Sunday, February 17, 2008

Not as easy as it looks.

Some years ago Mine Host had the dubious pleasure of being at the epicentre of an international incident/event of international importance. Some readers may recall the outbreak of SARS in Canton in 2003, which became news when Hong Kong residents who had been in Guangzhou (Canton) for CNY returned ill to their home city.

At the time Mine Host just happened to be in the city of Guangzhou (as you do) to celebrate Chinese New Year. Some days prior to the lunar new year he came down with a severe case of the chills. After several days of not really wanting to get out of bed, Mine Host, when eventually vertical, was for more than Two weeks, not able to move the heel of one foot past the toes of the other.

Try this, difficult to do, never mind being so crook as being not able to do any better for more than a fortnight.

Upon return to Oz Mine Host consulted his GP, who ho-hummed his way through Mine Host's account of the outbreak.

Both GP & Mine Host alike were at this stage equally unaware of the degree of seriousness of the situation. However a couple of weeks later only the most determined recluse could have claimed lack of awareness of the outbreak of SARS.

This brought about an adjustment in the attitude of the GP toward Mine Host's illness (still of an acuteness which prevented the heel passing the toe when walking)

"Where did you say you were visiting to?"... "Oh my God... wait, I have a phone call to make"

Well not quite, GP is a Hindu, & does not use the phrase "Oh my God".

In the presence of Mine Host the GP made a phone call to "public health" describing the symptoms exhibited by Mine Host & the geographic location where these symptoms had been collected.

Four Months later (Yeap, you read correctly, FOUR MONTHS) the GP recieved a panicky return phone call, asking just where it was his patient had been? & .. er.. just exactly which symptoms was the patient exhibiting?

Had Mine Host been a "carrier" it is likely that in the interim he would have killed half the nation.

This event went a long way to formenting/cementing Mine Host's belief that no matter the gravity of the situation at hand, government staff are so mired in the treacle of bureacracy as to render ineffective even the most outrageous overpayment of tax dollars to any particular needy department.

All of which is peripheral to the issue at hand. Prior to becoming horrendously ill, Mine Host, in a whirlwind of appreciation of assorted regional mainland cuisines, was fortunate enough to have a waiter repeat the tea pouring so it could be photographed.

This post triggered by reference to a similar event by Lynette.

As the tea pourer in Mine Host's photo is in mainland China, he is not needing to adopt the fancy fu man chu type pose used by the pourers in Lynette's pix. Those who cross to Lynette's will also notice the difference in clobber.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Constable Clouseau Deduces.....

In the police station on business, Mine Host was encountering a hostile attitude from the Senior Constable on desk duty.
"Wayside Tavern, I know all about the drug dealing going on out the back of that place!" she snorted contemptously.
It was clear she held Mine Host to be accountable.

Knowing his own premises quite well, Mine Host was mystified at any suggestion of drug dealing.
For in those pre smoking-law times, people lurking outdoors of a pub was a rarity. Mine Host knew her accusation was rubbish. To have said such a thing made her seem stupid.

Mine Host politely gave forth his retort to the Senior Constable, verbalising his scorn for her statement, stating that any suggestion of drug dealing at his place was a laugh, and perhaps she had the wrong pub? (er...Her serious proposal of such a preposterous hypothesis may have driven Mine Host to answer more forcefully than this, perhaps accompanied by his head tilting to one side, bulging eyes and an ejaculation of total disbelief).

In anticipacion of a fact-based denial, she was ready with a most hostile riposte;
"I've heard stories!"

Mine Host politely enquired if "I've heard stories" was an investigative technique taught at the academy, or had she developed it herself?

Mine Host went on to speculate that quoting this technique would be a "real killer" when applying to a JP for a search warrant, and as a prosecution courtroom technique would likewise be of invaluable assitance to defence attorneys.

She conducted the remainder of Mine Host's business in the station in a perfunctory manner, with only the most essential use of speech.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

How many Bullocks could this country run?

Always a lover of the thematics of getting in amongst lots of tall softwood scrub, in the hope of getting this exact shot, Mine Host shadowed this truck for miles on the Kuantan-KL road.