set up a
SIGH! If it's not Eskom, it's the cable thieves. Stretched out upon the sheets the other dank and sweaty early morning, I was awakened by what appeared to be the sudden appearance of a Spitfire in my room.
The propellor was close by, screaming. But then the revolutions abated and I saw it was just my normal bedroom fan rotating the air, creating artificial breezes, from where it stood on the floor.
Then suddenly it was screaming again, as if in combat with a flight of Stukas. The penny dropped. Voltages of different strengths were surging through the electric system.
These Eskom wags, I thought. They're not content with just pulling a lever to plunge us into darkness and misery, they're having fun playing off-and-on, off-and-on, pulling the lever back and forth, tantalising and tormenting us.
But it turns out this time it wasn't Eskom. It was cable thieves robbing a nearby sub-station. This caused 380 volts to flow through a 220-volt system. Electric plugs were popping, devices were burning out all over the building. Then the current was off and the entire suburb was suddenly back in the Stone Age. (So far I seem to have got off lightly, device-wise. Not so some of my neighbours).
The cops must nail these blighters. Not just the thieves but also the dodgy non-ferrous metal dealers who are their paymasters and without whom there would be no thievery.
Let the punishment fit the crime. Let cables be attached to the appropriate tender portions of the anatomy and 380 volts run through them. As the French so succinctly put it, pour encourager les autres. (To encourage the others).
Xi lost in translation
AS READERS will know, this column shrinks from crudity in any form. But world news is world news and is not to be ignored. So here goes.
Chinese leader Xi Jinping has been on a visit to Myanmar (formerly Burma) where he has signed with State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi dozens of infrastructure development agreements.
Suu Kyi has recorded it all on her Facebook page. But unfortunately, according to Reuters, where Burmese content is translated into English – using Facebook's ultra-sophisicated translation service – Xi Jingping's name appeared as "Mr Shithole".
So it went all over the world. And an English-language local newspaper in Irrawaddy ran a headline: "Dinner honours President Shithole". Oops! And oops again!
Facebook has apologised and says the problem has been fixed.
"We have fixed an issue regarding Burmese to English translations on Facebook and are working to identify the cause to ensure that it doesn't happen again. This issue is not a reflection of the way our products should work and we sincerely apologise for the offence this has caused."
Ah me, Face is everything in the Far East. I sincerely hope those infrastructure development programmes in Myanmar are not imperilled.
Finally, an apology to sensitive readers for inflicting on them this unsavoury item of barrack-room language. Facebook should be ashamed of themselves for even having that vile word in their vocabulary.
But, as I say, world news is world news. The yuan could plunge. Relationships in the Far East could descend into turmoil. We cannot shrink from it. We tell it as it is, there's no other way.
So there's an Amazon River now? What's next? Lake Facebook? Mount Paypal?