Saturday, November 16, 2013


As you can imagine, at first this post was going to be about backpacks.  Big ones, small ones, blue ones, ones with a pot roast in them, backpacks accessorized with the most beautiful golden hair loosely done up and shining in the late afternoon sun like one of those Rembrandt paintings that illustrate the opulence and glory of a moment with foreshadowing in the long shadowing that clearly indicates she will be married to a rich old merchant with a bulbous nose but will get some awesome spices out of the deal that urges the viewer to hold onto the syrupy stillness.  Before it gets dark and cold for five months.  There's a lot to say about backpacks.

But then I got talking with this woman, she was waiting for a ride and couldn't get away who is on the nursing faculty at St. Kates,  and realized this post should not be about backpacks but rather about...

forearms!  See that fantastic Zena bullet and bad juju deflecting shield?  That's Libyan silver.  Now don't embarrass yourself by admitting you thought that was some different kind of silver like vegan or sterling, but better.  It's from an old-school mall in Libya.  Of Muammar Gaddafi death-to-Americans fame.  That Libya.  It gets better -- she was there with her mum,  just the two of them,  having a little holiday.  In Tunisia and Libya.  Most people take their mum to Old Country Buffet.  This woman and her mum have gone all over the world,  apparently taking advantage of the Civil War and Military Strongman specials airlines are always offering.  Are you, like me, getting an image of her mum driving a hard bargain in the medina with the help of a bullwhip ala Harrison Ford?  Dammit, no means no, and I don't drink tea!  Anyway, that was a long time ago, before 9-11, but she recounted that a Libyan guy came up to her and her mother and asked where they were from.  Naively they admitted to the stars and stripes and their new friend put a damper on things by saying, "We will kill you all."  I asked if the two of them gathered up their I Came To Libya And All I Got Was This Death Threat t-shirts and took the next camel out of town and she laughed and said no, but for the rest of the trip, they were Canadians.  No one hates Canadians.
The wonderful ring is from another mother-daughter outing to Finland, undoubtedly from when her mum won that fermented reindeer milk drinking contest.

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