Thursday, September 29, 2005

The person sitting next to me is doing some internet webcam chat on a laptop. Chewing gum in place. Earphones on. Facial expression of intense pleasure. Constant silent giggling. Wireless is bliss.

I'm at college, 4th floor computer room. Managed to lose my wallet today so i don't have my special magnetic card which gives access to the postgraduate study room, and I have to sit with the undergrad plebs.
Very ungainly mood this evening
Humanity? Just say no

There's a lot of new academic year axcitment in the air, lots of disorientated new student moving in circles of orienataion tours. i'm starting to realize i'm not enjoying this so much

having a highly ambivalent and troubled relatioship with academia is a trope, a topos, a clicheic state of affairs, which i guess 90 percent of postgrad research students share. Acadmeia is a strange world indeed so no surprise there. Only in conferences or seminars i realize how alien I feel there.
So, what is your research about?
Hmmm... very interseting.
And what about you?
Have you looked at the writing of ...? I think she's very relevant
I'll write down the reference for you.
and so forth

What i want to ask people in those circumstances is how
how do you survive in london
what do you live on
what sense does it all make to you

Monday, September 26, 2005


Clinical Lab Office
smoking, drinking and eating are prohibited.
Report All Incidents Immediately
We can only please one person per day. Today is not your day and tomorrow doesn't look good either
Violence directed at our staff will not be tolerated
Chemistry Samples - In here
Labratory coats must be worn
Knowledge is the key to your healthcare
Fire Exit
INR tests should be sent downstaris to NHS-U-3
24 hour urine collection

* * *
one room, and this is just some fragments, there was so much more

"Can I help you?"

I should have written my phd about the Whitechappel hospital

"it's the acid container, innit!?!"

how did this come about

"just bring it back the next morning".

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Ambiguous Visual Sign of the Week

A word of introduction. Over the last 30-40 years visual signs have become ubiqutous in modern cities all over the world, much like traffic signs. I think it took off from airports. The idea is that these signs are self-explanatory and therefore require no knowledge of local language, they are cross cultural etc. But lately i begun noticing how ambiguous and sometimes downright stupid these signs are. Over the next few weeks i'll give some examples.
* * *

What does this sign mean?

a. Do not put your hand in the hot tarmac
b. No admittence to unauthorized personnel
c. No gloves allowed on site
d. Abusive behaviour to our staff will not be tolerated

(correct answer is in the comment section)

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Your new patient nurse check

[on the radio: advertisement for an insurance company]

Stand here… Minus your shoes… 55 kg

Now here… do you know your height?

Please sit down, while I fill in the questionnaire

[on the wall: Lambeth Parenting – Strategies and counselling]

Country of birth?

Senegal… Sierra Leon… Palestine… where is it now

[on the radio: Beethoven’s moonlight Sonata]

Here we are, Israel

Mother tongue?

[on the wall: I think I’m pregnant]

Can you read and write in Hebrew?

Have you ever smoked?

[Moonlight Sonata, music getting stronger]

So about three alcohol units per week,

What do you do?

[On the wall: option a: I want to become a parent]

How would you describe your diet?

lots of fruit, vegetables and fish?

Do you exercise?

[on the wall: I need help in becoming a parent]

Any cancer in the family?

Any relatives with heart problems? stroke?

[on the wall: a picture of a young girl wearing a black gown and a strange square shaped hat, holding a rolled paper]

Diabetes? any other illness?

is it like an allergy?

a liver disease... code j.

[on the wall: another photograph, of five women. Three of them are wearing traditional dress: one, as in the other photo, in traditional British academic dress, in black, and two in traditional African dress, with colourful patterns]

That’s all done now.

Have a good day dear

[Moonlight Sonata, fading out]

[on the wall: PRESS BUTTON TO EXIT]

Monday, September 19, 2005


in london

after a couple of weeks in the countryside

and some more time to get over the culture shock

just in time for my birthday in st james park

(it almost rained but then it didn't)

even the electronic sadhu showed up

and finally, some bourgeois domesticity..

a nice stable flat until the end of the year, in Bonniland