29 August 2010

Creating the Next Superpower (on Twitter)

Twitter is pretty good for spreading information, live news, and wasting time. It's also good for creating the next utopia.

So here I was on the morning of the first day of the week, thinking, wow, that weekend was definitely not long enough, and so I posted: "I'm going to start my own country where weekends are 3 days and the weekdays are 4. Whose with me?" Apparently the concept was too exciting for people to handle, and a flood of replies later, my 'country' was established with a population of five people (that took about 5 minutes). I declared that citizens can suggest legislation for the country, but considering it is my own country, it will be a pure dictatorship and final decisions regarding anything are up to me.

This didn't seem to fly well with a few citizens who started retaliating by burning tires (and here), and stuff. Of course I wasn't going to let that happen so I started hiring people to head up the Ministries; with security being the prime issue at hand, the Minister of Security was hired (who was later fired for being inadequate and demoted to Minister of Barbie Dolls).

With riots and fires, we set the name of the country to the 'Democratic Empire of ammarolands' (kinda like Netherlands), and the Minister of Finance was hired, whose first job was to provide a budget to build shopping malls (to stimulate the economy) and jails (to keep those causing trouble locked away). So with 10% of the population in jail (drastic measures for the safety of the country) I, the emperor, went on to hire more people to fill in the important positions within the country. Eventually, the following posts/roles were filled:

@ammar456: The Emperor
@afnansz: Minister of Security, later demoted to Minister of Barbie Dolls
@HasanZainal: Minister of Finance, who has cabinet meetings in Sharm Al Shaikh
@rashid_AG: Minister of Adult Entertainment
@Fahad_: Minister of Twitter
@Neenooh: Minister of Defense who is skilled in the art of torture
@NaseemF: Headed the riots and escaped the country. The Bin Laden of #ammaroland
@mssenos: Minister of Health; originally had no assigned budget so was stuck with giving out Panadol Extra's to the sick

Of course, in any new country, there are always the opportunists, and these were the lovely @FahadFakhro and @h9290, who decided to make their money through liquor and prostitution (not of themselves). Obviously in #ammaroland religion and state are completely separate and therefore morality is subjective, and so those businesses were allowed to run. Plus they generate good money so we can't say no to that...

A few more people joined in important positions as the weeks went on:

@maymalk: Runs the Apple Store in #ammaroland
@loay555: The new cold-hearted Minister of Security

And even with all the money we were generating, we were still running a little on the edge of bankruptcy (imagine, a whole country bankrupt). Luckily for us, we got a donation by @RamiJamal for 500 trillion ammarollars (equivalent to about 10 trillion million billion US dollars), and that allowed us to give the whole country 3 days off in non-stop party celebrations.

Of course, it was only upwards from there. We developed the economy, society was prosperous, and we started building the World's tallest tower (456 floors with the emperors palace on the top floor) while importing the labor from Italy & Spain (models only). @NoorAlHaji was hired as Minister of Social Development and @Yasmineelcharif as Minister of PR, who also made sure that each citizens gets an iPad, iPhone4 or/and Blackberry, and a personal concierge.

Onwards, we had discussions with N.Korea on a partnership to create clean energy, decided the passport would be black with Platinum print and encrusted diamonds, we opened a halal casino too, and even created a Ministry of Twitter.

Next came discussions with the UN, taking over nearby countries, growing farms and producing crops for the entire world, etc.. So far it's been a good 10 years (about 5 hours in TwitterTime) at #ammaroland, and now it's probably time to start waking up and either doing it in real life or going back to doing nothing particularly useful all day.


22 August 2010

The Reason i'm Not Voting this Year


No seriously, this is the face of our Parliament? Are you kidding me? If its not a beard on their chin, its a 3mama on their head.

Where are the doctors, the engineers, the bankers, the teachers, the businessmen, who are supposed to give us a well rounded Parliament that represents all aspects of our developing economy? Why just the extremist religious nuts who have only enough education to think economy is just the cheaper option when buying a plane ticket?

God, another four years of legislation to do with banning anything not related to bringing us back to the 12th century? I'm so looking forward to this (please sense my sarcasm).

And then you ask why Bahrain is hardly moving forward?

Thanks to Mahmood for the image.

14 August 2010

The Last Vimto

What's Ramadhan without a glass of ice cold Vimto? Here's a short movie I produced about what would happen when we run out of Vimto; filmed the whole thing in under an hour, and edited in another hour or so. Pretty quick, and yes it's a bit silly, but did it for the hell of it.. (Click the video for the higher res version) - Enjoy:

Produced/Edited by; ammaro
Actors; Manaf (aka The RedBelt) and Basharo
1st Track: by The Recipe - 3 MC's
2nd Track: Damian Marley/Nas - As We Enter

11 August 2010

Back from Beijing, Kyoto & Tokyo

Wow, it's been a long two weeks. I haven't updated the site in a while, but again, i've been on holiday in Beijing, Kyoto & Tokyo. Weird how I ended up there actually; the original plan was to fly to UK and a few places around Europe, the visas ended up getting delayed because of the summer rush (typical ammaro, leave everything to the last minute), and I wasn't too excited about Europe anyway since i've pretty much seen it all before (well, Italy, France, Holland etc).

Decided it might be time to check out somewhere new. Thailand? No, done it before. China? Hmm, maybe, but it doesn't really hold that much appeal on it's own. Tokyo???? Hmmm, now we're talking.

I've kinda been fascinated with Tokyo for years and years. The appeal of a country that does half of it's work via robots, is completely foreign to the rest of the world in terms of language and habits, comes out with the craziest styles, etc etc. Gotta see it first hand.

So, planned the trip, ended up planning a visit to Kyoto too since everyone I know from Japan recommended it, and added a few days in Beijing to see the Great Wall, Tianananananamen Square (I never know when to stop with the nana's here), etc. I'm working on a short video blog of the whole thing which i'll probably post up tomorrow or so, but for now enjoy some of the pix.

Ended up flying into Beijing first; funny thing there is that nothing is in English, and almost no one there knows how to speak it, so you better be armed with at least some basic vocabulary. Landing in the airport and getting a taxi to your hotel means writing down your hotel's name in Chinese, otherwise, good luck trying to get there :p

It was pretty fun though, everything from getting lost in translation to trying to explain things to people, trying to figure out what certain signs mean, unsafe 2km high cable cars, climbing up the great wall, to finding live edible scorpions on a stick. China is nuts.

Kyoto was next, although the Air China flight that was supposed to arrive in Osaka Airport at 9pm was delayed by around 3 hours. Ended up arriving at Osaka at midnight, and guess what? Everything was closed. That includes ATM machines and no more trains to take you to Kyoto (taking a taxi would have cost around 200 dinars). There was nothing in the vicinity of the airport since it was built on it's own man-made island, with the exception of a tiny hotel (which was fully booked), and a small supermarket. Great, homeless on my first day in Japan. With no ATM machines, no Japanese cash (they didn't accept my lovely dollars), I finally found a supermarket that accepted my visa card. Ended up buying a coke, some chips and some biscuits, which totaled around 10 dinars =o

Welcome to the reality of how expensive this place is ammaro :p

Anyway, had to wait till about 5am when everything opened up, got on a train and headed for Kyoto. Kyoto is amazing; it's like a small town, not too built up, but advanced as hell. And a good 20 minutes walk will take you out to green mountains, rivers, old classic geisha neighborhoods, century old shrines and temples. Some scenes looked like something out of Kill Bill. Wonderful. And the Japanese are great; they're totally organized, they follow all the rules, everything is in some sort of order, from people crossing the street, to eating, to to to... Nuts.

A few days in Kyoto and it was off the to the great Tokyo! Took a Shinkansen 350km/hr supertrain and ended there in less than 3 hours, passing by the ridiculously amazing Mt Fuji. Place looks like something out of a movie.

Arriving in Tokyo and navigating their overly complex Subway system to get to the hotel wasn't as difficult as I thought; luckily their stations are all labeled in English. Coming out of the station straight into Shibuya Intersection (basically Japan's version of Times Square) was an overload of noise, lights and people. The place was crazy, and the without a doubt the best examples of organized chaos i've seen. In Times Square, Picadilly Circus etc there are people walking all over the place, all the time. Here, they all stop for the lights, and gather gather gather up until it turns green, and then within a few seconds they're all let loose on the intersection. It's a pretty cool sight (i'll post it up in the video).

The hotel was right above Shibuya intersection; just the view alone was ridiculous. Here, take a look:

Wow. Of course, with Tokyo considered one of the three command centers for the modern world economy (along with New York and London), this place is pretty damn big. It feels more like a bunch of collected cities than just one single one, each with it's own personality. Akihabara was geek town, full of gadgets, electronics, anime and manga shops. Roppongi held the shady side of town, with seedy night clubs and adult outlets, Shinjuku with it's crazy dressed weirdo's, and so on it goes. Spending a week in Tokyo was nowhere near enough to take it all in, but sadly, that's all I had. But another visit is due, soon!

I've got a ton of photos up on my FB page, so if you're interested in taking a look at more higher res images, check out the Beijing album here and the Tokyo/Kyoto ones here! And don't forget to check back for a short vlog of the trip in a day or two!