Tag Archives: crime

thoughts about my day

13 Sep

london 8.20pm 15.2C sunday 2015

i see from a video taken in penang, malaysia  that there is a haze over that town. if it has spread so far north as penang, than the haze is really widespread and the south of malaysia and singapore must be affected too.

the news never mention this haze but it is really irritating, not only physically but mentally as well, i am sure.

but here in london we might be having cloudy skies but there is no smell of burning. though  they say london is polluted but if it is , it is all unnoticed in that it does not look polluted, it is invisible;  and that is more bearable. 

i was coming back from the library at marylebone, which is my usual habit, and it was such a long wait for the 88, that after the third C2 bus that goes to victoria came by, i decided to cut my losses and take that bus. and when we approached oxford st, i found out why.

the top end of regent st was blocked and the bus had to divert down oxford st to marble arch and then go down park lane to hydepark corner where it took up its usual route to victoria.

later i found out why. the tv showed live the final leg of the round britain cycle race. it was supposed to be from 3pm-6pm, so i must have caught it just when they closed the street. this time they held it between regent st and whitehall, a circular route going up one road direction and circling back the other direction. it all seems quite pointless, and so disruptive but i guess we are resigned to it. not sure if the businesses in regent st and chinatown lost money from it but the crowds were still there, at least all along oxford st. so maybe there is no damage done to the businesses in central london. and of course the tourists can still get around easily by tube which they tend to do anyway, as not many are familiar with the buses.

well, it was a pleasant diversion as i had all the time in the world and in no hurry to get back home. life is very pleasant in london, at least for me.

i read of all the pickpockets in paris , even seeing a video of a woman taking money out of the ATM machine and two gypsy women openly grabbing the money as it comes out of the machine. and walking calmly away, with the victim futilely trying to detain them. so brazen these pick pockets.

the pickpockets have certainly got more forceful and openly aggressive now in their stealing.

in the past, when i was there, it was kids, gypsy kids doing it.  they mill around you and then they all leave. and one of them at a safe distance,call out to get your attention and place something on the ground which u suddenly saw was your wallet. and that is when i realised i had my pocket picked.

luckily they took only my money and not my credit cards or documents. they are so clever i never realised my pocket was picked. but that was like 20 yrs ago, 1995 and now i see it has gotten worst.

needless to say i never reported it, as i dont know the french and it dont even know how to go about it. and as far as i was concerned they did not steal my passport, which they must have realised would get a very different reaction from me. losing a passport is so terrible, i know for a fact that with us malaysians, that is the single most horrible thing that u can do to us when we are abroad because to replace it is nigh impossible.

added.5.15pm monday 14.9.15 i saw a video showing a this kind of money grab from ATM machines happen in uk too. so lets not just think it happens in paris and with gypsies or with women muggers. this video and words  shows men hanging around and then barging away the woman and taking the money from the machine.

when i come  here to uk and see all the british people so blase about losing their passport when they are abroad. i can only marvel at them.  they just laugh because they know the govt will replace it easily without much proof. 

 i would certainly have chased them and done anything to get it back and reported the theft which i think would then bring the police on them. but this way, just stealing money, they know tourists wont bother to report it.  

there is an article in the guardian comparing london with paris, and saying london is much better. and it mentioned how paris is surrounded by very poor ghettos, with hardly any public transport nor high street stores. which no tourists ever goes, whilst at least in london there are no no-go areas. 

added. 14.9.15 as the video above shows it can happen in london too, atm robberies. i suppose it is the human thing, we prey on each other now, stealing money from each other instead of killing each other for food, like other animals. ah well, at least we dont kill each other, at least not that much. though we still kill each other too, but not for food. 

reading a crime novel

15 Jul

I have just finished a crime novel and normally I am not a fan of crime novels, but this one, the bull of mithros, anne Zouroudi, has a lot of background atmosphere of life in a small greek island , one that depands on tourists for its livelihood.

I think I would like a crime novel if it has this kind of background setting. Thus I would pick up a crime novel set in venice, for eg, as I like venice.

I first came across a novel about greek islands in Durrell’s ‘my family and other animals’ and found I was captivated at his description of the island and its flora and fauna; so if the background is well written I like reading these novels about murder.
The murder becomes incidental, to me anyway… and it is only of passing interest to me how it was solved. Sometimes they used a very convoluted trick which is quite far fetched. I am sure every trick in the book must be used by now. Haha. Agatha Christie must have used them all…

This one shows how small islands depanding on tourists need a gimmick, a statue or myth to hang a tale on that would entice tourists to visit. And it depands on a rich man or a rich family to support the islanders or a family business to sustain the livelihoods of all those who live there, and gives rise to loyalty and rivalry. Quite a fertile ground for setting up murders I suppose.

The book shows how the small island mentality that must be common in all small islands plays its part in the murder.

When I read a murder mystery, it always amazes me how the writer can so casually have the people in the novel commit murders. To me who find even killing a chicken for dinner quite horrendous, the very idea of killing a human being is quite outside my scope. And yet in these crime novels, people get killed at a drop of a hat.

Anyway I borrowed another two of her novels, today. The library seem to have a stack of her past novels. I borrowed the messenger of Athens, and the whispers of nemesis.

Today I read that j k rowling is the secret writer of a crime novel, the cuckoo’s calling. Under the pen name of robert galbraith, and it seems it is a better effort than her ‘casual vacancy’ which I could not finish because I did not really find the problems and petty rivalries of those people in her novel that interesting.
Already that crime book she wrote is in the number 1 slot. If u are famous, and can write, u can make money. but only if u are famous allready, because before people know she is the writer, that book was no where. From the reviews it looks like she copied Agatha Christie but make it more modern.

But I think what u write is important too. The casual vacancy is about poor people and middle class people and their petty troubles. I think there are lots of us around who know well how boring poor and middle class lives are , and not wish to buy a book talking about it. Most of us read a book to escape from our present lives.

don’t get me wrong, I like my life, and would hate it if any of those things in those murder crime novels happen to me;;; but if I am going to read a book, I want it to be full of twists and turns and excitement and terror and fright… not things I like to happen to me in real life, but if it is fiction that is alright then, as those people in the novel are not real.

added.19.7 it seems the leak came from rowling’s lawyer. a partner told his wife’s best friend and she twittered it. the leak may be a blessing in disguise as it is now topping the best seller list. it just goes to show nothing succeeds like success. if u are famous for one thing  to start with, everything u do will become well known and brings success. it is like a brand name.