Visit Oman

If you’ve lived in the Gulf, you’ll know what this is: the traditional headgear worn by Omaimg_0110ni men with their dishdash.

Oman is a welcome respite from the UAE which, surprisingly, most expats I’ve met in Dubai or Abu Dhabi have never visited.

And it’s a shame because its one of the best memories you can bring back from the Gulf. I’d hazard “authentic” but it’s a stupid, overused word.

For one thing, I’ve uniformly found Omanis to be extremely nice, helpful and engaging (Bahrainis are a close second). Most Emiratis are courteous, and extremely polite if you ever have to engage with them. But Omanis genuinely will go out of their way to be nice and helpful.

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Mantille à gauche

La droite outragée me fait un peu marrer là dessus. Une analyse autrement interessante: comment un usage aussi ancien perdure-t’il aujourd’hui ? Comment les us et coutumes religieux, paisiblement gentrifiés, se délitent-ils peu à peu, mais jamais complètement? Évidemment, cela rentre mal dans 140 caractères. Et puis surtout, ça forcerait à observer quelque chose qui fâche: le bordel ambiant de l’islam radical, du Burkini, de notre xénophobie, c’est quelque chose que nous avons vécu bien des fois. Un monde et des valeurs qui évoluent, des fous de dieux qui se réveillent: un minimum d’attention en cours d’histoire devrait donner les clefs.
Mais encore une fois: c’est tellement plus vendeur de foutre le bordel en 10 mots. Vous savez ce qui me fait vraiment peur? On est dans la phase “George Bush & Bill Clinton” de notre histoire politique: ça veut dire que notre Donald Trump à nous est dans notre futur. Oh fuck.

 http://m.huffpost.com/fr/entry/11635698#

Diana fun

A good thing about coming back to France is that I have relatively easier access to film processing, so I decided to finally put my Diana to the test.
Sure enough, as predicted by the guy at the photo shop, the results were iffy, at best. But I see a lot of potential here, so I’m going to try and go on having some fun.
The first batch was actually exposed last summer, but developped this week. I had trouble with the film advancement, and obviously the lady at the shop had trouble with the scanner, since she scanned everything with a 1/4 frame offset … This is all much more fun than instagram, anyway. I’ll get it right, eventually!

Limbo

I’ve been “home” now for a little over a week, and it feels a little like Limbo. There are some real challenges of daily life, of course. Like most expats, we’re in a catch 22 situation: the paperwork we need is contingent on providing the paperwork we don’t yet have, for which we’ll need the paperwork we’re seeking. I’m still fresh enough at this that I believe it’ll work out. We have savings, and a roof over our heads courtesy of my in-laws. The kids are in school and happy. What more do I need?

And that’s exactly how I’m enjoying this moment in life: I’m doing things I haven’t done in a while and I probably won’t get to do again for a while. I’m dropping off and picking up my kids every day at school. I’m learning to spend time with them without being too tired or too wound-up to enjoy it. I’m spending more time with my wife than I have in a long time – and we get to talk about the future and what we want to do with it. I’m actually thinking of setting out on my own, with all the implications about hard work, failure, risk – but also rewards and frankly, not being at the mercy of the psychopathic bosses I’ve had lately. 

This is a surreal moment in my life. A bit dangerously so, because it’s (too) confortable to imagine it will last forever. But I’m planning to enjoy it to the hilt. 

 

Atheist

I’ve been collecting snapshots of “things that surprise me” since I’m back in France, and this image remind me of something thats been on my mind for a while: please stop asking me to “respect your religion”, unless you’re willing to “respect my atheism”.

atheist

To be absolutely clear, I truly, really and absolutely don’t give a fuck what your religion is. I will respect you by default as a human being, and continue to do so as long as you’re not an asshole to me or people I care about. I will engage in philosophical or historical debates on the nature of faith and the teachings of your particular flavor, and probably enjoy it. I will even entertain discussions of how humans are (not) inherently religious, or how religion is the only way for us to have morals (hint: I disagree).

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