, effectively preventing anyone from learning anything about what the CIA did with its victims. We are encouraged to do what’s best for America and, as Barack Obama put it, “look forward, not backward,” with the same zeal as, after 9/11, we were encouraged to save America by going shopping.
Bradley Manning, by the way, the lad allegedly responsible for taking the Wikileaks files, is being held “like an animal”. He could spend the rest of his life in prison if charged. Isn’t it interesting he isn’t awarded similar recognition along with Julian Assange?
More after the jump…
Overeating is now a bigger problem than malnutrition, according to “the most comprehensive disease report ever produced”. So that diet you were going on is actually helping combat a global disease, nice! The story has some other (good) news though on how we have dealt with disease more generally.
20 most influential women (in Australia) of 2012. Great to see a Muslim lady up in there!
Malala, runner up Time Person of the Year. A young girl who is truly the epitome of bravery.
A thought provoking article on the ‘anxious’ language Australia has used over the last 100 years in terms of its relationship with Asia
The Conversation calls for scientists to use the trust placed in them by the public to talk about and push the agenda of “future energy solutions” as people haven’t made their minds yet…but soon do so.
This is a 12 year old kid who is an app developer…awesome. Also, he is exceptionally confident at speaking in front of a large group of people – I know at his age, I didn’t use hand gestures nearly as well… (oh and my hands and knees shook like mad. Eyebrows were all over the place as well…)
In a 2009 speech in Mexico, Xi Jinping said that "some foreigners with full bellies and nothing better to do engage in finger-pointing at us." He then added, "First, China does not export revolution; second, it does not export famine and poverty; and third, it does not mess around with you. So what else is there to say?"
This is fabulous reading: Kill the Password: Why a String of Characters Can’t Protect Us Anymore
You have a secret that can ruin your life.
It’s not a well-kept secret, either. Just a simple string of characters—maybe six of them if you’re careless, 16 if you’re cautious—that can reveal everything about you.
Your email. Your bank account. Your address and credit card number. Photos of your kids or, worse, of yourself, naked. The precise location where you’re sitting right now as you read these words. Since the dawn of the information age, we’ve bought into the idea that a password, so long as it’s elaborate enough, is an adequate means of protecting all this precious data. But in 2012 that’s a fallacy, a fantasy, an outdated sales pitch. And anyone who still mouths it is a sucker—or someone who takesyou for one.
No matter how complex, no matter how unique, your passwords can no longer protect you.
Pimp my aid: A tongue in cheek site on international aid.
Don’t want to research when you buy products? TheWirecutter.com just gives you the single best product (in their opinion) of everything techy. Kinda awesome.
Jobs are hard to come by in this day and age. Here are perhaps some ways you can use the awesome tool LinkedIn to network and help out (if you are looking for ideas…LinkedIn is a great tool. Seriously)
Freedom in the digital world? Questions Seth Godin wishes we were asking…
Should everyone, even the presumed innocent, be required to put their DNA in a databank so that violent criminals are much more likely to be found? If not, who should have their data shared? How many innocent people behind bars could we free (and guilty parties could we catch?)
Well this post has been a long time coming. Having been fortunate enough Alhamdulilah to have spent the last few months travelling, I have come to realise that although I am born in Sudan, my cultural norms and expectations and behaviours are in fact, largely Australian. Even though my parents brought me up speaking Arabic and sticking largely to Sudanese/Arab norms, having spent some time in Sudan now, there are still a few cultural differences that have, well, shocked me (just a tad ya' know...).
It truly does reinforce the fact that visiting a country and living in a country are completely different things.
That being said though, now having traveled briefly through Asia, there are also a few things that were unexpectedly different and caught me by surprise. I do love the realisation that others truly do things differently so here are a few things that caught my attention...In this first part of the series I will talk mostly about the more superficial cultural differences I experienced in Asia (superficial only because I was a visitor here and haven't immersed myself in the culture enough to know more), and will continue tomorrow with those I have found in Sudan.
1. Difference in concepts of "Personal Space"
While travelling in Malaysia and Singapore, and even in Sudan, I noticed that there was quite a different concept of the "personal bubble". Perhaps because in Australia I am used to such large spaces with such few people: strangers rarely come too close (unless you hop on a full bus or train) and if they bump into you, people usually apologise. That same concept doesn't seem to exist everywhere else -- at first when someone bumped into me or stood really close and didn't apologise I felt quite affronted, until I realised that was perhaps the norm...
2. Shop keepers "waiting and watching"
This only happened in Malaysia but it become something that really did frustrate me. I would enter a shop, greet the shop keeper and begin browsing... only to find the shop keeper standing half a meter away, looking at me expectantly. I would smile, move away...and she would follow me! Again, this relates to the personal space thing, but I felt quite strangely uncomfortable with someone essentially watching over my shoulder. It was a strange feeling, almost as if I was concerned about the lady judging my choices or trying to hurry me up... Either way, quite often I would either say to the person (more than once) "I'm ok, I can deal with it from here..." or "I will let you know when I am done..." and if they insisted on just standing there or following me, I thanked them and left the shop. It really did make my retail therapy a little...strange.
3. Difference in height and size in general
Now, I don't think I am an extremely tall or large person per se, I just have ahem "presence" (and as my grandmother likes to say, "large bones"). What this means though is that in places such as Singapore and Malaysia, not only does nothing fit (the largest shoe size in all the shops is two sizes smaller than mine...) but the beds in the hotels are too short! I honestly laughed when I lay on the bed and found my feet hanging off the end...
4. Different sense of humour
I think this applies to all the places I have traveled... the dry, ironic humour that I am used to (witty repartee as I like to think, haha) doesn't seem to translate as well, either in the South East Asian nations or in Sudan. I am usually met with confounded looks or a picture of slight offense. My days of being the joker..well, are quite over.
Oh. Perhaps everyone in Australia just laughed at my jokes to be polite? One will never know...
Suffice to say, I loved it (the extra few kilos on my torso that I left Malaysia with will attest to that). However the idea of rice, noodles and curries (?) for breakfast, lunch and dinner was a little strange at first. Lucky my stomach isn't too fussy!
So these are some of the more day to day (superficial la) differences that I found interesting and unexpected. Living in Sudan though, some of the cultural differences are a little more difficult to deal with and do hit more close to home..