February 16, 2012

A Thousand Words?

A picture is worth a thousand words. Isn’t that the saying? So here’s a picture, and let’s see if you can figure out what the thousand words might be. I can easily churn out a 1,000 words about this one. One of my main problem – as a journalist – has always been that I use too many words. When my paper went to tabloid format, my articles were downsized from the usual 900 to a mere 600 words. I’d write a story in an hour, en then spent another 6 hours downsizing it until it reached the required amount. I was a frequent 598 or 599 words per article writer. You do get the hang of it after a while, and become much more apt at ‘killing your darlings’. Look, I am already at 134 words and haven’t said a thing yet.

So what exactly are you seeing here? These are the confiscated tools from the shoe shiners, standing outside a police station in West-Beirut. The shoe shiners in general are young Syrian boys, who apparently were not in the possession of the proper shoe shining permit, or whatever it is you need in order to shine people’s shoes, and so they get arrested, and their meager boxes are confiscated, and discarded in the back yard of the police station. No idea what happened to the shoe shiners themselves. They probably pay a fine, are let off, and then have to scramble a new set together.
The shoeshining business isn't what it used to be, I reckon. People where either Uggs, Converse, sneakers, or plastic rain boots, as seems to be the fashion in Beirut these days. But as every Dutch person can tell you; you get awfully wet and cold feet in rubber boots.
There you go, and some 700 more words to go.


visnja said...

Sietske, have you heard what's up with 'red river in Beirut'???

Rani - راني said...

Nice perspective, makes you think

Sietske said...

Hi Visjna, no, no idea. First I thought it was a good Valentine's stunt, but I was a day off. Here is some info on the river: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Local-News/2012/Feb-17/163597-dye-dumped-by-factory-colored-beirut-river-red.ashx#axzz1ma9Q8pnd
Hi Rani, thanks!

visnja said...

yes, that's approximately what I read so far! strange, isn't it!?
thanks for response.
peace & love