Letters To Maria... If Fools Could Fly, Parliament Would Be a Runway

Letters To Maria... If Fools Could Fly, Parliament Would Be a Runway

Tuesday 29 December 202002:53 pm
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من رسائلي إلى ماريا (2)... لو أن الحمقى يمكنهم الطيران لبات مجلس الشعب مطاراً

From this vast universe, in a faraway village called Al-Qadmus, and from inside an age-old hut,

Good evening my darling Maria,

Here we are; two men, a dog, and a damp pack of cigarettes.

The company I work for sent me to this village to check warehouse inventories, and to make sure no theft has taken place.

I do not know why such a routine procedure is required, since theft usually takes place before the merchandise reaches the warehouse in the first place. Also, theft is usually in the tampering of the quality and caliber of the goods and through falsifying prices on receipts. All of us in the company know this.

I don't even know why I am still working with them, considering that I have not received my salary in four months under the pretext of the economic crisis, as if the Wall Street Stock collapse depends on my twenty-dollar salary.

I arrived at nine in the morning, after a small battle just to get a quarter of a seat in the "Service" (a minibus that usually accommodates 13 passengers) heading to the village. And now, I can't find any transportation to return, so I'm stuck here. Most of the Sservice" drivers sell their subsidized fuel rations on the black market now and aren't even working.

There is one scheduled journey to the city, but it is not leaving until tomorrow, at seven am. We will be about 30 people, jam-packed like a savory Makdous jar. But it is better than the alternative of walking back 400 kilometers in the heat and cold, for even the climate in this country is temperamental.

One of the warehouse workers offered that I stay in his modest hut for the night, and of course, I accepted the offer.

A little bit earlier, I went to the market to get some food for my friend and I to eat, and what shocked me was that bananas are cheaper than tomatoes!

I don't know how this happened, Maria, but I think it's one of the achievements of our incredible economic crew.

We must be the first country in the world where the prices for essential goods are higher than that of luxury products.

Everything in this country is odd and strange; the public asks for one thing from one side, but officials answer them from another completely different side instead.

Yesterday I saw a member of the People's Assembly crying and yelling on the TV screen, “The price of a jug of olive oil now costs 20,000 pounds; how will the poor afford oil?”

20,000 pounds?! Its price exceeded 100,000 pounds nearly a year and a half ago!

I don't know where these people bring the IQ required to run for parliament.

But I swear to you that if fools could fly, the People's Assembly in the country would have been an airport, Maria.

I bought half a kilo of bananas and 200 grams of cheese. I tried to feed the dog some of the cheese, but he refused. His owner told me that dogs don't eat spoiled food. Thank God I'm not a dog, Maria

Anyway, I brought half a kilo of bananas and 200 grams of cheese. I tried to feed the dog some of the cheese, but he refused. I don't know why, but his owner told me that dogs don't eat spoiled food. Thank God I'm not a dog, Maria.

Food is rotten, water is not suitable for drinking, crops are irrigated by sewage and waste water, education is extremely rudimentary, and services are almost non-existent.

But at least this dog can bark, whereas I cannot.

The problem is that in this country, we are like the bottles of Pepsi that we throw "Mentos" in, just ready to fizz and explode and overflow. But when the government comes in and opens the cover, all of a sudden, I remember that I am a benign hibiscus instead.

It's raining outside right now, it is very cold, and there is no electricity or heating. The roads outside are completely flooded because, each and every year, without fail, municipality authorities are surprised by the arrival of rainfall in the winter. Though they can't really be blamed, for the mayor grew up in London where it rains in the summer.

Last month, I applied for a job at a new company. The HR employee asked me a question I consider to be one of the stupidest questions ever directed at me; “Where do you see yourself after five years?”

Dear ma'am, I work 16 hours a day, I hold two jobs - one full-time and another part-time - and yet I hardly eat.

You yourself ma'am, do not know what might happen to you tomorrow. You may die from illness or a traffic accident, especially since traffic lights have been out of order for eight years now. If your clothes get torn, I don’t know if you could afford to buy others! Here, we live day by day.

When you ask me where I see myself in five years, I don't know what you’re talking about! Perhaps in the grave, or in Germany, or a beggar by the side of the road.

Last month, I applied for a job at a new company. The HR employee asked me a question I consider to be one of the stupidest questions ever directed at me; “Where do you see yourself after five years?”… Dear ma'am… Here, we live each day by day

I'm just joking with you, Maria. Of course, I answered her with the usual, "I see myself in your place and I see you as the head of the company."

Oh Maria, the year is drawing to a close. It was a very painful year, during which I couldn't achieve anything that I could add to the collection of the lost years of my life.

Every day, my despair and hopelessness grows, for the future is unknown, and life is tasteless here.

We are the generation that will not say ‘I wish youth would come back someday’, for our youth was the fuel for wars.

We are the thorn trying to grow in a field of yellow flowers that smell bad.

Anyhow, enough pessimism. I want to sleep now so I can catch the morning bus to the city.

I will sleep on the floor of this hut, in hopes that this dog will take pity on me and snuggle with me to warm me a little.

I love you as much as the number of problems this country has, Maria, I love you to infinity and beyond.

Wait for me, please wait for me, and don't listen to what your grandmother says.

I love you as much as the number of problems this country has, Maria, I love you to infinity and beyond.

Wait for me, please wait for me, and don't listen to what your grandmother says.

Goodbye.

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