There I am, sprightly, awake and jetlagged in a London hotel at 4 in the morning (thanks to a series of misadventures) so I do what everyone does in those circumstances. I turn on the tv. Time Life offered me a 12-CD collection called “Midnight Soul” with favourites like “Freak Me” for 50pounds. A channel called the Chart Show played the end of Rihanna’s “Disturbia” before going into a profile of a lapdancer. There were, for the cause of journalistic accuracy no doubt, scenes of her at work. Which was great fun because there she was, doing her wiggling and wobbling, and there was this dude who extended himself towards her in a turtle-esque fashion as she warmed into her routine. As though an unblinking face slowly emergingand out of one’s neck and projecting itself towards her torso was somehow going to charm the lapdancer into letting him touch her.
I’m not sure where they went to from that profile because I moved to the next channel, which was Al Jazeera and the program was “Dining with Terrorists“. In it Phil Rees was having breakfast at a restaurant in Beirut called Buns and Guns. The owner of Buns and Guns, Ali Hamoud, said in some interview that the theme was “just an idea”. He said, “I could have put toys in place of the sandbags and teddy bears instead of guns. But it was just an idea.” Hooray for word-association games. And everyone in Mumbai gushes about the Indigo brunch… pshaw! There were sandbags instead of chairs and the menu was in the shape of an outsized bullet. Rees could choose between a Terrorist Meal, a Kalashnikov, Lebanese Resistance Bread and other such cheery options while discussing what terrorism really means in today’s world. The guy he was having breakfast with chose the Kornet, because it’s been very effective at killing Israelis. No prizes for guessing which side of the barbed wire he’s on. The program was riveting, even if it effectively destroyed any hope of wanting breakfast. Being shown how terrorism can be described as justified under so many circumstances can be something of an appetite supressant. I did, however, potter down to Edgware Road and have kebab for lunch. It was not quite as imaginatively named as Mr. Hamoud’s offerings.
I think I love being jetlagged.