Jan 24

Overheard on a breakfast deck, 10.30 am

by in Drawing & Writing

Or, “Globalization, it’s effect us.”

“If oil go down,” a Russian said, “Russia, it has nothing. The last 20 years, everything supported from oil. If there no more money from oil –”

“I don’t think oil prices are going down, mate,” an Australian said.

“Yes, but if Europe stops using so much, and America stops using so much, and China stops using so much?”

Two of his three tablemates nodded. The third was studying a PADI book called “Open Water Diver”.

“In Russia, the people don’t… respect themself. The country don’t respect itself. The Soviet Union did some things, like education and health system. Now government is private, and if government is private, there is people, people who is tibs.

“Tips?” both guys said.

“Tibs,” the Russian nodded.

“They take tips? Like bribes?”

“No. TIBS.”

“Hm. I’m not quite–”

He was getting annoyed. “Take things, stealing things.”

“THIEVES,” the Australian announced.

The Russian looked at them like they were idiots. “Yes, thieves. Now the health is gone, the education is gone. They’re learning only just to go to United States. And they learn not because they like to learn.” He shrugged. “The Soviet Union lost the cold war.”

The PADI guy looked up. “How can you LOSE the cold war? It wasn’t even a war.”

“We have collapsed,” the Russian/Soviet said. “Completely. And the United States tooks the scientists, the best Soviet scientists. And now America starts some revolutions in Egypt, in Tunisia, and now, what is it –”


“Yes, and they try everything, clean the countries away. Iran is the country. They want to fight with Iran. And they take away the friends first.”

“Because Iran’ll shoot for Israel,” the Australian agreed.

The conversation tapered off. “I have read, in newspapers,” the Soviet said, “that last time, Australia creates military, starts to enforce military.”

The Australian pulled his legs up. “So yeah, there’s no conscription or anything. But they’re pushing the idea through the schools now, yeah. There’s a lot of funding for the navy and army to pay for university.”

The Australian went on to explain the tuition reimbursement + payment structure for military service in Australia, that for many people it was a good thing, in the end. The Russian thought Australia was preparing to fight China.

“No, we’re pretty friendly with China, actually.”

The Soviet shook his head. “Just want to secure oil.”

The conversation stopped.

“I believe we will survive,” the Russian said. “But we need time to start respect ourself.”

No one responded, so he said, “Globalization, it’s effect us.”

The Australian said “Yeah” in a way that meant, “I don’t wanna keep talking about this crap.”

The coffee arrived, and the Russian said, “Drugs is a problem.”

He had their attention again. “What, like cocaine?”

“No, no, cocaine too expensive, people can’t buy. Glue and some medicament, that makes some terrible drug. Destroy body in two years. Is cheap, extremely cheap. Cheaper than buy vodka.”

The food arrived.

Breakfast on Ko Tao.


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One Response to “Overheard on a breakfast deck, 10.30 am”

  1. From Mom:

    I felt as I were there with the two of you…thanks to the words and the image. Thanks, guys!

    Looking forward to seeing you, and I’m sure you’ll be glad that our power and Comcast are back on, and that, hopefully, we’ve finished with this year’s snow. After four days out of school plus a late arrival, we’re all excited for RAIN!!!

    Posted on January 24, 2012 at 15:57 #