Tag Archives: oh poo poo

Not British

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Phillip loves Chocolate Cake

Oh Poo Poo, our cultures are not the same.

“Wait your turn”, or “First come, first served“, “Respect your elders“, “Do what you are told“, were instilled in me from the day I was born, British sayings that have guided me through my life, are now pulling at my heart strings as I continue to travel, not only the world, but the British Isles.

If two people stand behind another person in Britain, you can be sure, others will join the queue. They will not perhaps know what they are waiting for, but but they will form an orderly queue.

As a small boy, I remember catching the bus to visit my Grandmother or go shopping, and when we arrived at the bus stop, we would mentally work out how many people had arrived before us, and as more people arrived, who was the person who had arrived immediately after us and the sequence of people arriving after them. We were forming a queue, a sequence of order of those who arrived first would get on the bus first, followed by the next person, and so on and so forth.

In the shop, we knew who was before us and who had arrived after us, and thus we had order, “first come, first served“, and if the shop assistant went to serve a customer out of order, the customer would say, “No, I think that person was before me“.

We had respect for others, we had order, we knew our place, we knew the rules, written and unwritten, we knew we must “wait your turn” rule.

At school, queuing was further instilled in us, as before classes we would be required to stand in an orderly line, a queue, not saying a word. Sometimes this queue was further defined by height, or alphabetically by family name or by the sequence in which we sat in the classroom, those sitting at the back would be first in the queue and those sitting at the front of the classroom would be last in the queue.

Large Queue outside EuroRail, London

Large Queue outside EuroRail, London

For my non British readers you can see this in action when watching the tennis on your TV of Wimbledon, where people will queue to buy tickets, and these queues are very long, or when there is a sale at a shop like Harrods in London, or the launch of a new product like the Apple iPhone, people will start queuing days before the start of the sale, bringing along beds and blankets to sleep and keep warm.

These queuers will be allowed to leave the queue by others, and, return without any problems or queries, just by saying, “Can you save my place please?

My first shock to the system, my first challenge to my up-bringing and my beliefs happened in the 1980’s when I worked in Saudi Arabia as the Software Manager for the Texas Instruments distributor, Saudi Computer Services. I had been sent to the capital, Riyadh, to install a new client’s computer system, a task I had done many times, flying from the Red Sea town of Jeddah into the middle of the country where Riyadh is located.

My flights had been arranged, and upon completion of the job, I went to catch my return leg back to Jeddah early, as I had completed the installation ahead of schedule. I went to book-in, only to be told that the flight had been cancelled due to a sand storm and I had been placed on “standby” for the next available flight, and that I should join the queue at the standby desk.

With some fellow standby queuers, all Western Ex-Patriates, we talked and laughed as we waited for the next available seatings.

Phillip Holt wearing thobeAn announcement was made in Arabic, and within seconds from being first in the queue, we found ourselves at the back of the queue, with hundred of shouting, arms waving men in their white thobes and keffiyeh head dress.

Then they were gone, we found ourselves back at the front of the queue, but all spare seats had been taken.

This process continued, at one time we were at the front of the queue, only to find ourselves at the back following an announcement we did not understand, and any available seats were quickly allocated to those pushing to the front of the queue. We were only saved by a kind Saudia Airlines employee taking pity upon us.

The feeling of despair, the feeling of disbelief, the feeling of not fair play, something we say in British colloquialism when people do not play by the rules is “it’s not cricket“, still stays with me today.

I am experiencing this feeling more and more in the UK as more and more visitors and immigrants descend upon the small and overcrowded islands, and especially in London.

Gone are the orderly queues on the Waterloo and City underground line, (The Drain), the two station tube line, linking Waterloo mainline train station to the City of London banking area, where city centre office workers, would each morning and evening, “wait their turn” to board the over crowded trains, often missing several trains until they reached the front of the queue.

Gone are the orderly queues at bus stops.

Gone are the “first come, first served” rules in shops, restaurants and bars, as the shop assistants and waiters are often non British and do not have any concept of British cultural rules, and serve those with the loudest voice, the highest valued bank note, or the person that catches their eye.

My blood boils when waiting for a bus, especially at London Heathrow Airport after a long flight, where workers are more often than not from ethnic minority backgrounds, especially from the Indian subcontinent, where “Wait your turn”, or “First come, first served” appears does not exist in their culture.

More often of not I have just missed a bus and thus first in the queue with my suitcase for the next one, only to find when the bus arrives I am last on the bus with no seats left.

At the luggage carrousels in airport baggage halls, I am often one of the first to arrive to claim my suitcase as I can bye-pass the often long immigration queues with my biometric passport. At the carrousel, as at all airports, there is a distinctive yellow line which states, “Stand behind the line“. I follow this rule, and stand there like a statue or a soldier on guard, only to find myself soon unable to see the conveyer belt and the suitcases gliding past, as I am pushed to the back as others do not follow the rules and do what they are told, to “Stand behind the line“.

On a recent short flight from Kuala Lumpur to Penang, I resisted the need to get on the aircraft first, because as soon as the announcement was made that the flight was ready for boarding, and that we would be boarding by seat numbers, passengers raced to the departure gate, disregarding the request that only the few backseat passengers, rows 55 – 60 go forward.

For goodness sake, the plane will not leave without us.

I waited my turn and boarded the plane to take my allocated seat 6F, a window seat I had booked the day before and printed on my ticket. When I got to row 6, my seat was taken by an Indian looking young man. I politely asked him what was his ticketed seat number which turned-out to be 6D, the aisle seat. Not to cause a fuss and ask the gentleman sitting in the middle seat, 6E, to move so we could swop seats, I smiled and said I would take the aisle seat.

The air steward hearing what was happening and to my compromise to allow the person to occupy my seat, and yes I prefer the window seat, gave me a knowing smile and nod.

We were ready for taxiing out to the runway, and the announcement was made in two languages to make sure the seats were upright, tray tables stowed away, seat belts fastened, all electronic devices switched off and phone set to flight mode.

At this point, the Indian looking guy, started making a telephone call, and continued as we were pulling onto the runway to take-off. Faces of people turned to him in disbelief, but he continued, so I shouted at him to switch it off. He did.

As we were descending into Penang the announcement was made to make sure seat belts were fastened, seat backs were upright, tray tables stowed away and electronical devices switched off. He followed non of these instructions, his tray table still pocking into his stomach.

We landed in Penang, and as soon as we touched down, not even off the runway, he was making another call, again people gave him dirty looks, but this time I stayed calm and said nothing.

As we came to a stop at the gate. He stood-up waiting to get off the aircraft. Why people do it, I will never know, because we have to wait until those nearest the exit door get off first.

As I stood up to get my hand luggage from the overhead compartments, he tried to push me out of the way. I stood my ground and shouted at him to WAIT.

He looked at me sheepishly as said “sorry sir” and sat down. Faces around me gave me a knowing smile.

Being near to the front of the plane, I was one of the first off and thus one of the first at the baggage carrousel, and I dutifully stood waiting behind the yellow line. As the luggage started to arrive more passengers arrived, and I found myself once again with people infront of me, mostly of Indian ethnicity, craning to see if their suitcase was coming.

My suitcase came before those who had pushed infront of me, and it was quite a struggle to extract the suitcase from the carrousel as I had to push and shove my way in and out of the scrummage.

Oh, and the Indian looking guy was on the opposite side of the carrousel having just arrived from disembarking from the aircraft, and his luggage still not delivered.

It is against my nature, my culture not to “Wait my turn”, or accept “First come, first served“, “Respect your elders“, “Do what you are told“, but these days when I sense I could be forced to the back of the queue, it becomes playtime for Phillip. I use my body to stop these “I must be first, I have no regard for others around me” people, from getting infront of me, often forcing them to board last, allowing others to get on or served first, I’m using Phillip’s Sausage to know their every move, and counteracting them, letting them feel the frustration I feel against them.

I love my job, and my games.

Phillip loves Chocolate Cake

Phillip loves Chocolate Cake

La Salsiccia di Phillip, Phillip’s Sausage

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la salsiccia di Phillip

It was whilst delivering the final day of the NLP Practitioner course in Vicenza, Italy, that I realised that the participants had remembered what I had taught them on my last visit.

Not only had the remembered “Antonio” (“Fred” or “Mustapha“), but “Oh Poo Poo” and “Phillip’s Sausage“.

FaceBook group has been created just for “Phillip’ Sausage“, called La Salsiccia di Phillip, so sign up now.

 

la salsiccia di Phillip

la salsiccia di Phillip


The Phillip's Sausage

Phillips Sausage


If you do not know what is Phillip’s Sausage, you will have to come on a course. Visit web site nlpnow.net

Culture. Eating Chinese Style

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Eating Chinese Style

Some of the family from Malaysia is visiting the UK for the first time.

It was the first time they had experienced the pomp of the British culture, the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, and many more sights and sounds. (see previous entry for pictures, click here).

It was the first time they had experienced real cold when outside walking, “0” degrees Centigrade, as one said, smoke came out of the mouth. The poor things were wrapped-up so much, they could hardly move. Malaysia is permanently hot in the “30”‘s, and is very very humid.

We went for a meal in London’s China Town. Why after traveling all this way were they taken for a Chinese meal, and not for a typical British meal?

typical Chinese family meal

A typical Chinese meal table layout with all the food in the centre.

That got me thinking. What is a typical British meal. Where could I take them for such a meal, and I struggled to find an answer. There are Chinese, Italian, French, Indian, Bangladesh, Japanese, Turkish Kebab, Greek, American style steak houses, hamburger restaurants. But what about British, English, Scottish, Welsh or Irish?

OK we have Fish n Chips, but where are the restaurants? They are far and few between. I could only think of a few, and some of these are perhaps not the standard I would take people to for a special meal.

Where are the roast beef and Yorkshire Pud restaurants?

As I have described in previous blogs, and talked about in my trainings, food in a typical Chinese restaurant is served in the center of the table, and diners will help themselves one mouthfull at a time from the serving tray.

 

Eating Chinese Style

Eating Chinese Style

A typical Chinese meal table layout with all the food in the centre.

In a few days I will be off to Malaysia, swopping places with the family visiting the UK. There I[will be eating only Malaysian food, as there are no British restaurants for me to visit. Oh Poo Poo. I better find one here in Kingston upon Thames for them to try and me to enjoy before I leave.

My Computer Oh Poo Poo

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Handle off mug

No matter where I go in the world, things happen. Sometimes good, sometimes bad.

Monday night after finishing the English NLP class with NLPGrup, I returned to the apartment in Taxim Tunel, and after a while at 8:30pm, I felt hungry, and decided to get my usual wrap from La Cantine. Plus I needed milk and some Cornflakes, for my breakfast.

On returning, climbing those steep stairs, I had nothing to, as others were out enjoying themselves, perhaps drinking, relaxing, maybe deciding to stay with friends overnight, leaving pets and their family to fend for themselves. I decided to watch the SlingBox TV system. (clink to find out more)

As I watched, I wanted a cup of tea, unusual me late at night, and I had one tea back left. I sat back and enjoyed a hot cup of tea, British style, with milk.

With half my cup of tea left in my hand, the handle, a metal handle collapsed, and the remaining cup fell to the table, and my computer, some of the liquid finding its’ way onto my computer keyboard.

Handle off mug

My heart beat at double the rate, I could feel it. My reaction was to say words not allowed on the internet, I had a vision of sick deer.

What do I do.

I had to keep calm, so Oh Poo Poo, came to mind.

So what could I do?

Nothing, it had happened I had to be calm to deal with the situation, my Oh Poo Poo helped me to quickly clean-up the mess, but my new computer. The keyboard was not working.

I went to bed, with my attention on Mustapha so that I would sleep, a hard day was to Tuesday, there was not point in crying over split milk, my computer keyboard was dead. I hope my insurance will cover the damage.

The next day, I cleaned more of those internal parts I could access, I do not wish to break and seals on the computer, these could invalidate the warranty or insurance policy.

I got most of the keys working, but not all.

Oh Poo Poo.

Not Again

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Golden Horn Bridge, Istanbul

The evening did not start well.

I walked down to the ferry terminal after a long day of training and having to cross the Bosphorus from Kadikoy to Beşitaş (Asian to European side of Istanbul), and saw the ferry at the quayside. I raced to the gate only to see it closing majestically with me on the wrong side, and I watched as the ferry glide out of the port.

Once back in Taxim Tunel, I brought a wrap from a little corner café, La Cantine, (now closed), run by a French couple, plus a freshly squeezed orange juice. I was to have a relaxing time, watching British TV on the computer internet through Slingbox.

Slingbox is a great device that plugs into the back of say a satellite or cable TV box, that is then connected to the inter net router at home. Through the inter net connection in whatever country I am in, I can access the Slingbox back home and watch British TV, not only that, I can control the channels I want to watch.

The apartment I am staying in is on the forth floor, with a spiral staircase. Now I am used to running up stairs, but these seem so steep, everyone that climbs those stairs, has to rest half way up. They are a killer.

Spiral Stairs, Tunel Flat, Istanbul

Spiral Stairs, Tunel Flat, Istanbul

I got to the door, gently holding my orange juice, my mouth watering at the prospect of eating my wrap. But the key would not turn.

Not three months earlier, I had returned back to the apartment to notice on the tough climb of the stairs, that there were pieces of metal laying by each flat door. I knew something was wrong.

On reaching my door, there was no point in trying to turn the key to open the door, there was no locking mechanism there, and the door was firmly shut and locked.

There was no-one in the whole building, I do not speak any Turkish. Oh Poo Poo. I called an ex employee who came to my aid, plus my translator Asu. We called a locksmith plus the police, only to find that yes we had been burgled. I had lost money, a camera.

Asuman Yildirim

Although I did not enjoy the experience, who would? I found the police here in Istanbul perhaps one of the most friendly I have encountered, even though we had to communicate via a translator.

The horror of that experience returned as I tried in vain to turn the key.

But I had Mustapha. I had the previous experience to draw upon. I called the same locksmith.

On his last visit he made sure that no-one would be able to break-in again. He was good, so good, that he took from 8:30 until 11:30pm to get in. That will teach him. Perfectionist. (Ho Ho). He had to used brute force.

Once in, it was realised that no-one had entered, it was the failure of the door locking gear. New door I think.

So by mid night I was in bed, knowing that 8am the next morning I would be picked up by car to get to the Eastern side to take the English language participants further along the process I do for easy learning.

8:10 am I get a phone call, asking if the car had arrived, as the person calling the General Manager of NLPGrup, Selva, could not reach the driver, his phone was off.

Only thing for it was to quickly catch the Tunel train and the ferry.

Walking down to the ferry terminal I passed under a bridge that crosses the water of the Golden Horn, and was amazed at the number of people standing on either side of the bridge fishing. There was not any spaces left. I would not like to sail a boat under that bridge. Looking around the Golden Horn, it seemed that the whole population of Istanbul had taken-up fishing.

Golden Horn Bridge, Istanbul

Golden Horn Bridge

There must be some great memory skills in Turkey.

As we sailed across the Bosphorus I sat in the cold morning air on the outside deck, the sea was awash was quite a swell, and as we entered each trough, the ferry created a spray of salt sea water, refreshing my face, my mind.

As we moored the other side, I noticed how clam the water became, and realised that was the state I was in. Very calm, whilst all about me was in turmoil.

We need to learn this art.

Monday, the day before my birthday

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Here I sit in an apartment in Istanbul, Turkey. I should have been in Ankara today delivering a course, but it was canceled at the last moment. At least I did have a late lay-in, an extra hours sleep.

Having just completed a six days courses here in Istanbul on NLP, which included giving three sessions a day to participants of an English language course, I think I deserve a rest. But, the next course they want me to run starts next Saturday, and now do I fly back to the UK, or stay here?

If I stay I have five days of nothing to do, but then I can catch up on my work.

If I fly back to the UK, I have the cost of the travel, plus I will not get back until Tuesday and then have to fly Friday mid afternoon.only really three days free.

What about the loved ones how will they take my decision?

I think I’ll stay. With Skype I can keep in touch.

I can try this blog out.

I can rest. People keep telling me to take it easy after my heart procedure. Now that was a shock to the system.

At 93 years old, yes 93. You see, in certain countries, especially Turkey, people want to know each others age. when I get the participants on my courses to introduce a fellow participant, they will say:-

“this is Fred, he is a doctor, and he is 45 years old”

so I am 93 coming to 94 tomorrow.

Yes at 93, I felt 18, I have done many things, I was fit, I am a Master Scuba diver with over 600 dives to my name all over the world, and it was on a training course in Antalya, Turkey, my translator, Asu, having heard my stories I tell to the participants, asked me to take her diving from the access point there was in the hotel grounds where the training was taking place. Being a responsible diver, I said I would go only after she got her diving qualifications from the school on-site.

She did to my surprise go and get her certification. On her last qualifying dive she ask me to accompany her and her instructor, which I did. I had difficulty in clearing my ears, equalizing the pressure in my ears as I descended, so I kept at a shallow depth, only to find the whole world spinning five minutes into the dive. I had to abort the dive. The instructor, took a look at me and saw a small amount of blood coming from my nose, and rescued me, me a Master Diver. I will never live this down, I will never dive again.

I found that my ears were blocked, I could not hear well, so on return to the UK, I went to my doctor, only to find  I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and yes, I had had pains in my jaw and neck.

That led to many hospital check-ups, the result being that I had a narrowing of an artery in my heart.

Oh Poo Poo. I needed a stent put in my heart, a small cage like device, that they insert in the artery which will be expanded, to allow to blood to freely flow again.

I amazed me that this procedure can be carried-out in a day, you go in to hospital in the morning, and leave in the afternoon.

The procedure is done whilst fully awake, and I watched on the monitors as they placed this stent in my heart or angioplasty. I felt nothing. I am glad I have learned hypnosis, I needed it.

They gave me tablets that I now have to take ever day for the rest of my life, to reduce the clotting ability of the blood, so now when I bleed, I bleed for a long time, to lower my heart rate, now about 54 BPM, compared to the average male of 78 BPM, to lower my colesteral, and yes, I was told to loose weight.

I thought I would be up and running quickly, after loosing weight, lowering my colesteral, and changing my diet, or what it seems, not eating and starving. Oh I miss my Mars bars, my chips, my pizza. I find that I have to slow down, my brain perhaps has slowed down, perhaps it is the tablets I am on.

But, I can still perform, I still can give a first rate course, the feedback from the Stage Hypnosis course participants was more than positive, as was the feedback from yesterday, and I have more courses to give.

I know lots of it is in the mind. I take control of my thoughts and I will and am winning, although now I realise that at 93 I must slow down a little.

Eat that elephant a little slower, so I do not put on weight again. (click to see entry)

 
Read about follow-up at Penang Adventist Hospital for a CT scan