Category Archives: Language

Rising Damp II: Mr Raju

The idiot plumber’s boss turned up today at our request. Mr Raju spoke perfect English and was profoundly more intelligent than his subordinate. He walked in and before I had even told him about the water he looked at the walls and said, ‘You have a water leak. I’ll get it fixed for you!’

Sense at last!

He is sending some guys over to break open the bathroom tiles near the bathtub tomorrow morning at 10am. He said we can shower in the morning as usual, And that we can shower again the evening after the leak is fixed.

The tiles will have to be regrouted and the walls repainted after the leak is fixed. Not sure the repurcussions of the tile grouting and painting yet in terms of being able to use the bathroom. I’m not going to worry about it until the leak is fixed. No point concerning myself about the 2nd bridge when I have no view on when I’m going to get across the 1st bridge. The first bridge might tumble down into the fjord. I wouldn’t be shocked.

I do like Mr Raju though. He was a sensible man. Can’t imagine what it must be like to have his job trying to manage those guys. Hell!

The Saluki

Today Richard found me a great article in the Gulf News – the UAE’s English-language newspaper – about another type of skinny dog. It seems that almost all the adopted stray dogs in Dubai are descended from the Saluki, the Arabian desert hound. They all have the distinctive skinny-dog body and the fluffy ears and tail.
The following excerpts are from the Gulf News. See the entire article here http://archive.gulfnews.com/articles/08/11/08/10257777.html

“The hunting hounds have been around for more than 7,000 years BC; their country of origin is the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, Syria and Jordan.

Salukis and their owner

Salukis and their owner


Salukis come in two varieties – the smooth, known as Al Hess, with short silky fur all over its body – and the Feathered, known as Al Reashi. This refers to the long silky fur fringes on the ears, tail and rear of the limbs…

“>…Salukis play an important role in the Arabian hunting cultural heritage. “Bedouins in the desert have been breeding salukis for thousands of years due to their exceptional stamina, intelligence, loyalty, and would never hunt unless accompanied by their master. They catch rabbits, jerboas, wolves and deer.

A Saluki is ready to start practising hunting and exercising after turning 12 months. At four years, the hound can start to hunt. “We don’t train salukis to kill, even though they are capable of that. We train them to catch their prey and let it go. They have a great temperament, and are patient with children,” added Al Ganem.

Sumaya Viethen, Personal Assistant at the centre feels that Salukis can be compared to cats more than dogs. “Salukis walk like cats, are smart like a fox, have a sharp eye and a fast reaction like a gazelle, yet are gentle and warm,” she said.

The first Saluki left the Middle East and reached the West during the 19th century after an English gentleman took home a Saluki with him.”

Gulf News 2008

Pidgin English


Here are some local words I am trying to commit to memory… I am particularly fond of the local Hindi-English word for closed, ‘Drinktea’.

Can anyone work out the origin of Un-dingable (‘Can’t stand it’)???

    • Filmi: Melodramatic
    • Jungli: Uncultured
    • Badmash: Hooligan
    • Chaddies: Underpants
    • Slow-slow: Slow down
    • Blarder: Brother
    • Bodoh: Stupid
    • Drinktea: Closed
    • Un-dingable: Can’t stand it
    • Torunbusiness: Open