Hanging Out at the Mall

Sunday, January 22nd. Afternoon.

What do bustling middle eastern metropolises (metropoliti? metropoles?) have in common with sleepy english villages? To travel between them, you need a private car, and the patience to drive for hours at a time.

So, after two hours on the road, I got to (a) see the incredibly expensive Sherrington hotel, and (b) walk around the nearby incredibly expensive shopping mall. Which is exactly like every other shopping mall in the world, in that it's rows of over-specialist shops set into a stark white background whith insipid muzak and weak perfume everywhere.

Oh, and (c) I met with two of Jamal's endless supply of cousins. One's an engineer, and the other...is a human rights lawyer, with an extensive collection of evidenced atrocities committed by the Assad regime. Which is probably why his family were kidnapped and imprisoned. Though probably not the reason why a missile struck a meter in front of his car, nearly killing him.

He wanted to know the best way to get accepted into the UK. I said economic refugees get the lowest preference, with political ones slightly higher. But if you don't want to be an illegal migrant doing all the horrible jobs while being invisible and defenceless, universities love high paying foreign students, especially in highly skilled areas that natives don't do so well in.

The same in America of course, but more so.

It may be true that an expert is an ordinary person, far from home. But I'm not sure I'm ordinary enough to be an expert.
If spectacle is a by-product of industry, you can imply industry by creating spectacle.

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