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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Five Random Links in the Chain

Arima, a blogger I truly like, and a tender, intelligent, outspoken, attractive woman (I’d better stop, my wife might read this after all) has tagged me to list five private things the blogosphere doesn’t know about. I drew up a complete blank at first. Later in the evening, while enjoying a hot shower and washing away the quandaries of the day… a myriad of the little facets that make up my life flowed over with the rivulets of water. I picked five of them, not out of distinction, but for being ordinary random links in the chain, and morphed them into words.


1) At the tender age of five, I left home for the first time to attend a boarding school in Lebanon. For the next five years I was mostly alone and this period undoubtedly shaped my blossoming personality. In retrospect, it certainly made me a very independent and disciplined person in a peculiarly twisted way. My discipline involves daily trivial matters and is absurdly ritualistic. The boarding school also turned me into a rebel and placed me in the middle of a confrontational path with established religious and social norms for the rest of my life. You would expect to find bitterness but there is truly none.


2) I have broken my first bones playing football in 9th grade (a multiple displaced fracture in my left arm). I was a very good goalie at the street tournament level by the way. Over the years I have managed to break my other arm in a car accident, my left knee in a motorcycle crash and my right foot yet again as a goal keeper during a beach soccer game. As thus, I might be classified as accident prone and I had since injured my back on 3 separate occasions, had 4 gunshot pellets removed from my chest in a hunting mishap, received 3 stitches in my chin after a bicycle fall, a twisted finger, a torn ligament, one more wound in the head in another car collision…I have survived, unscathed, sky diving and lived to tell about it. Did I forget anything?


3) My father, a surgeon and a gynecologist for over forty years, and in his effort to steer me toward medicine encouraged me to attend more surgeries than most medical students witness during their professional training. For over six years I have attended, almost daily one operation or more. I have seen everything a general surgeon and a gynecologist have seen. At a certain time, I was confident that, in case of emergency, I could perform a number of procedures flawlessly. When the time came, I told my father that I didn’t want to waste the rest of my life studying for a career. Toward the end of my master’s degree in urban planning, I wished that I would remain a student forever. Was it a wrong decision? There’s no way of telling anymore.


4) I collect knives and to a lesser extent Zippo lighters. I am totally fascinated by beautiful handcrafted folding knives. In my travels I always make sure to buy the local version of the typical pocket knife of the particular region I am at. It’s my preferred gift to receive and to give if I knew that the other person is interested. One of the earliest presents I gave to my girlfriend (later fiancĂ©e, eventually Om Fares) was a small black feminine Swiss Army knife. I have quite a fine collection. My most treasured is a French Laguiole cheese and wine folding knife of exquisite craftsmanship. Only last week, a ship sailing from Venice brought me a bubble-wrapped manila envelope. Within, I found a beautiful Maniago knife from a very dear Italian friend.


5) I am a self-proclaimed handyman. If left to my own devise, I would spend more on tools than I would on clothing and food. But there’s Om Fares of course. I like to fix things mechanical and electrical. I don’t make it all the time but my success rate is reasonably high. When something breaks in the house, my wife tries to hide it so that she can call a professional to take care of the problem. Not that she doesn’t trust me, but my insistence on bringing forth my toolbox and getting myself in the correct mood and messing up the whole place doesn’t really impress her in the least. I enjoy working on plumbing in particular and on automobiles. Luckily, modern cars don’t need me anymore. Back when I was a student who could only afford used cars, and when I couldn’t find a date, I would spend the weekend under the hood with a nearby cooler filled with ice-cold beer.

So fellow bloggers, I am sorry if I’ve disappointed you, but these were indeed five things you didn’t know about me. Arima didn’t actually specify that they must be five things people care to hear, so I took the liberty.

17 comments:

GraY FoX said...

wallahi i was about to tag you and your shinklish
but it seems someone got to you first :P
nice interesting five stuff, even through i'm sure your biography is way more interesting :)
good day

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Glad to know that 'your ashtray is an old oil can' !
Must also thanks Arima for taggin you.
BTW, I dare say that your selection of these links was not random at all, it was chronological and co-related, the order of the photos says it all!!!

The Syrian Brit said...

Abu Fares, my friend..
Once again, you confirm an interesting number of similarities between our paths in life!..
Three out five, in this case, but still quite impessive.. Now guess which three!..

abufares said...

Hi GraY FoX
Thank you for thinking of me. However, it's much better that I got tagged by Arima first. She gave me the opportunity to write the introduction the way I did. Had it been you, I could've only written: "My friend GraY FoX tagged me". I couldn't mention anything about your charm and beauty and your attractiveness. Then, I would've been really in trouble with Om Fares :)

Hi Dubai Jazz
YOu're right in the sense that it's virtually impossible to write randomly about oneself. However, I picked these 5 out of a few other candidates. I wanted them to be representative, in a vague sort of way, about different aspects of me. Finding the corresponding photos took minutes. Yet,. I wrote that I deliberately took the task of morphing my facets into words. And this is very hard to achieve if I remain faithful to statistical randomness.

Hi Syrian Brit
Some time ago I sensed that we share common traits. Your question is very difficult to guess the 3 things we share. I'll venture, however.
You are a handyman and you collect things and you have been raised by a doctor.
I must be right with at least ONE.
Looking forward learning the eerie truth.

The Syrian Brit said...

Well done, mate!.. Correct on all three!.. Only you don't realize how correst!!..
What is really eerie is that, like you, my better half bans me from buying all the toys I want!!.. Our house is quite old, and there is an outbuilding which used to be a coal store.. I now use it as my 'workshop', where I keep all my precious tools, and where I can tinker away with my power tools, chisels, and spanners to my heart's content.. making as much mess as I like, without fear of retribution from 'she who must be obeyed'!!..
I, too, am fascinated by knives.. their delicate shapes and intricate craftsmanship.. However, my wife has imposed strict limits on my uncontrolable urges to collect them.. (she claims that she now fears for her life in the presence of all those knives!!..)
As for number three.. well, I, too, have spent many, many hours with my Dad in the Operating Room.. except he was doing his best to dissuade me from studying medicine!!.. When he gave up on abandoning medicine, he said: At least take my advice and do Dermatology: First, no-one dies under your care.. Second, they will never wake you up at night.. Third, no-one ever gets better in Dermatology, so they keep coming back and paying money to see you!!.. and what do I go and do??.. Emergency Medicine!!!...
Perhaps I should have listened.. but then again, life wouldn't have been half as interesting!!..

abufares said...

Hi Syrian Brit
I wrote my response to your earlier question on impulse.
Later, I doubted my choices and thought that I didn't give it much contemplation.
I'm glad my instinct proved correct. You see, this is the "looking into the mirror" I told you about some time ago.
BTW, I would've made a perfect patient for you. In my case, you don't need Dermatology to receive repeat patients. I would've been a regular visitor to your emergency room.
Drill bits, chisels, Knives, ahhh, only if the rest of the world understands!!!

Rime said...

I have nothing worthy to add. Just wanted to let you know I'm reading you, reading the conversations, and appreciating it all.

abufares said...

Rime your mere presence here on my blog is more precious than you can imagine.
Thank you for reading me. Of course I always love to read and respond to your comments.

Anonymous said...

Tools and knives that's for sure! Not much in terms of broken bones, (except a "half finger"), but a lot of wounds and scratches dating back to the sixties and seventies.
Good one Abufares as usual.
Abu Abdo

I love Munich said...

What you are telling about yourself, confirms only what I know already about you: that you're a wonderful person with MULTIPLE talents, strong willpower, disciplined ... and, well, I am at a wee-bit of a loss as of how to judge the knives but I have to admit, they are elegant (BIG knives and I are NOT necessarily BEST friends!)

GREAT post my friend and a LOT of fun to read!!!!

abufares said...

Hi Abu Abdo & Karin
It's been a while since you've graced my blog. I miss your comments and it's never the same without you.

Restless in Dubai said...

Swiss Army Knives??? I thought the Swiss don’t have an army? Anyway, stupid comment after all.. lol.. and yeah Um Fares should be worried if Gray Fox was the tagger.. lol.. I would …
RnD

Angel said...

Abufares,
Nice to learn new things about you, although after spending few months with your great posts, nothing but PERFECT CHOICE of the “five” is to be expected from a unique blogger like Abufares ;).... thoroughly enjoyed your selection…

abufares said...

Restless in Dubai & Angel
Thank you for being new links in my chain.

Arima said...

So sweet ya abu fares! and thanks for resonding to the tag- always interesting to find out more about my favourite readers :)

abufares said...

Arima
I'm glad you didn't call me Uncle Abu Fares.
BTW, I wish Uncle Naji reads this:)

Arima said...

eih da?!?! haram 3leik ya 3amo! :p