My dear friend Abufares decided to give out homework .. not just ANY homework that is, but a sophisticated blend of questions challenging the memory, touching the soul, merging into philosophy, firing one’s fantasy – all of that I am very fond of! I am getting on it right away and certainly won’t finish soon … so that’s what I’m going to be busy with tonight! Thanks a million Abufares … and right after THAT one, I’ll start composing MY version .. and won’t let you get off easily – it will be the “sweet revenge” I was hinting at! Just WAIT … ha-ha, I’ll get ya!!
For now though – brace yourself as this is going to be a LONG one!

1. Which is the single best post you’ve read on any blog? Please provide link.

A – That already starts off with a question which is a tough one to answer. I don’t think I can name you ONE .. but at least limit them to very few: I sat like dumbfounded after I had read the “My friend the terrorist” http://meastpolitics.wordpress.com/2006/08/21/my-friend-the-terrorist, I was touched almost to tears when I read what Chet posted, written by a friend of Sam (two posts back) and mine – Dr. Mike Dahan:
A Lesson from Lebanon“, I like reading the reflections of “immigrantincanada”
(http://malaysianincanada.blogspot.com/) and – without wanting to flatter you only because YOU ask this question, I thoroughly enjoy your style of writing, your eloquent and colourful way of describing things and situations!

2. Which is the best post you’ve written? Which is your worst? Please provide links

A – Again I have a problem to really pinpoint but in short – I liked the one about “If I had to live my life over” and “Dome of the Rock”/”Al Aqsa Mosqe” … and was upset I ever posted the one just recently about the brain and genetics.

3. How about a place you’ve never been to but would very much like to see.
A – It was always a dream of mine – with friends and maybe my boys – to make an expedition to Alaskas’s wilderness, the Denali National Park and Reserves, Klondike, Yukon territory – ONLY if it still as wild as I remember having read of so many times! It’s NOT that I imagine the trip easy and superficial but demanding and physically exhausting! I’ve always loved the rugged outdors, the campfire, to watch stars as far away as possible from civilisation, to listen to the howling wind in a desert … it feels like merging into twilight-zone, it’s an undescribably beautiful and magic feeling!

4. If you were a member of the opposite sex, what would you have done differently?
A – I would most certainly NOT have become an RN and am not even sure, I’d have gone into medicine at all! I’d have gone either into journalism or Geology/Vulcanology/Marine Biology/Astronomy … all those incredibly fascinate me so that it is safe to say, I most certainly would have chosen one of them as profession!

5. Do you remember a childhood recurrent dream or nightmare? Good or bad, tell us about it.

A – I remember only one … I way lying on a flat surface and all of a sudden this surface started to tilt so that my head was down and legs up, very gradually so that initially I didn’t even realize what was going on. It slowly got steeper and steeper .. and suddenly I slipped off and fell, head first .. and tumbled into nowhere. I remember having woken up totally bewildered, not understand what had happened – and feeling dizzy and weird.

6. Make me laugh or make me cry, put your words to use.

A – You bet – a true story: When I was about 21, just after my Diploma and in my first “own” flat, I decided one evening to have a lovely bubble-bath. It was a sheer pleasure and wonderfully relaxing but suddenly I realized I was hungry. Knowing I had bought half a barbecued chicken on my way home – which was still hot and waiting for to be devoured – I didn’t see a reason not to have it while enjoying my bath. I got out, dripped to the kitchen, took the chicken, a tray to put across the tub, a plate – and, armed with all that, slid back under the wonderfully scented foam. I started to unwrapp the chicken .. and as Murphy – who always appears when needed least – wanted, it was too slippry for a firm grab and fell right into my bubblebath! I cracked up laughing from the idea my chicken went for a dive in my bath and tried to locate it under the foam without having any vision of course, finally found it, pulled it out on one leg, showerd it off real well – and happily started to dig in as if nothing ever happened before.
Not only is this story true – it does reflect my very uncomplicated and easy going way of dealing with any such kind of “accidents” – in fact I never changed over the years, never made a big fuss out of these kind of things and would most likely do just the very same again! NOW you can laugh about me … I can hear you chuckle already!!

7. Do you regret the unfulfilled dreams, the inaccessible roads, the uncharted lands?

A – You know, that’s an iffy question and I have to honestly answer yes AND no. Sure do I regret unfulfilled dreams, inaccessable roads and uncharted lands – I guess everyone has something he/she regrets. The other side of the coin is though, that HAD I persued these kind of dreams, entered inaccessable roads and searched uncharted land, I would not have turned out the way I am today – who knows what would have developed? NOT that I find myself in any way great – but I consciously say YES to myself, the way I am and think. PERFECTLY honest though? At times these things ARE nagging …

8. What is a friend to you? And what are you to a friend?

A – You touch a very sensitive issue … you’re talking to someone who is a “burnt child”! First – let me clarify … I have only two REAL friends – but many closer or more distant aquaintances and I prefere it this way. A REAL friend to me is someone I can fully and unconditionally trust – above everything else. He/she would under NO circumstances let me down, hurt me or lie to me in any way. I can rely to him/her in any situation, with any of my problems. He/she would always give me correct advice, even it might not be flattering, always maintaining honesty and straight forwardness. He/she does know to use discretion and keep things for him/herself. I can blindly trust him/her with my life.

I am for a friend someone he/she can 110% count on, who does bend over backward to help and be there for him/her whenever there is need, who would never let him/her down. I am reliable, at times of need a rock, a shoulder to cry on. I am, for a friend in particular, a good listener – an honest adviser. He/she can blindly entrust me his/her life without having to worry even one second. He/she can talk with me about everything and knowing it would remain confidential.
I guess it became clear why I have only two REAL friends. I take REAL friendship very serious – for me this is an obligation without any grey-zones – I give it all.

9. T.S. Eliot measured his life with coffee spoons, how about you?

A – “For I have known them all already, known them all:—
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons, 50
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?”

“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” – it’s very beautiful! I don’t count them with coffee-spoons though but in episodes, pretty clear ones, each framed by certain occurences to begin and to end with. That’s how I measure my life.

10. Write your own epitaph, or if that is too hard, how would you like your epitaph to read?

A – “She loved people, defended the underpriviledged, fought for justice. She tried hard to make this world a better place, to infuse love, take away hatred, bridge the gap. She was a real human.”

Thanks a bunch Abufares … it was great fun!!


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