Article: 262038 of talk.bizarre Newsgroups: talk.bizarre From: Ken Johnson <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Back From Bangladesh: My Diary, part 1 of 2 (Long) Message-ID: <DJ7uCn.45A@cogsci.ed.ac.uk> Sender: email@example.com (C News Software) Nntp-Posting-Host: 22.214.171.124 Organization: Centre for Cognitive Science, Edinburgh, UK Date: Thu, 7 Dec 1995 12:21:59 GMT Lines: 560 Status: O X-Status: I am just back from a month spent in Bangladesh undertaking some computer training and installing a textual data base at the Small Enterprise Unit of Intermediate Technology in Dhaka. This is the first section of my diary for the month. Share and enjoy. Part Two will be posted later. Ken Johnson -- Wednesday 8 November Turbulence feels like being strapped into a sledge and being dragged over rough cobbles by wild horses. This is an immensely long trip: almost exactly a quarter of the way round the world, much of it through turbulence. The longest section is the seven hour run from London to Dubai. The in- flight movies were "While You Were Sleeping" and "Judge Dredd", so I watched Judge Dredd twice. My new manager Aslam boarded at Karachi and met me. At Karachi the local forces of what passes for law and order appeared to have requisitioned every spare seat on the aircraft in order to repatriate illegal Bangladeshi immigrants who had been rounded up. Though all were allowed into Bangladesh when we landed, the Bangladeshi government was later to complain that these Bangladeshis had been riding without valid travel documents and threatened to shuttle them back to Karachi. On the aircraft they gave me a white form asking whether there were in my hand luggage or suitcases any colour televisions, video recorders, video players, refrigerators, washing machines or microwave ovens. Newsreader, adopting magisterial tone: "Two hairdressing students from Stoke on Trent have been arrested in Bangladesh .. This is believed to be the biggest haul of refrigerators ever made by Customs, blah, blah, the students protested their innocence, blah, the refrigerators were discovered in the womens' handbags after an anonymous tip-off." Arrived at Dhaka. At baggage reclaim the conveyor broke down, presumably under the weight of all the smuggled refrigerators. Airport staff continued to feed luggage along the bit that was still working and then kick it into a pile on the floor when it reached the broken bit and got stuck. Since the aircraft was full, over three hundred people were scrabbling to recover luggage off this pile, watched, but in no way helped, by several laughing officials. Met at the airport by Aslam's brother, both mens' wives and children. While I waited for them to fetch their car from the airport car park, children begged me for takas which I didn't have; I gave one a disposable razor that they'd given me on the plane and the other a ballpoint pen with the logo of Portobello Job Centre. They seemed happy enough with this, so I guess that they were begging as a source of amusement rather than as a source of income. They took me to my lodgings, a huge guest house on the narrow Indira Road, and I was introduced to Kabir, who was to cook and keep house for me. In the afternoon, the company driver brought Aslam and they took me to the ITDG office on Road No. 13A. My place of work for the next month is a large, converted house. At a staff meeting in the afternoon I was able to introduce myself to everyone. I then learned that the local opposition parties had declared Hartal (translates National Kill Everybody Week) until next Thursday, so I was to spend the daylight hours of most of my first week indoors, hacking on a Compaq portable. During National Kill Everybody Week it is far too dangerous for foreigners to go out of doors. Life on Indira Road seemed to go on undisturbed, but I later heard that bombs had been thrown in the City Centre and there had been many injuries and arrests. The City Centre is about a kilometre away. Staring out of the window of my lodgings I notice that my next door neighbour has two cows tethered in a makeshift barn in her garden. Indeed there is a complete agricultural complex there, also including chickens and indeterminably many little girls who stick their heads over the wall and watch me in silence any time I walk down the road. Thursday 10 November Discovered two cockroaches and many thousands of ants in the kitchen. I mentioned this to Kabir, who says he will get some Ant Medicine. As it is Hartal, getting the Ant Medicine is less than straightforward. The cockroaches appear to have been living in some cardboard boxes in the kitchen, so I move the boxes onto the verandah. Unlike Britain, here in Dhaka the poor people live in cheap apartments while the cockroaches live in old cardboard boxes. I am pleased to discover that with my Sony Walkman I can listen to the BBC World Service here on Dhaka's one VHF radio channel. Sometimes there is no signal at all on that frequency; at other times there is chatter in what I presume is Bangla, but in the morning and late evening the World Service announces itself with its nursery rhyme jingle and its identification "This is London", probably unchanged since the War. Indeed, the ambience of the World Service is most redolent of the old BBC Home Service with its plummy voices, its mediæval taste in pop music and above all its assumption that I suffer from Alzheimer's, listen to the wireless while looking down the back of the sofa for my ration books for the thousandth time, and have to be humoured. For example, it never mentions Tony Blair without reminding me that he is the Leader of the British Opposition. It is as the world were populated by folk who had never heard of Tony Blair, which is hugely improbable, though many people probably confuse him with Lionel Blair. Friday 11 November Each day begins with the Call to Prayer. It begins with a bellow of "ALLAAAAAH!!" delivered at the sound-pressure of a nuclear shock wave through banks of industrial grade loudspeakers, and it continues for about five minutes. I am at a loss to describe what the Call sounds like, but you could liken it to being woken in the night by two cats fighting, to the tuneless baying of drunken football fans, to those dogs that used to howl along to their favourite tune on the Esther Rantzen programme, or to a Max Bygraves concert. First day of the Muslim weekend. I am taken around tourist Dhaka, which includes the huge Aalong shopping centre and the Nawab Ahsanullah's Palace which is now a historical museum. Most impressive; the Nawab seems to have tried to be a good patriarch, and was responsible for installing the filtered water mains and drainage system into Dhaka. Bought a Street Map of Dhaka and discovered that my bit of Indira Road is not to be seen on it. As the alleyway where the guest house stands is identical to the countless other alleyways in the area, I dread having to find my own way home if ever I have to. The street signs are in Bangla, of course, and the numerals are not Western either. The symbols '0' and '2' are used for zero and two, while '8' means four and '9' means seven. The other numerals are all unique to Bengali. I have also noticed that big numbers are represented in a different style: there is no equivalent of "one million". Instead, one hundred thousand is one lakh and one hundred lakh is one crore. Thus, fifteen million four hundred and twenty thousand is translated into one crore, fifty-four lakh and twenty thousand, and written 1,54,20,000, except for being in Bangla numerals. To get back to door numbers, the problem is that all the houses in this part of the city have large front yards which are separated from the narrow street by high walls. The streets all resemble a back alleyway and they are indistinguishable, unless - I suppose - you live here. You could find your way by using the political slogans painted on the walls as landmarks, if you could read them. Sayeed: "Excuse me, my good man. Can you direct me to the lentil stand?" Ahmed: "Indeed I can, brother. Go along here until you reach 'Bring Back Stoning', then turn left - straight on until 'Hands Off Americans', and you can't miss the lentil stand, it's in between 'What Did You Do In The Revolutionary Militia, Daddy?' and 'No Pork'." Sayeed: "Thank you kindly, and may peace be upon you." Ahmed: "Peace be upon you, and be careful not to trip over a cow and send your lentils flying into the open sewer." Saturday 12 November First day of National Kill Everybody Week and I stay indoors; the jet lag has also hit me and I am desperately tired in the morning so I spend several hours in bed. My bed is a cane and bamboo four-poster with a mosquito net. In the evening, my colleague Alamgeer takes me to visit his auntie; she introduces her sixteen year old daughter Mithila, who speaks perfect English and is most pretty. Other women seem to be hiding in the back room of her flat; every now and then one of them peeps round the door as though by accident, and scuttles off. Alamgeer visits his relatives often because at the house in which he rents a room the women won't allow him into the kitchen. If he had been married he could have sent his wife into the kitchen, but as a single man he has to buy food on the streets or visit relatives. I imagine that many Western women deeply envy their Islamic counterparts this arrangement. Auntie tells me how concerned she is that I do not have a wife, and asks me whether I would consider marrying a Bangladeshi. I don't think she has any particular Bangladeshi in mind. Wednesday 15 November I go to the bank to change some money. They ask to see my passport, which I haven't brought, so they won't sell me any currency. Conversations here run deep. I have already been asked my views on divorce, abortion, Northern Ireland, the Gay Times blasphemy case and Salman Rushdie. Thursday 16 November I bring my passport with me this time and I go to the bank to change some money, but this being Thursday they closed at lunch time. Am I imagining it, or are banks the same the world over? Friday 17 November A one day weekend, because in order to recover the work lost during National Kill Everybody Week ITDG is going to open its office tomorrow. Those responsible for it believe National Kill Everybody Week to have been such jolly fun that they are going to have another one in the middle of December. I am taken by car to Savar, a small town perhaps 30 km to the north of Dhaka, to visit a poultry farm in which Babur, one of the directors of ITDG, has a stake. The farm comprises quarters for two employees (the third lives in the town with his family), a cattle shed, two poultry houses, a vegetable patch and a fish tank. The farm is perhaps half an acre in extent. It has endured a couple of unfortunate failures recently: a venture into cattle had to be curtailed because there was not enough fodder for twenty-two head and the number of cows was reduced to seven; then broiler-chicken production failed because there was no market for the meat. When I visited, the poultry sheds were empty, but a shipment of chicks was expected from India; these would be used for egg production. The fish tank is a half buried, open-topped cubical tank about four feet (1.3m) along each edge. There were twenty or thirty catfish swimming in the tank. When the water is changed, the used water pours along a channel and irrigates the vegetable patch. The vegetable patch has also been a less than total success because there has been less rainfall than its managers had hoped for. There is no mains water, so the tank is filled from an old-fashioned hand-cranked pump. A British smallholder trying to produce meat economically here would certainly try pigs, since they eat whatever can be brought in, fatten reasonably quickly and require very little space. However, this being an Islamic country, the manufacture and consumption of pork are both streng verboten. Back in the flat, the pile of cardboard is still on the verandah so I attack it with my new spray-can of Ant Medicine. Half a dozen cockroaches, each the size of a chicken, rush out coughing and wheezing and try to kill me by running away and hiding in dark corners. Continue to attack relentlessly with Ant Medicine until they are all dead. Spraying a cockroach with Ant Medicine makes it jump into the air and squeak, which sounds funny but actually these insects are perfectly vile. I again suggest to Kabir that it would be a good idea to remove the pile of cardboard and burn it, but he leaves it there anyway. Later I am visited by a bright yellow lizard who runs up and down the living room walls wearing a seraphic smile. Kabir says she probably has an eek in her. I think lizards lay their eeks in soft ground, so she must wonder what we see in marble floors. After perching high on one wall and watching us both for a few minutes, Liz rushes off and can't be seen anywhere. Liz has an amazing gift for running up and down smooth vertical surfaces. I didn't think any animals except flies could do that. Road traffic here is quite different from any I have ever seen or imagined. Start by picturing two stock car races in opposite directions, and to that add about fifty per cent rickshaws, a couple of ox-carts and dozens of people trying to cross the racetrack. At the moment of writing I have not, yet, been involved in any collision on the road except being crashed into by the rickshaw behind, which doesn't count, especially as he did it several times on purpose. Everything overtakes on whichever side offers the greatest chance of getting ahead. Red traffic lights are disregarded unless the road is so busy that you would have had to wait in any event. When turning left or right into another traffic stream it seems customary to expect oncoming traffic to weave and avoid you rather than to wait for a gap; you rely on the other guy having good eyesight and excellent brakes. Rickshaws never carry lights and the rather faster autorickshaws rarely do, so it cannot always be possible for a car driver to see the traffic coming towards him. Everyone honks the horn every few seconds, so at the side of a main road the noise of car horns is, literally, continuous from dawn until dusk: I mean an unbroken blare varying only in intensity and the direction of its source. On the roads the pollution is choking; it smells as though it is mainly diesel fumes from lorries and from the spluttering two-stroke engines of the autorickshaws. Still, there is no city in the world where traffic runs through the centre at more than 30 km per hour, so Dhaka's traffic system is probably as efficient a people mover as any other. Saturday 18 November I bring my passport with me again and go to the bank to change some money. The exchange rate is about Tk 63 to the pound, which means that the Taka has risen about 14% against the pound in the last year or so. Sunday 19 November News reaches me that the smug, self-righteous bully Roger Cooke has made a television programme alleging that Bangladeshi children are being kidnapped by gangs of ruffians and sold into prostitution; furthermore, Bangladeshi parents, he says, regularly break their childrens' arms and legs in order that the children may be more effective as beggars. I retail this yarn to ITDG staff, who are familiar with the problems and customs of the rural poor throughout Bangladesh, and they laugh out loud. If Roger Cooke really wants to find child abuse, under age prostitutes, juvenile thieves' kitchens and so forth for the public entertainment, they suggest, he should turn his hidden cameras and concealed microphones and deceitful accomplices on the childrens' homes run by the British Social Services, who have every reason for wanting to distract attention from their own atrocities. But the finest beach in the world, the comfortable climate and the ferocity of the English libel laws have between them impelled this loathsome Chief Superintendent Lockhart manqué to accuse the defenceless peasants in the second poorest country in the world of these most disgusting crimes; and while collecting his enormous fees Mr Cooke seems not to notice that there are no bars here and prostitution is unknown. The position of women in Muslim society is practically a dissertation subject. I can only write up my own observations: namely, that Bangladeshi women are often remarkably pretty, and although they never show bare arms or legs they often flash bare midriff and they deck themselves in fluorescent sarees: red, green, yellow, purple or sky blue, often embroidered with mirrors so they flash in the sun like jewels. They carry themselves absolutely upright and move silently through crowds of men; in a group, they will talk to each other but not to outsiders, nor do outsiders try to talk to them. Trying to attract the attention of a woman you don't know is a grave social error. The woman who prepares the dishes of rice and vegetables that we eat at lunchtime in ITDG always dresses from head to foot in a brilliant red saree with yellow embroidery. She has never looked directly at me once: if she is bringing something for me, she always looks down, or to one side: an unnerving act of deference. I often see women riding on rickshaws, or sitting on sidewalks in groups of half a dozen, just chatting together; surprisingly, the customers at the food stalls in the bazaar seem mainly to be men. Homes have space for the women to gossip without the men being present: where several apartments share a central atrium, this is given over to the women. I can't imagine how boy meets girl here. Perhaps you just have to know someone who has a woman he doesn't want. I'm told that the tradition of the "bride price" persists but polygamy was abolished recently. It is generally taken for granted that the abolition of polygamy is a move towards womens' liberation, but I would not be so sure. It is, arguably, better for a woman to be the fourth wife of a Nawab than the only wife of a rickshaw puller, while the rickshaw puller will stand little chance of taking a wife as long as richer men can take as many as they want. Islamic divorce, which was available on the man's request on grounds of adultery and in comparison with which the British "quicky" divorce is ten years' penal servitude, has also been abolished in favour of a longer drawn out civil process. Miss Bangladesh is an icon here. You see her picture stuck on walls, on posters, on calendars and on magazine covers everywhere. She is quite pretty, with milky-coffee skin and a sort of girl-next-door sweetness. Monday 20 November The international conglomerates whose products I have so far recognised here are Cadbury, Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola and Procter and Gamble. Safeway is a pest exterminator, and advertises on posters that say "Safeway" with a picture of a huge cockroach and a telephone number. Several cafes have put a "Big Mac" on their menu, and the one I tried was actually a passable version of it, though the bread was sweeter than I expected. There is also a Chinese restaurant on Mirpur Road called Magdonals, but the real Macdonald's has yet to arrive here. Tuesday 21 November Great moments in the history of computing No. 94: Demonstrating the INMAGIC documentation logging system, I observe to a group of six students that there is a field in the data base for the ISSN number of newspapers, magazines and journals. Met by blank looks, I blarney that every newspaper, magazine or journal has an ISSN number nowadays, and send the group on a five-minute treasure hunt to find some. Then I examine the resulting pile of printed matter: not one of the journals they found has an ISSN, not even the South East Asian edition of Time Magazine. Later that day I come upon a tatty American magazine which has an ISSN, but it is too late to be of any use. It contains an article "Ace That Interview!", full of helpful suggestions along the lines of "Turn Up For The Interview!", "Say Good Morning/Afternoon and Shake Hands!" - I never would have thought to do either - "Look Interested!". No wonder I'm unemployed: so much to learn. The food here is beginning to pall. For one thing, I have had travellers' diarrhoea and spent an hour or so of each night in the toilet. For another, Bangladeshi food is not really to my taste. You get lots of rice and various vegetables, which are richly spiced so they taste only of spice. The Bangladeshis are very proud of their fish and offer it to me often, but it is of a kind through whose flesh run thousands of sharp, tiny bones. It's like eating a razor- blade sandwich. I can't chew these bones and if I don't manage to remove them all while the fish is still in my mouth, then they catch in my throat and make me retch. Prawns are served with the shells still on. Kabir cooked me meat once and I enjoyed it. Since then he's asked me, several times, "What I cook is dinner?" I: "How about meat?" Kabir: "I make you fish, good." There is also revolting dried fish, which smells like glue. I am grateful for the fresh fruit which Kabir puts in the refrigerator: apples, bananas, oranges, pineapples, papayas. I get on fairly well with fruit, but I would kill for a take-away pizza. With bacon, of course. This evening brings a marvellous respite. Four of the staff here take me in the ITDG minibus to the Sea Food Restaurant in the Diplomatic Quarter. In this excellent Chinese restaurant I have a chance to talk with Iqbal, the local BESO representative. He has first-class English and we talk easily; the food is so marvellous that until we leave the air-conditioned building and the heat hits us again I quite forget we are in Bangladesh. Once outside, the restaurant security guard goes into the car park and a few seconds later the minibus arrives to take us home. Our driver has been sitting out here all the time waiting for us to finish eating. Thursday 23 November I have been invited to the Ambassador's Reception, which means lunch with the British Deputy High Commissioner. Eighteen of us gather in Ninfa's Restaurant in the diplomatic quarter of the city: four High Commission staff, Aslam, Iqbal and twelve BESO volunteers from various projects all over Dhaka. The food is Thai, and of the most magnificent; the Embassy staff have brought supplies of wine and beer for us, though no Ferrero Rocher. I sit to the right of the First Secretary and opposite the Deputy High Commissioner herself, and within conversation distance of a specialist in hospital management and of an expert on architecture. The architect is Professor Hugh Danby of the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. Years ago ¾ 1971, I think ¾ when there was a sit-in in his department, I covered the story for the student paper "Courier" and interviewed Professor Danby. It is indeed a small world. At the lunch Iqbal hands me a folder containing half a dozen sheets of BESO headed notepaper. Back at the office I use these to prepare certificates for those ITDG staff who have been coming to my Wordperfect sessions. They are more pleased than I expected to get some recognition on paper of their efforts. Friday 24 November Today I take my first trip on Happy Ride Bangladeshi Railway for a visit to Mymensingh, 120 Km north of Dhaka. Farhad has drawn the short straw and is to be my travelling companion for the day. He can't understand why I don't want to go by bus. Dhaka's central station is a surprisingly magnificent concrete building, designed along the lines of a cathedral with a tremendously high vaulted ceiling and bright lighting, in a plaza thronged with rickshaws and beggars. The platforms are wider than I am used to, probably because of the need to cope with large crowds of passengers; the track is metre gauge and largely overgrown with grass. You expect Thomas the Tank Engine to chug into the platform at any minute. Several hawkers offer us magazines, bottles of mineral water and what look like packets of crisps. We can't find the carriage in which our seat is booked, so we board the nearer of the two dilapidated first-class carriages and occupy two seats, which are comfortable though well-worn leather armchairs. The char-wallah tells us that, yes, these are the right seats, and fetches us tea and a breakfast of fried bread. It is very tasty. The land on either side of the railway through Dhaka is largely occupied by shanties, the horrific slums. Huts built of rush matting and with bare-earth floors are sited very close together, and there is no supply of drinking water nor adequate sanitation, so the results can be imagined easily enough. Each hut appears to be home to a family of man, wife and children. The shanties seem to stretch in a narrow belt for four or five kilometres along the railway line. After today, every time I see a Western aid worker squabbling with a rickshaw puller over a matter of two or three taka (fivepence), I expect I shall find myself wondering whether the rickshaw puller lives in a shanty of this kind. I Once the city is behind us, we pass through rice paddies and occasional stretches of bright green forest. Our top speed is about 45 kph. We reach Mymensingh in just under two and a half hours, and we have time to visit a local sweetmeats shop, wander round the bazaar and take a rickshaw across the recently built road bridge over the Brahmaputra. Rather than build this bridge as a plate-girder bridge or other old-fashioned design, the designers of this bridge built it as a modern suspension bridge; this means the road has a noticeable vertical curvature, the roadway sloping upwards from each approach to a summit in the middle. Probably the designers just forgot that most of the traffic here is rickshaws, which have great difficulty climbing up to the centre of the bridge and then roller-coaster down the other side at breakneck speed. When we return to the station, the clerk in the dingy booking office tells us that the 16.20 to Dhaka is running three hours late - such are the logistics of operating over a network of single track - and we plan instead to catch the 17.20, which is running only half an hour late. On the platform I am approached by a succession of nutcases asking for money in exchange for displaying various disfigurements. When the 17.20 arrives at 18.00, we are again unable to find the carriage in which our seats are reserved, so we occupy two seats in a definitely different first class carriage. These seats also have different numbers from those reserved for us, yet again the char-wallah assures us that these are indeed the right seats. Nobody else seems to think they have booked these seats, although the carriage is full. On the way south one of the passengers produces a portable radio from which a female voice can be heard speaking in Bangla. Gradually nearly all the passengers in the carriage except Farhad and myself are drawn to this voice, standing gravely and listening in silence. It is Khalida Zia, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, who has decided in view of the state of affairs here to resign and ask the President to call a General Election. Any British politician in the same position would be banging on about look here, it's a mid-term depression, it's a blip. Paxman: "But the opposition parties have been boycotting Parliament for months, haven't they?" Smug man in suit: "Oh, it's just a little local difficulty." Paxman: "And Bangladesh is still the poorest country in the world." Man, guffawing: "Where did you get that one from, Jeremy? We are now [wags finger] the second poorest in real terms, I'll have you know, and this recession is world-wide: the only reason we are so poor is that all the other countries have more money than we do." Paxman: "Well then, Mr. Man, does it really not concern you that half the population is at risk from diseases carried by polluted water?" Man: "I have talked to my rich friends about this, and we expect the number of starving peasants to be in single figures by the end of the year." The young woman seated opposite me is trying to read while this broadcast is going on, but a man is kneeling on the seat beside her straining to bring his ears closer to the portable radio. Unable to achieve this at the first attempt, he tries to do it by reaching across her and taking hold of the head- rest that she is leaning on, levering himself upwards. This forces her nose into his armpit. She continues to try to read, quite uncomplaining. As for the phrase "Happy Ride Bangladeshi Railway", I saw it painted on a station near Zia Airport and hoped it might be the name adopted by the national railway network. Sadly, I did not see the phrase at all today; it must have been painted by the local station master. The carriages of the trains we rode today are labelled "Inter City" with an arrowhead device. Saturday 25 November An extra National Kill Everybody Day is called for today in honour of former President Ershad who is languishing in prison suffering from jaundice. His supporters say he ought to be allowed to languish in hospital with jaundice like everybody else has to. I am confined to barracks again while outside, fifteen people are injured, nineteen are arrested, and two bombs are set off. The Bangladeshi Observer describes these events under the headline "8-hr hartal passes off peacefully." Monday 27 November Three men in overalls arrive at the office carrying a promising pile of boxes. These do not, as I had imagined, contain ITDG's new network server, but the company has decided to lend us a server until the one we ordered arrives from Singapore. They assemble the machine, instal Novell Netware and have the whole machine ready to go in half a day. Sadly, we still have no network cables as these are all in Kathmandu or somewhere awaiting customs clearance, so the workmen switch the machine off and go away. In the evening I am invited to say hello to the British Trade Delegation to Bangladesh, which has been staying in the Sonargaon Hotel here for a couple of days listening to speeches. The reception takes place in a marquee on the lawn of the Deputy High Commissioner's Residence, which is decorated with strings of Christmas tree lights. There are a number of members of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce here, all of them senior figures in local industry, and a writer from The Economist. Waiters ply us all constantly with canapes and drinks. The British Trade Delegation seems mainly to be looking for sales to the natural gas and road construction industries. I hope all these new roads will not be fatal competition to Happy Ride Bangladeshi Railway. Thursday 30 November Almost the whole of ITDG is away at a meeting on rural food processing, so I am able to complete the user manual for the SEU system undisturbed. Just finishing when Said ul Haq of USAid arrives and asks for a demonstration of it. I give him a copy of the system (sadly, of course, it is useless without Inmagic itself, which I can't give him because it is licensed software) and of the newly finished documentation. He stays for a demonstration of the system and seems impressed by what it does. Fame at last.