Monday, September 25, 2006

Libya - First Impressions

Argh...I had a whole post written out. It was brilliant, it was prescient, it was erudite, it was....lost. I shall attempt to replicate its magnificence, but I doubt I will be able to capture its original majesty.

Having spent 5 days in Libya, I feel like I can now make some intial observations. In reading several travel articles touting Libya as the next up-and-coming tourist destination, I was struck by the unanimity with which all agreed that Libya completely and utterly lacks any night life. I don't mean bars and nightclubs, the absence of such establishments is to be expected in a dry (both in terms of precipitation and alcohol) country. I mean rather, that there is, quite literally, nothing to do past...oh, I'd say 8 pm. Here's how the Lonely Planet guidebook characterizes it:

"Tripoli is the sort of place where you can linger over your evening meal or get an early night, safe in the knowledge that you're not missing out on much"

Rather generous and diplomatic, I think. This is not by any means to complain though. After the year I just had, I could use 12 months of quiet nights and early bedtimes. But still, it does make me glad that I work 12 hour days to keep me busy. A typical day for me looks like this:

8 am: Wake up
9 am: Be at the office
9 am - 12 pm-ish: work, work, work, work, gaze out window, work, work, have some tea, work...
12 pm-ish (or whenever I can get around to it: Lunch
12 pm-ish - 9 pm-ish: work, work, work, work, have a banana, work work, gaze out window, work...
9 pm-ish: Dinner with colleagues
10:30-ish: Dinner with colleagues ends, head home
11:00ish: Watch episodes of "The Office" on my hard disk
11:30ish: sleep

repeat as necessary

Speaking of work, it's going well. I have some real responsibilities, which is nice. I was also pleasantly surprised to find that rather than following the classic neo-liberal model of development, Monitor is focusing on local capacity-building and finding context-appropriate models, rather than just opening the floodgates to foreign corporations. No Starbucks for Libya....yet.

Well, more to say, but will save it for another day, I've already written this post out twice as it is.

Salaam to all


At 10:24 AM, Blogger Janice said...

Now here is the million dollar (or pound) question:

US 'The Office' or UK 'The Office'?

Choose wisely.

At 10:19 AM, Blogger The Bedouin Project said...

The UK Office, DUH!

At 10:26 AM, Blogger Janice said...

ugh. i hang my head in shame.

But I will recall my favourite UK scene.

The customer service seminar when Ricky Gervais yells "Someone has been raped up on the fourth floor!"

Hey, btw, have you ever watched Max & Paddy?

At 2:49 AM, Anonymous omar c said...

the problem is, there are only a very limited supply of the BBC version...

and, after the first couple episodes, you do find the NBC version can be pretty funny too. and really does go off on a different direction.

I emphathize though (on the lifestyle). Sounds like the company ain't all evil yet. But make sure to take careful notes all the same (not saved on your company computer).


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