Wednesday 18 January 2012

What I wouldn't do for London!

This morning on the train journey to work, standing in between two armpits, dandruffed shoulders and someone who forgot to brush his teeth,  I stood breathing cautiously suppressing my gag reflex and waiting for the train to move after what seemed like an endless stop between stations, caused by some signal failure, fatality or severe weather conditions or whatever bullshit they feed us on a daily basis (I lost interest), my mind wondered from my interminable book which failed to grip my attention four weeks in, I thought about the upcoming summer Olympics and how many more armpits I could be under and uncontrollably mouthed under my breath “ well that’s gonna be something” causing some nervous shifting amongst passengers and some dandruff to snow on me – GAG!

The Capital has been gearing up for the most awaited (and dreaded) event of the year, undergoing a very costly makeover ever since the bid was won in 2005, major works were undertaken on Olympic and non-Olympic infrastructure such as the London underground, travel links, bridges, sewage, cycle highway (God bless Boris and his love for biking) etc... amounting to a colossal figure estimated at over £9.3 billion (in 2007) which kept going up every quarter, arguably, we cannot blame poor forecasting, budgeting, or bad management, in view of the Market situation and inflation in the building industry, with steel and cement prices going up etc…
And this is as far I would go to argue the London Olympics side.

London will be heaving this summer, millions of people are expected to flood the capital, driving Londoners away, most employers have issued new Olympic related policies, allowing holidays during the fortnight or working from home as a solution.

People with a business mind and flare for opportunity are busy finding ways to generate income and making the most of this long-awaited opportunity, whilst others like me are thinking of ways to escape the London underground and its sweaty armpits.  It is disappointing to see how an avid Olympic supporter like myself and many others are put off and are planning their escapes, leaving our athletes with less supporters, especially Algerian athletes who I hope will spot a couple of DZ flags flying about the stadiums IF anyone can get tickets or indeed be bothered to queue up to get into the arena.
Of course we are fed the Olympic legacy bullshit; Olympics leave a major sports legacy for the community etc..., let me tell you about the legacy we’ll be left with; Debts, Debts and white elephants, ladies and gentlemen.
I can’t exactly say “there’s always next year” can I? We may never get to host the games again and let’s face it Algeria is not the best candidate out there to host the event, so for a HUGE Olympics buff like myself, I am going to grin and bare it, because I love London and having the Olympics at my doorstep makes me proud to be a Londoner.
But here’s a thought: Anyone knows where the Olympic flame is and if still burning? And If yes, who’s paying for the fuel?

Dz-Chick….Get your Union Jacks and your Sandjaks!

Sandjak  =  Old Ottoman name for Flag = used in Dz dialect to refer to the Algerian flag (anyone has a name for the DZ flag?)


  1. Hahaha! Fab description of the tube!!! Exactly my experience of today!! You must have been in the carriage next to mine on the central line. I can see ourselves having to lie on the tube floor and stack our limbs one on top of the other to be able to get anywhere! OR if you are smart you live in the east end and cycle. I have to say I have been hanging on purely for the Olympics..after which gone with the wind! BUT I have no tickets even though I put in £2k worth of bids!! Does anyone know who got the tickets?

  2. dz-chick

    I can't help asking you the question that's been haunting me ever since I read your "grumblings", so to speak.
    Are you, by any means, a lamenting Empress, a Drama Queen, a Whining Princess, a Moaning Diva, a grousing Duchess, a wailing countess, a Sniveling Baroness, a weeping Viscountess or a Sobbing Marchioness?
    I'm more inclined to believe that you're all of the above :)


  3. Anonymous it might have been the central line :)
    I sincerely cannot fathom for the life of me, how is the London Underground going to cope with an extra 5 million passenger during the games! Cycling is the way forward but I don't have to live in the eastend ;)

    As for tickets, I have no idea who's got them, apparently an extra batch of tickets are to be released for sale, extra unused quota from participating countries!

    Chico if I was all of the above, would I not be travelling in my own chauffeured car :)
    I wasn't whining or moaning...just blabbing :)

  4. An entertaining read as usual, however the very vivid image of your tube ride has given me flashbacks and i've had to supress my gag reflex just from reading! The olympics is like a dog, the anticipation and excitement of buying one is over inflated and when you obtain it, it dawns on you that its not all its made out to be and you have a lot of expenses x

  5. Thanks Karim, what a brilliant metaphor. x

  6. Great article!
    Had similar tube experience this week on my return to London. I had forgotten just how bad it is after having been on Seoul metro for the last 10 months. Sleek, fast, clean, wide carriages - the only problem is Monday mornings when boarding you get absolutely slapped in the nose by the effect of everyone's weekend dose of garlic drenched meals.
    I'm also wishing for the Ticket Fairy to come and bless me with entrance to some fun events. The 100m sprint finals for example. It's not gonna happen though is it?

  7. Haha i knew someone with your intellect would of enjoyed it :) but jokes aside a few algerian flags at the games would be welcome sight! As, especially here, algeria seems to be the forgotten country of north africa!

  8. Not looking likely to be honest formosa have you even applied of them?
    Yeah on my trip back to Algeria this time, I was so delighted with the Alger Metro, i wished I didn't have to see the London Underground ever again...

    Karim I am going to get tickets for some athletics events 1500m semi finals, am sure Algerians will make it that far :) and will find myself a DZ flag to fly...cannot wait for the stampede :)

  9. aha wise that you're opted for an event that algeria could potentially have a representative, dw the alger metro will probably be just as bad in a few years... but i like the optimsim. Yeah you go girl, i'm sure you'll be able to ride the stampede!!!!

  10. Yeah I guess it could be bad in a few years but then again Algiers isn't as crowded as London, so we have hope yet.

    I am a closeted optimist really ;) I still believe in fairy tales, happy endings and sh*t

  11. Well no, didn't actually 'apply', not in the fullest sense of the word. As I say, I've been sort of relying on the Ticket Fairy.

  12. I'll send a letter to the ticket fairy and ask her for both of us Formosa

  13. I think more chance of that working than other methods!

  14. Need a ticket?!

    A quick stop @ Finsbury Park and you'll be all sorted. Hell, they can even get you a seat next to her Majesty the Queen!


  15. Of course there will be tickets on the black market and some will be fake... When there's an opportunity... There's a way. Isn't that how it goes or am I confused? It is super early and I haven't had my coffee yet.
    Anyway, if you hear if anything Chico I count on you for passing the word

  16. You're a real "hadhra" Dzc If you know Sendjak
    I like how you made it ryme with the union jack! Thats brilliance not luck! ;)


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