Dream, heaven, friends and family

In Orwell’s Animal Farm, he talks about Sugarcandy Mountain– where “it was Sunday seven days a week, clover was in season all the year round, and lump sugar and linseed cake grew on the hedges.”  I can’t imagine what more an animal might want–and really, so what if they had to wait ’till they were dead?
I feel that many people live through looking forward to heaven. Virginia was just pointing out the fantastic line by Modest Mouse: “You wasted life, why wouldn’t you waste death?” along the same lines the other day. I suppose that is the whole purpose of the idea of heaven– so that we can trudge through life’s discombobulating events in hopes of linseed cake on the hedges someday. Even if it happens after what we know of life has gone, and at a time that we have no way of knowing exists!
I had a lovely dream this morning that got me thinking about all this: I was out on my friend Basant’s Gixxer (below) and it was early on a beautiful morning. I came a random guy parking his ’79-’80 Toyota Cressida coupe (they didn’t actually make any!) and I went over to talk to him. Turns out it was his boyfriend’s car and the boyfriend comes out so excited that someone was interested! So we talk about cars for a bit, I tell him my dad used to have one in Saudi, and then I go back home. Home was Virginia and my place, but not acutally like any place we’ve been– but our parents were over and Abbu had started a cd of some old Bangla music. I knew my friends from Maryland were over but Virginia or Jason or none of the rest of them would be up yet! Just as I was pulling up, Basant arrived on a different sportbike with another friend and asked if I wanted to go for a half hour ride. Rabab said something about having to go to a dawat, Raiyan said he wanted to go kick a ball around, and Abbu said to make sure not to be late;  I put my gear on, jumped on the gixxer and revved it a couple of times. That thing sounds brilliant with the pipes it’s got on it. Unfortunately, then I woke up!
While I would have liked to have had a motorcycle ride at least in my dream, it was really fantastic. It made me think about how much I love the people that I have in my life, and really all I need is some good weather to go with that.
This all made me think about how hard people work for their afterlife, often at the cost of ignoring this one. I think Sartre had it entirely right when he said “hell is other people,” but more importantly–and with a big thank you to all my people!– heaven is also other people.


Bicycle, Bicycle!

Requisite background music:

A few days ago, I rode a bicycle for the first time in about 10 years! It’s really weird going from being used to motorcycles to going onto a bicycle. Mostly, leaning into a turn seems to take forever! But in the absence of a motorcycle, it’s really a good way to go! There is also something wonderful about the lack of an engine sound (very odd for a petrolhead to admit!), but I’ve always been in favor of all different types of experiences!
One feels a good bit more dorky with the helmet and supplied yellow reflective vest, but there it is! Cool thing is, the military actually lets you just sign one out! The max. speed for vehicles on base is generally 20kmph, which means I can get anywhere with marginal effort exactly as fast as anyone else in a powered vehicle! So it’s encouraging that there is a month long waiting list to sign out bicycles, and I see a reasonable few around; that having been said, most people still prefer to take buses around, and the ones that have cars will still drive. I REALLY don’t understand why!

If you haven’t done it in a while, find a bike and ride it! It may just surprise you.

"Sleep Nice" pillow by Al-Baghli

This is a Kuwaiti made product.  Which is pretty exciting given that Kuwait is about this big and not a lot of things are made here.
But really, this is a victory for packaging, and the environment.  There’s not much in Kuwait that’s a victory for the environment either.   So this pillow is really quite special.
Have you noticed that pillows are sold and shipped fully fluffed?  I can only assume it is so that we can squish them and see if we’d like that particular fluffiness under our heads, but why so much wasted space shipping air?  Fluff!  Why not instead just have one display product and vacuum pack the rest?  Could it work? To answer that question I went down to the display section of a local shop.  Sure enough, I found the display pillow fluffiness adequate; I was actually even more intrigued by the coolness factor of the flat pillow!  There’s also the added joy of watching it come to life when I came home (below)!
Can this work regularly?  Just ask the guys at Al-Baghli!

A pillow begins its life.