Mesmerizing

Targui = singular

Touareg = plural

Also called “Kel Tamashek” (something like “those who speak Tamashek”).

How do I know this? For a long time, I had a bunch of books, some quite old, in storage in the US that I once bought in Amsterdam. I also borrowed some for a while. About (mostly) northern Africa.

How come? A long time ago, when I was working at a large hotel in Amsterdam, a guy checked in who was living in the US – I think he had a travel agency there, in Virginia – and he completed part of his check-in card in French, as he had been born in Oran.

I realized that I knew nothing about the country he must have grown up in and went to the library, started reading. I soon went south and this is how I ran into the Touareg and their rich culture. Music, poetry, dance, lifestyle. I found them very inspiring.

I crossed into the Sahel too, into Mali for example, but I stopped there (until I later got into apartheid a little bit).

I seem to remember that the white dress is worn by royalty or only on special occasions and that the royal blue is the more commonly worn color. The Touareg cover their faces out of respect for you, if I recall correctly.

So at first, the title “The Voice of Tamashek Women” looked like it had been translated incorrectly, but during the interview, Eyadou Ag Leche talks about “the Tamashek style” so it apparently is more complicated than merely “language”. More like “culture”? Kel Tamashek then becomes something like “those who speak the language of that culture”, maybe.

Reading up on Africa in the early ’80s made me aware how much we of the west messed up there. The way I see it, we caused many of the drought (food) problems there because we didn’t think people in Africa knew how their own land worked and we started drawing lines and called them borders and told people to stay put instead of move around like they had always done.

I also had Geoffrey Moorhouse’s “The fearful void”.

“I’m in a complete solitude, where thoughts frighten me, and lost in their midst I arose and noticed that I was thirsty and wanted water.”

Wonderful that I now get to hear what the books I read sounded like, so to speak.

When you’re looking for an old André van Duin or John McEnroe sketch and can’t find it…

… and somehow end up with this? And are reminded of Candy Dulfer.

I was looking for something positive as I am surrounded by so much negativity these days, and from so many different groups of local people (almost none of who actually know me even a little bit, I should add).

About trust

“If you don’t trust people, you make them untrustworthy.”

Lao Tzu in the Tao Te Ching

Trusting people does not necessarily mean that you are naive, though some people may believe that people who trust others are naive.

If you go through life behaving as if you assume that all or most people are good, you effectively appeal to the good in people.

In principle, such a “naive” attitude probably allows you to be the best you can be independently of who other people are.

It is a much easier and nicer way to live than to go around expecting everyone to be bad people or intending to outsmart you.

From “When Cultures Collide” (Leading Across Cultures) by (Briton) Richard D. Lewis:

Pinkney C Froneberger III who passed away much too soon recommended this book to me, the first time we met, which was at a workshop about cultural differences in Utrecht, the Netherlands in May 2004.

We discovered that we were both members of the Amsterdam American Business Club. We were business partners for a while, but we also spent part of US election night 2004 in Amsterdam, at the Amsterdam American Book Center’s Tree House.

A month later, I moved to Britain, and so much changed for me. In 2010, when I was living in Nightingale Road in Southsea, I still had a long phone conversation with him. (I didn’t tell him why I couldn’t fly over to visit him. I should have because I think he felt let down by me.) It was probably the last time we spoke.

 

 

Sold!

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaval

 

How did I run into this? Well, the other day, I searched for my name on Amazon, on a mobile, and among other things, a new CD by Souren Baronian turned up. I’d seen the name before, but had not realized that Souren Baronian is a musician. The CD was described as jazz. I took note.

Days later, I searched for it again, listened to fragments of the tracks on the CD, went to YouTube, found a video of a session at the Michiko Studios, heard him play an instrument while the musicians were tuning – the full video is almost two hours, and I’ll watch it later – and I thought “Oh! I like that! What is it?”

So I searched for what he plays. Besides the clarinet and soprano saxophone, he plays duduk and kaval (and maybe more). Duduk it turned out not to be. Kaval it was. Did another search on Amazon and another one on YouTube and that is how I found this. Beautiful!

Okay, so Dosev is playing in room that adds some power to the sound in this video, but there is quite a bit more to it. (Haven’t finished watching the entire video yet as I am busy.)

I’d been looking for a longer and wooden flute or whistle (than penny whistle) for a while and figured I might have to try a shakuhachi but now I think that kaval is it. There seem to be many variants, and I suspect that I will want one or two Bulgarian kavals, instruments like the ones shown in the first bit of this video.

Anyway, something for my wish list and to look into later!

Why Portsmouth should diminish traffic

I wrote an article about it on LinkedIn. If you’re interested, you can find it, and you don’t need me to post the link here. Southampton can’t do anything as drastic as this. Bournemouth can’t. Chichester can’t. London can’t. But Portsmouth can.

And Portsmouth can turn this into a giant plus and use it to boost the economy, but it won’t. Because it is drowning in crap such as bullying and corruption, also at city council level, and likes seeing itself as the powerless whining underdog a little bit too much. There is very little true vision left in this town, where too much of the focus is on traditional capitalism and on the past. The industries of the past are GONE, folks. Quit waffling about that and move forward.

Here are a few links to supporting studies:

All I hear is stupid excuses.

  • The impact of cars on our space

    No space for trams. Sure there is!

  • The people with more than 2 cars will protest and shout very loudly. Wear ear plugs! (What about the 80 or 90% or 95% of the rest of your population? 70% have no car or only 1 car. Many of Portsmouth’s inhabitants hardly ever get out of Portsmouth.)
  • Shop owners will complain. Show them that most of their customers are actually coming from within a small radius and give them decent business support! Most are probably delusional in thinking that their customers come from miles away and may blame traffic measures for their own failures (a certain pet supplies shop owner comes to mind).
  • A certain lawyer will whine. Tell her to shut up. She doesn’t know what she is talking about. (If she makes you feel stupid and ignorant, that’s because she is talking complete rubbish!)

Continue reading

Takes herself to night school to understand the law

 

Why did they all lay down? To sleeheep?

 

 

The other America
You can find her Sunday
Sitting by a stream
On her own
All alone
The other America
Might show up on Tuesday
At your kitchen door
She will ask politely
“Is anybody home?
Or did they all lay down
To sleep through the now?
And if they all lay down
I’ll be waiting for them
At the river bed
Once they wake from their rest”
The other America
Takes herself to night school
To understand the law
She may bring you questions
When she finds the flaw
“Why did they all lay down
To sleep through the now?
And if they all lay down
I’ll be waiting for them
At the river bed
Once they wake from their rest”
We could be opening a doorway
Globally but that’s okay
Once upon a time you had faith
You would not be swayed
By fools untouched by clairvoyance
And you swore that we’d be brave
Well, not today
No, not today
Because we all lay down
To sleep through the now
And if we all lay down
She’ll be waiting for us
Where the rivers cross
Once we wake from our rest
“All the best,” the Other America

 

Where is the other Britain?

RISE!