Saturday, June 28, 2008

Apology: Lack of Posts

Dubai@Random is about my wandering about Dubai and reporting on what I see. Those who understand basic physics understand that, except for water, everything expands when heated. Which means that, as of current date, trips that were quite short in winter have expanded to roughly the size of the Asian continent, so I have been largely confined to my tiny flat. Even expeditions in search of provender are proving problematical.

I have noticed the advent of Secret Dubai's favorite mascot, Modesh, but didn't have the energy to make my usual summer note of this advent, and, in any case, Secret Dubai has been banned by the UAE authorities.

I have had to switch off my water heaters, so my taps are now in French, i.e., with 'C' meaning 'hot.'

Posts will appear sporadically during the summer, but I hope to resume regular posting once winter returns.


Saturday, June 14, 2008

My Father and AIDS

In the early 80s, my father retired, and my cousin got a job working for an international agency to prevent AIDS. My cousin’s primary job was to raise money for the vital program of fund-raising to prevent and cure AIDS (not preventing or curing, just fund raising for the prevention and cure). My cousin announced that AIDS infections were following an S-curve, and, using words like ‘inflection point’ and ‘asymptote,’ impressed potential donors with his conclusion that, if nothing were done, AIDS would rapidly spread to 30% of all the people in the developed world, and, since no cure was known, would lead to certain death for the 30% infected.

My father listened courteously, but then, after my cousin had left said, ‘We’ll have to wait and see.’

A year or so later, my father told me, ‘Your cousin was right. AIDS is spreading rapidly to the entire world.’

‘Why do you say that?’ I asked.

‘Because three men with AIDS are in our town!’

It seemed that three of the gay men from our little village (pop. 6,999) had gone to the fleshpots of the wicked city, contracted AIDS, and then returned home to die.

And, given the panic about AIDS, no one would enter their homes to take them food or medicine.

I had moved away from my home village by then in search of gainful employment, but my father was the talk of the town when I came home for a visit: he was regularly going to the homes of the three AIDS victims and bringing them food and medicine, something no one else in my home village would dare to do.

He joked that AIDS is only transmitted in one way, and every other man in our village must have been susceptible since they wouldn’t go near the victims, but he wasn’t, so he was in absolutely no danger, and had his duty to perform.

And I remain incredibly proud of my father, who spent his entire life doing heroic things that I never was, and never will be able to do.