We Shan’t be Bothered
First, I must make a small admission: I have no failings. And I most certainly do not have any pet hates. The faults of those around me should never reflect on my nearly perfect makeup.
Yes, you may now cry a single tear for Dean: how is it possible that I continue to keep my positive outlook when saddled with my two flawed, poor friends. I do try to help where I can: “Sergey, it’s not polite to drool in public.” But alas, this is my burden to bear and I shall not trouble you with it.
Now, for a short list of the flaws of those around me:
- I hate being late: I really do. By the way, I would define late as anything more than two or three minutes. Knowing that, you will not be surprised to learn that the semi-official slogan on Cyprus is Yavash Yavash, or slowly slowly. OMG!
- Bad breath: Really? What amazes my is that somebody would marry this clown. “Yeah baby, I want to get me a taste of that!” I brush my teeth or use mouthwash several times every day.
- Negative energy: I’m actually allergic to it. I don’t care to be around people who find their glass half-empty. <goes into his happy place at even the thought>
- Posers: That’s American slang for a person who pretends to be better than he is. And better than you. “Sergey, would you bring the Tata around? I’ll be ready to leave momentarily. After all, we shan’t be late.” They are out there… waiting to show off their fancy wine from a box. Beware my friend.
I suppose I could go on, and on, however that may be considered unseemly and we shan’t allow that.
Waste not, want not
I was brought up in the aftermath of WW2, when my Polish parents were struggling with the austere way of life. Food rationing was still in place when I was born, and although we never went without, not a drop of anything was ever wasted. For me, ‘twas ever thus’. To this very day, any form of wastage aggravates me more than Brexit and Trump combined. And it could be argued that my utter dislike of waste has reached obsessional proportions.
Take the bathroom – when showering, I instinctively turn off the water supply when I’m both soaping myself and washing my hair – if water is not needed at those moments, then don’t allow it unused down the plughole! Same with cleaning teeth. When actually brushing them, why have water cascading out of the tap and straight down the plug? Only need the water for rinsing, nothing else.
Have you any idea how much toothpaste is left when you think you have squeezed the last bit out of the tube? At least enough for another few days of teeth cleaning. Squeeze it harder, there’s plenty still there!
We are lucky to be able to access fantastic fresh Mediterranean vegetables where we live, but both Mrs B and I are extremely careful not to buy too much in one go – it’s very rare that we ever have to throw away food because it’s gone bad or past its sell-by-date. Food wastage is perhaps my greatest pet hate. We never have left-overs on our plate, ever. The idea of throwing away perfectly good food is simply an anathema to me.
It’s the same in the car – why put your foot to the floor when driving away, when a gentle acceleration will use far less fuel? Why drive in “Sport” mode, when ordinary “Drive” mode is perfectly acceptable?
Apart from any other reason, not wasting means more money in your pocket. To buy the finer things in life, like good wine. And who would ever think of wasting wine?
The mysterious A-word
I’ve known some men of ‘wealth and taste’ in my life. One of them is Alexey Sitnikov, a psychologist with lots of scientific regalia, an NLP guru who brought it, in his post-graduate age, to the USSR in the late 80s and a famous PR professional. He’s done dozens of political campaigns in Russia and abroad, including Boris Yeltsin’s re-election campaign in 1996. The guy was really wealthy, you could feel it. This is natural, taking into account his experience. He was our visiting teacher at the Department of Journalism at the Moscow State University back in 1995/1996; his course was called something like ‘Psychology in politics’… It was very interesting, to make a long story short.
I’ve met him after that several times, too.
I’ve also known some rich people in America during my stays there.
They were all different. The only thing that was in common was the absence of arrogance.
I do know a guy, named Aidar, in the city of Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan, a mostly Moslem republic, a part of Russia to the east of Moscow, where my wife is from. The guy, he is a friend of mine. We meet sometimes, have a drink or two… And I’ve known another guy, from Uzbekistan, named Bachrom. I met him in the States in 1994 when I was a foreign exchange student, just 19, at Baylor University, Waco, TX. Never met him ever since.
…they talk in slow voice, trying to be more important than they actually are… Don’t listen to you or anybody else but every word they pulsate seems to be gold…
Like they’re older than they really are. Slowly uttering words. It’s not even arrogance in its traditional meaning. It is something cultural, Mid-Asian, very ancient. Being more important than you really are, having more weight. Probably such a behavior would save your life in a distant past at the region.
The only thing between them in common was that thing, you know… But, like I said, this is the Eastern way, not pure arrogance. Not sure I could find a proper English word for it but hopefully you would do it. Foxy and arrogant at the same time, you know…
So yes, this is the thing… It is not like this pisses me off. I’m not kidding you, simple and plain, I hate it in people the most.