The greatest thing living in the present has given me is a phone that stalks me. This was nothing that I had ever asked for or wanted, but I have it now and I am making the most of it.
Specifically, my phone analyzes my search history and tries to guess what I would be interested in reading, and through this mechanism the phone populates a list of news story with shit I don’t really care about. The fucking thing is surprisingly inaccurate. It seems to have mistaken my natural curiosity for everything and transformed it into a passion for everything. The dumb fucking thing seems to think that I am the only alt-right member of antifa.
So this is my roundabout way of saying that I am not too worried that the bots are going to take over.
But every now and again the phone does give me a little pearly of wisdom, one of which I have stolen for the title of this post. It came from some shitty news story about dieting, and how hard it is to maintain your diet when you are at a work environment. I am barely employed and this still applies to me.
I started my diet at some point close to the beginning of 2018, and I managed to do fairly well. But my god, were there some difficult days. I was not only working as a teacher at my school, but also doing some administrative work at the office. ‘Administrative work’ + ‘Office’ = some random asshole turning up with donuts every now and again. I developed an ability to say no to that.
But it wasn’t easy to say no to everything else.
I know I complain, but the truth is that many of my students are actually super nice and super cool. For instance, Mohammad, a middle aged Saudi man who uprooted his whole life to bring his family to America because one of his sons is autistic and there is pretty much nothing that can be done about it autism in Saudi Arabia, brought my a box of dates which he swore were the best dates on the face of the earth. He wasn’t wrong, but the dates were so incredibly that merely being within a hundred feet of one can kill a diabetic instantly, and were one to be dropped into the water supply Trump would instantly tweet again about travel bans. They’ve been in my fridge for months, and I have been eating them at a rate of one a week (because I am on a fucking diet!).
And then there was Paula. Paula is why we close an eye to some things. A 19 year old Venezuelan, Paula moved to the US by herself (meaning her family is still back there while Maduro wrecks her country). She works full time at a Mexican restaurant to maintain herself, and thus couldn’t often manage to come to class. I annoyed her about her attendance, but would often just chat with her. I gathered that she was feeling rather lonely, and I tried to introduce her to other Venezuelans. In one of our conversations I mentioned that I like pretty much all food ever, but that (as if it wasn’t obvious from the gut) I had a soft spot for sweets. With no provocation, she started coming two hours late to a four hour class, but bringing with her some of the best god damned Tres Leches I ever fucking had. Sometimes it was the best god damned flan I ever had. It started to dawn on me that she may have had a little crush on me (no, you assholes, I didn’t and I wouldn’t. She was 19, lost and confused. I have fucking morals ‘n shit)
Or it might have just been bribery. It’s up in the air.
And speaking of bribery, when I was doing my odious night class that I never wish to speak of again, I had a young Saudi girl attending my class. When she could; she was a bit of a spoiled princess and only turned up when she wanted and did the amount of work she wanted. She most have also been pretty liberal because she was the only Saudi student I ever saw wearing fucking Yoga pants (as an aside, I saw her for the first time much earlier in the year when I was doing much more administrative work, she was at the time maybe 20 lbs heavier in a good way. She ruined it with a diet. Whenever she walked into the office, however, the flesh of everyone present turned to goosebumps, and I was given knowing looks from everyone around that said I’d rather you fuck my mother in law with my wife watching than you get involved with THAT one. She was wildly considered bat shit insane, and I have it on good authority that it is justified). On the very last day of the session the students came in just for an exam, and after everyone else had left she approached me with a Tupperware container and told me that she had made us dinner of Saffron rice.
She ended up leaving abruptly (cold feet I guess. I was relieved – see note in the paragraph above), and left me with the bribe come dinner.
Bribery rice is fucking amazing. Aside from large chunks of perfectly cooked beef, while eating it I found more saffron than I could likely afford on my salary.
With Phana, I really went looking for it. Phana is the fucking American Dream, so much so that when Oprah Winfrey hears of her existence she will immediately commission a move to be made of her life’s story. She moved her from Thailand, got a job, worked hard, saved money to send to her parents and enough to open up a business, then married a man so utterly American he bleeds Ford F-150’s and is now waiting for her Greencard. My only grudge with Phana is that she is so god damned friendly and amicable that she constantly found compromises in the debate and discussion class I tried to hold. But in my conversations with Phana I mentioned that I liked spicy food. Lo, a couple of days later she comes in with a plate of food, challenging me to eat it. I did – it wasn’t spicy enough. Not too long after that, she brought in food for some of the other Thai students. One of them didn’t show up, and I got there portion of food, which was a sort of Fried rice thing that contained five different kinds of meat – chicken, century eggs, shrimp, steamed patties of pork innards and pork meat. It was amazing. It was also enough for three meals, but I downed it in one go.
Fuck you diet.
And lastly, the piece that almost broke me. Talking with Phana, I mentioned that I also liked Durian. So she brought me the Durian candy pictured above. I almost bit into that fucking thing when, on a whim, i looked at the calorie count. 1700 in one candy bar!
I’m still waiting to eat it.