The Old Triangle


A man made a mistake and paid a price.
A drunken Irishman (not MB) wrote the following song. About a prisoner in a Dublin jail. The prisoner in this case is sentenced to hang. Take a listen:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aa7birRBmNM

A hungry feeling came o’er me stealing
And the mice were squealing
In my prison cell

And the old triangle
Went jingle jangle
All along the banks
Of the Royal Canal

The climate of the Middle East can be harsh. In more ways than one. A man can easily end up in jail.

MB was thinking about this today when he heard that an acquaintance of a few years back is now detained in the Dubai jail. For most Westies who end up in a Middle East clink, the reasons for incarceration are normally financial in nature. White collar stuff. Bounced cheques is a favourite.

To begin the morning
The warder’s bawling
“Get out of bed
And clean up your cell”

And the old triangle
Went jingle jangle
All along the banks
Of the Royal Canal

Out these parts an unpaid cheque is returned by the bank with a note of explanation. In almost all cases it’s because the guy who gave you the cheque has no money in his account. The note is then presented to the police who immediately detain the scoundrel. Scoundrel is then released, minus his passport. Jumping on a plane or crossing the border is not an option. A court case follows shortly after and scoundrel will go down if he can not pay off the amounts owed. And cry his eyes out for his girl Sal.

On a fine spring evening
The lag lay dreaming
The seagulls wheeling
High above the wall

And the old triangle
Went jingle jangle
All along the banks
Of the Royal Canal

The police are masters out these parts at finding a person. It’s bit like that movie ‘The Matrix’. They can track you in numerous high tech ways. Your utility bills. Your car hire company. Your Emirates ID. The police have online access to almost anything they want. Cyber cops with laptops. And wifi. If you can not be located at your address then your email or online activity, or your mobile phone can give them an immediate fix on your location. ‘Put your hands behind your back sir’.

The screw was peeping
The lag was sleeping
While he lay weeping
For his girl Sal

And the old triangle
Went jingle jangle
All along the banks
Of the Royal Canal

MB had some dealings a few years back with an elderly Italian businessman. Cash flow was tight due to non payment on projects. In part it must be said due to Italian company’s poor performance. Pressures ensued to keep the ship afloat and monthly salaries paid. Cheques were written and dated some months hence. Dates arrived but not the due payments. Cheques were returned. Lots and lots of cheques. Italian man moved to an address rented in a friend’s name. Italian man grew a beard. He called MB to meet him for a coffee. MB walked into the cafe, looked around and did not see him. And started to walk out again. A shout from the corner – “MB”. MB made his way to the stranger who had called. After a few moments of wondering why the hell a bearded stranger was calling him, MB recognised Italian man only by his smiling eyes. MB has often read of Italian mafia types eluding the police in their home country for a lifetime. On the evidence of MB’s experience MB can well believe it.

The wind was rising
And the day declining
As I lay pining
In my prison cell

And the old triangle
Went jingle jangle
All along the banks
Of the Royal Canal

But in any event, Italian man was in that very same coffee shop some months later for another appointment when his luck ran out. The police showed up and grabbed him. To this day Italian man does not know how the forces of law and order tracked him to that coffee shop on that particular day. Far as MB knows elderly Italian man is still doing time. And unless the cheques are paid off it will be difficult for elderly Italian man to get out of jail. Even when the sentence is finished. It’s not uncommon out these parts to get four years from the judge, but still be inside after six. Families & friends must to do what they must do to clear the cheques. Or the relative must remain inside.

In the female prison
There are seventy women
I wish it was with them
That I did dwell

Then the old triangle
Could go jingle jangle
All along the banks
Of the Royal Canal

MB is informed by those in the know that the prison facilities are very ‘third world’. Food is basic. None of the frills exist that a prison back home might have. An open yard with no protection from the sun is generally the only area to mix with fellow inmates and have some human contact. In 40C+ heat. MB heard a story of a Brit who did some time out here a few years back. For non-payment of a credit card bill or some such. On his eventual release he informed friends that his experience was horrific and he was going to ‘complain these assholes to Amnesty International and any other World body who will listen‘. MB is not sure if he ever did. They may have considered Brit was actually the asshole.

The day was dying
And the wind was sighing
As I lay crying
In my prison cell

And the old triangle
Went jingle jangle
All along the banks
Of the Royal Canal
All along the banks
Of the Royal Canal

Such is the way of life and law & order in the Middle East. You pays your money and you takes your chance. Make a mistake and pay the price. Do the crime & do the time. So far MB has kept a clean slate. Allah u akbar.

——

This week’s photos. Wine that is produced in nearby Muslim majority countries. Or countries with a large Muslim population. That MB acquired in recent weeks. For no particular reason. Sort of.

Some countries in the Middle East permit the production and/or sale of alcohol. Some do not.

IMG_5205 IMG_5208 IMG_5209 IMG_5210 IMG_5213 IMG_5214 IMG_5215 IMG_5216

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