Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Alex hates his job

So Alex just got home from work, and seemed to be in a not so great mood. Here's a copy of our conversation. Be warned, this is not censored, and Alex has a mouth of a sailor.

Prasheel is in Al Saadah, Oman says:
So whats th edeal with teh retarded people at work?
theres just no communication in that place
so theres these fucking filters
and they are making them for like four horus
and they pack them in this box
then they switch to slightly different filters
but they pack them in the same boxes
but theres a sticker on them with a small different serial number
and after a couple hours i realize
and i'm like "oh fuck, they started using the wrong stickers"
so i fuckin cut some boxes open
nope, right stickers
they fuckin started making different filters and didn't fucking tell me
so tons of fucking paperwork is completely fucked
and i have to spend a ton of time sorting out when the fuck they switched filters so i can redo all this fucked up paperwork
meanwhile i'm fucking being bomobarded with tons of boxes and can't even keep up
usually for three lines
Prasheel is in Al Saadah, Oman says:
Hahha, bombarded by boxes.
they have three people moving boxes
there was three line
and i was the only person
there was one point where i was insanely backed up
and the boxes they send down, if they don't fucking put the filters in the bag properly, theres to much air in the bags, and then the boxes are like slightly fucked up because they aren't big enough, so they are like...angled sort of
so they don't fucking sit
so i fucking am stacking away
i got like 30 stacked
Prasheel is in Al Saadah, Oman says:
Hahhaha, you sound mad stressed over these boxes.
i put a fucked up box down because i'm in a mad fucking rush
not paying any attention to shit
and it fuckin leans on the other ones enough that it knocks down like 30 boxes
so i fuckin flipped
i was so fucking pisses
i just started grabbin boxes and whipping them
i probably ruined like 100 filters
Prasheel is in Al Saadah, Oman says:
you knwo how i get super pissed when riding and huck my bike?
it was like that
but wayyyy fucking worse
i was prepared to get fired i was so pissed
i fuckin tell the dude
theres no fucking room
to put shit
i have fuckin fire exits blocked off completely
because theres just no fucking room
i'm like "man there is no fucking room"
and he comes down, he's like "look at all this room"
dude has no fucking clue
Prasheel is in Al Saadah, Oman says:
theres a super narrow path for a fork lift
and he tells me to block it off
and fill it with boxes
blocking off two more fire exits of sex, of which 4 are already fuckin blocked
not to mention there is like four stories of boxes/skids fuckin stacked high, almost falling over
like i could push it with my pinky
and knock them over
shit would fuckin kill you if it fell on you
if that place caught fire (which it has burned down completely before) i would be a goner
like, not a chance in hell i would get out alive
fuck that
on a plus side
our like main supervisor
i think she really digs me
i don't think shes aware that i'm 20
everyone there thinks i'm like 25
Prasheel is in Al Saadah, Oman says:
Its probably your beard that's doing it.
probably, shit is gettin gruesome
but everyone else complains about how she is like a bitch and mean
and she is beyond nice to me
so now i fuckin bitch to her about everything
like, every shift i've had
i've always been super positive, and just havin a ball
but tonight was so fuckin retarded
everyone was shocked at my anger
Prasheel is in Al Saadah, Oman says:
That's what beer is for.
because i'm usually the happiest person in that place
oh beer is my jesus rightn ow

Prasheel in Oman: Photo Edition

The first full day I was here, which was the day before we started shows, I had a little session on our balcony while Heinz Kaufmann shot some photos. Enjoy.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Prasheel in Oman: I'm Over It

So a few days have past since the last update, but most those days had nothing interesting occur...Nothing!

A few things worth mentioning though, are we got a tent! We show up one day, and the six hollow short pipes they concreted in now had large, solid poles up, with lots of wires going across, and a big ass orange tarp going across it. While we were performing the first show, they were still tying one side of the tarp to the wires on the top. On one side, pressumably to block off the mist which comes from an angle, the tarp reaches about 3/4 of the way to the ground, at an angle. While I guess it does block out some mist, it also blocks sight from the rest of the fair, so not only is there decreased standing room, people walking by don't really know whats going on. Oh, and this giant ass tarp is only big enough to cover two of our three ramps, lol.

So, as we're warming up before the first show, which it actually isn't even raining for, I ponder out loud with Ben about what happens when it actually does rain. As it is, Ben and Will are getting really close to hitting the ceiling when they air the big quarter or jump the box, especially with their backflips. The top of the tent sags a bit, and is flat, opposed to being sloped for drainage. Whatever, not my problem though.

First show goes fine, and in between shows again, without fail, it rains! The top of the tent is now sagging a lot. Oh, and the scaffolding they use to build the tent, has wheels on it. So, they roll around, trying to push up the ceiling to get the rain off. In the process, they tear a couple holes, and also start pushing the scaffold up the box jump. At one point, two wheels were on the ground, one wheel was up the ramp, and one wheel was a foot off the ground. There's two guys on top untaggling the wires they get messed up in and pushing the ceiling up. Anyways, we do the second show, but it continues to rain as we leave. Before departing, I just look at the water spewing down from the ceiling in between the two ramps its covering from the holes that are there.

So, we got this big ass tent, and we go back the next day for shows again, and the tent is gone! Half the poles are actually ripped out of the ground, pulling a 2 to 3 ft square out of the ground. Yay for my flat spots! And sure enough, the first day without the tent, it rains again.

The only other interesting news is most of us have internet at home now. We have to buy usb sticks and sim cards and recharge cards, which costs about $100US to get setup. Ben and Will were the first to make the purchase, then Devin, and most recently, Matt. Matt doesn't have his own computer though, so I share my computer with him in exchange for him sharing his internet with me; hurray for the barter system!

I am now on skype, and am usually on in the morning/early afternoon here, which is overnight back home. But, if you're bored and want to keep me company, feel free to skype me, prasheel.gopal is my skype name thingy.

Oh yeah, at this point, everything feels sooo insanely routine. I'm over this place and this trip, and am just on my own shit now. While the rest of the team is skyping their girlfriends 24/7, I'm actually riding, despite the shitty spots I got to work with. Oh well, when I get back home and get to my own lot, which is immensely more flat than what I'm working with here, I'll be that much better off for it I guess.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Prasheel in Oman; Still Doin' It

First off, I found out Devin's father somehow found this site and follows his son's trip through here, so I'd like to say hello Mr. Szmata!

Secondly, almost everything at this point has already become very routine. I can pretty much sum up each day with: sleep all day, wake up, go to show site, go straight to the internet, go try to do a show despite the rain, go back to internet, attempt another show, go back to internet, go to the market, come home, stay up watching movies.

On day 5 of shows, luckily, we took a small break from the norm by taking a drive up the mountain before heading to the show site. It's a pretty steep drive, but that didn't stop Mohammed from never shifting down past 3rd gear, which didn't sound or smell too good for the clutch. Near the top, the road got interesting, but Mohammed managed to not kill us yet. At the top, there was a flower garden, mosq, and a bunch of random vendors; I bought some sweet corn.

Apart from that, everything else was as per usual at the site. We were allowed back in the marketplace tent again (only allowed in on Mondays and Saturdays), so we made use of that. Matt tried to haggle for a watch, but still wasn't happy with the price and declined. Devin bought a fitted cap from my friend, who also gave us a good price on knock off D&G, Adidas, Calvin Klein, and Louis Vutton underwear. Our first show was just a flatground show due to the mist, but our second one went as per normal.

The 6th day was even worse in terms of shows. The rain was too much for us to even do anything for the first one, but Fahad made us sit out there, which we think is pretty embarrasing. We get little children standing along the 'fence' (string), and asking us when we're performing (in Arabic), and we have to try to explain to them how its too wet and therefore dangerous. They don't really understand and continue to stand around waiting for a show sometimes. It was a little drier for the second show, and we all did some half-assed flatland tricks.

At home, we celebrated and went through almost a full bottle of vodka that we picked up at the Muscat airport on the way in. I think we still have 2 bottles left, but I'm skeptical we can make it last for the rest of our duration in Salalah. I think we also gave our driver Mohammed some money to pick up more whiskey for us this day, but he's an interesting character with lots of stories. For instance, Mohammed was with the police this evening after getting in to a bit of an accident in one of the roundabouts (they don't have major intersections, just roundabouts that Mohammed never slows down for, despite the signs stating to do so).

The 7th day, again, we just slept through the whole day, and arrived to a moist show site. The ramps were quite slick, so we did two half assed flatground shows again, yay. Since Fahad is getting frustrated with the lack of shows being performed, they reconsidered the option of putting up a large tent over us, and have begun setting that up. They have dug up a few holes and put it in short hollow poles for now. Plus, in my flat spots, they have dug up holes for said poles, changed their mind, and cemented them full again, but leaving a mess of dirt and concrete around the spots that I ride in.

We are now told that when we want to use our driver, we have to call Fahad who will then call Mohammed. Apparently us calling Mohammed wasn't working out too well, because Mo has been working for other people on the side, and when Fahad calls him, he lies and says that he's busy taking us around somewhere, despite us rarely using him because he rushes us when we're out, and very often takes off when he is supposed to wait for us. The next day, we call Fahad who in turn calls Mo, and we head to the mall. While I'm upstairs ordering some glasses, everyone else has finished shopping and is outside. There's apparently a bunch of British people looking to go grab some KFC before heading back to the Hilton, where they are staying, but the local cab drivers are trying to charge them a very excessive rate (5 riyals/person). Mohammed and Julien then chat them up, and they started piling in to our van for a rate of just 1 riyal/person, but the local cabbies aren't impressed, and blocked our van from leaving while exchanging words with our driver. The Brits eventually give up and start walking, all before I even return to the van.

In other Mohammed news, he was apparently in the hospital the previous night, for 'stomach problems'. We ask him questions, and it appears as if he has neglected to eat or drink water for the past 3 days, claiming he has no money, as he's been spending it all on prostitutes. As he drops us off at home, we tell him to come in to eat some of our food. Instead, he seems captivated by the vodka, as whiskey is the only alcohol he knows. We have to tell him multiple times the alcohol is ours, and that he even still owes us whiskey. He doesn't even eat and leaves.

Finally, on the 8th day, we are able to perform shows again. I can't even remember the last time we were able to perform both shows in one day properly. They go off well, and we head home. While having intentions to go to bed early such that we can get Mohammed to take us to the Crown Royal plaza in the morning, we all stay up till about 4am, then sleep most of the next day away as well, lolol.

Oh yeah, during the past few days, I've been trying to ride more and more at home, even though I'm riding on the road which is very crowned. What's probably even worse than this, is that within 5 minutes of me being out there, dozens of kids come over to watch, converse, and harass me. This one fat kid always seems to gravitate towards my bike when I'm in the middle of a line. Part of me thinks he actually wants to get hit for some reason. Same fat kid somehow knows how to say 'fuck you', and likes to repeat it over and over. I've started to ride with my headphones again (which I avoided to the cars coming down the road and such), and the kids still try to harass me. Ignoring them does do the trick eventually, but they still sit there and try to converse and harass me for the first half hour. Sigh.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Prasheel in Oman: Let the Shows Begin

So, apparently Fahad (one of the dudes that's basically around to take care of us and make sure we're good) knows some girl that MCs, and she's supposed to announce our shows. On the first day, for our first show, she neglects to show up. Also, our show becomes very delayed as we have to wait around on a sound system to show up. The stuff arrives eventually, but they don't set it up correctly, so we just get one speaker going, and only playing one side of the it basically sounds like garbage. As well, half of us haven't done shows with each other, and all of this combined, makes for one terrible show.

After this, we head back to our change room for a little bit to cool off, as its still insanely hot out, despite the fact that it starts raining. We head back to the little internet booth in the fair, and try to lurk the internet from outside of it, but head in to the glass building to protect ourselves from the heavy misting. It's good to finally check emails and facebook and catch up with what's going on back home, as this place truly feels like a different world.

The misting continues, and our second show gets rained out. The brand new ramps (two quarter pipes and a jump box) are getting soaked, but we eventually tarp up the jump box. We wander around the festival a little bit, try to get in to the market place tent (which is insanely huge), but get turned away, as Thursday is a 'family day'...even though Devin and I lied and claimed we were brothers, oh well. What does suck a bit though is that throughout the week, there are four 'family days', one 'womens days', and only two 'general public days'. What this means, is that even though we were brought over to perform for them, we're only allowed in to the market place 8 times over the course of the next month.

We get home, eat, celebrate (drink), and watch The Hangover, and eventually get some rest.

The next day, Pat and Andrew, two of our managers, head to the airport to start their long journey home. Mohamad shows up unexpectedly at 4 o clock, even though we only have to be at the show site at 5pm. We try to go to the bank to exchange money, but because Fridays are their religious days, the bank is not open. Instead, we head to Lulu shopping center again, which is a mall that sells a variety of pretty much every thing. Devin buys himself a notebook similar to mine, and Matt contemplates the same, but forgot to bring the money for it. I take another look at some glasses I'm thinking about getting, but since I don't know my perscription (my mom emailed it to me, but I forgot to write it down and have a lack of internet to check again), I can't get them yet, sigh.

We head to the show site, I manage to sneak in to the market tent from the back, and quickly take a look around, noticing lots of blingin' watches for not very many I'll probably acquire one of these soon. I head out of the tent and to the change room, then we all head out to warm up.

The rain plus our warm up really do a number to our ramps, as the bottom portions are all getting torn up after being soggy, we get both shows done regardless, and they're much better than the day before, even with us still missing our announcer. Like usual, we leached internet in between as well.

We start heading back to the house and grab some snacks and drinks (I bought a Snickers Cruncher, and a non-alcoholic pineapple flavoured Barbican premium malt beverage), and Haithym (another one of the organizers that looks after us) shows up with pizza for us. Despite us apparently getting a per diem for food, they still deliver food to us twice a day, but its usually the same thing over on a regular basis.

The next day (day 3), Ben and Will headed to the show site early to do some repairs on the ramp, while the rest of us over slept and missed our driver Mohammed showing up to take us out for some shopping. He ended up returning a couple hours later, rather unexpectedly, and took us out. Along the way, he told us, in way too much detail, his escapades the previous night, which revolved around him picking up a prostitute and getting a hotel room. I managed to get some of it on video, so hopefully I can get that in to an edit and put it up. As well, despite liquor usually being hard to obtain, he claimied he could get us 2L of whiskey for 7 riyals, so we agreed, just to see what he would bring us.

Went to the show site, got to do some shopping, as the market was finally open for everyone that day. Over there, people haggle like its a sport. I ended up haggling for a watch pretty early, and even though I still wanted to look around at the other booths (lots of which were selling watches), I got a really hilarious watch for half the asking price, so took it. Also found a really funny 'New Era' fitted cap, also for really cheap. Together, I think I spent under $25.

Shows went well, went to the market plaza afterwards, Mohammed got our whiskey, ditched us for a while, then eventually returned with bags of shawarma for us. Got home, ate, and ended up going through the whiskey rather quickly. Ben and Will retired pretty early, but Matt, Julian, Devin, and I stayed up drinking most of the night. The usual hijinx I suppose; we drank, converesed about a ton of topics, destroyed Matt's new RC car, cut Julian's hair, etc. Of the four of us, I called it quits the earliest, at 6am, when they were heading out to the convenience store to find something to eat.

The next day, most of us slept through pretty much the whole day. Went to the show site, despite it misting out. Sundays, at the fair, are women only days, and we are confined to just our show site and our change room (which is located next to the worst smelling bathroom in Oman I'm pretty sure). Basically, Sundays suck, as it feels like we're prisoners, with the worst part being that we can't even go leach internet. The misting continues to get worse, and after waiting in our room for an hour and a half, we our told to come out and ride. Ben tries to explain how we cannot ride in the rain, and how its even in our contract, but they try hard nonetheless. They untarp the ramps, squeegee the ramps, and wipe down the tops. They even try to get me to do a show on a covered carpeted stage near by, which does not occur.

We head back to our change room for another hour or more, and they come in and ask us again to perform. The misting stopped, and the ramps and ground are steadily drying up slowly. Our inliner has no traction on the ground, and the guys don't do any big jumps, but we get a show done anyways, just to please the few women that are around to watch. Head home, wait for food, then I ended up passing out early. But, I atleast wake up to find an envelope on the ground with my name written (and lots of penises drawn on it), with my per diem for the week, finally, which is a good start to day 5 of shows.

Another interesting fact is that the sky is always grey here. My white comrades have found out they can still get a sun burn, but its just depressing to never see a clear sky. Plus, most evenings, it is misting out, as it is the monsoon season here, which does not do well with us performing outdoors.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Prasheel goes to Salalah, Oman

The Journey

Left my place around 1pm on Sunday afternoon, headed to the Ottawa train station to catch a bus to the Montreal airport. 2h bus ride, followed by a couple hour wait, then a 6.5h flight to Amsterdam. Once there, met up with Will Fisher, one of our BMX ramp riders, who introduced me to our inliner, Julian Deschamps, who happened to be on the same flight as me. After that, the three of us wandered around the airport for a while as we had a couple hours to kill for our layover. As well, Will was trying to find out other BMX ramp rider, Devin Szmata. We eventually found him after we did some shopping and checked in to our gate.

We arrived in Muscat, Oman on Monday night, after another 6.5h flight, which went by really quick in comparison to the 9h layover we had there. We started off by going through customs and getting our visa paper work sorted, then picking up our luggage (which we were told was going to go straight to Salalah for us), and then checking in to our next flight, which was early Tuesday morning. We made use of the 24h Dairy Queen and the terrible internet connection in the cafeteria for a while, then wandered around outdoors for a while.

Despite it being really late out, the heat in Oman hits you extremely hard as soon as you walk out the doors. Even at 3am, I think it was about 27C (probably 35C with humidity). Will shot some photos, and then we sat on some benches and conversed for a while. My favourite part of Muscat was when this old dude that was sleeping on the bench next to us woke up and proceeded to yell at us for talking to each other next to his bed.

We headed back indoors, enjoyed some Papa John's pizza for breakfast (I got a chicken shawarma pizza, it had potatoes on it!), and finally got to check in for our 1h flight shortly after. Having heard that it was difficult to obtain alcohol in Salalah, we all stocked up at the duty free, with both hands full either with a 1L bottle of vodka, or a case of beer.

It was about 6am when we arrived in Salalah, and we were all greeted by two men as we were waiting for our luggage to arrive on the carousel. We threw all our stuff in the cars belonging to these men and they drove us to our new home for the next month. They made a phone call, and our managers, Pat, Andrew, and Ben (who is also one of our riders), greeted us. They and our skateboarder, Mat, were in Salalah for almost a week at that point, as they came early to build the ramps for the shows. We were shown around the house, and then I promptly took a shower and headed to bed, as I only got about 3h of sleep the past two nights.

Tuesday night, we headed to the show site to check it out and test out the ramps. Despite the fair only opening the next day, there was no shortage of young children there to cheer us on or heckle us. It didn't help that the festival they brought us over to perform in (khareef festival), is on to celebrate the monsoon season. So, likely, we had to deal with a small amount of rain, which dries up quick, with it still being so hot out, even at night.. After our 'show', which ended with kids demanding to see backflips over and over (after they were shown several times), we headed back to the house, showered, ate, and proceeded to get liquored up.

On Wednesday, the fair is only open to government workers, who were coming to see a giant production show that was to be performed only one time and called for two weeks of rehearsal. With that being said, we were not only not performing that night, but we were not even allowed in to the fair, so we filled our time with various other tasks.

Some of the guys headed to the Crown Royal plaza hotel, which is apparently like a resort over here; pools with swim up bars, beaches, ocean view restaurants, etc. I was too tired in the morning to go for that, but stayed productive, and did a photo shoot with Ben on our balcony in the afternoon. I quickly realized how great it is that we're only doing our shows in the evening after the sun goes down, because even after just a 20 minute session, I felt like I was going to pass out from the heat. We got a few good shots though, hopefully get some on here soon, as well as take more throughout the month.

After that, most of us headed out for some shopping in various markets. Hit up a couple malls, looked at random shit, then to a couple outdoor markets, and looked at more random shit. Went out for dinner, then came back to the house and had a team meeting, going over stuff about shows and such, since Julian and Devin haven't performed with us before, as well as details about payments.

Other interesting details include the fact that we have a driver, who may or may not get us in to an accident very soon. This dude is crazy, just drives however he wants. He also tends to rush us when we're gone out to drop us home quicker, but then also occasionally just drive incredibly slow around town, and has already picked up random people while we're out with him so he can make some extra money.

As of last night, we are now getting a per diem for food, instead of the twice a day deliveries we were getting until now. This will allow us a bit more freedom over what we eat, as they tend to just pick up what they think we'd like to eat, oppose to taking our orders. The per diem is a decent size, and we're supposed to get it at the end of every week, so I might end up making a little bit more than I was originally told.

As of now, our house is still internet-less. We stopped at an internet cafe last night, but it was a bit of a sketchy operation, as half of the computers were not functioning, or functioning really slow. As well, they demanded our labour numbers, which posed a problem as we are not from here and don't have such; so Ben gave them '546777', which seemed to make them happy.

Oh yeah, our breaker went off last night sometime around 4am, meaning the air conditioner and fan in our room stopped working. Furthermore, it also meant that despite having my laptop plugged in, my batter died, prohibiting me from finishing watching my Jessica Alba movie for the evening, sigh. Our room got insanely hot, and I only managed to get about 2h of sleep before I heard the power come back on around 8am.

We start shows today, so I'll make another post soon. I wrote this post in notepad, and am now using the wireless internet at the fair to inform you all.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Facebook Fan Box!

Check this out!

Pralex on Facebook

Monday, July 13, 2009

Pralex News!

Prasheel is currently in Oman (east of Saudi Arabia) doing shows for four weeks. He'll try and get some cool footage with his new camera while he is there to keep our addiction to Prasheel fulfilled.

Alex is working on getting to New Orleans for Voodoo Jam in a couple weeks. He will be going with a photographer friend Andrew Cottingham (check out his site here). Although he doesn't want to take photos while on the trip, haha.

Also, Pralex is in the beginning stages of adding another member to head up the street division of out team...More news to follow with that.

Rock n roll!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Cory In Pink (Video), Alex Kickflips for KGB!

Cory rocking pink jeans in this video!

Cory in pink from JKyllo on Vimeo.

This is a kickflip by Alex, you may have seen it before, but Martti asked for people to post some kickflips, so here it is:

Kickflip for KGB from Pralex Gorier on Vimeo.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Cory In Tight Jeans...Pralex Fan Page...

Cory in some beautifully super tight jeans...Pralex standard issue.

Also look for Pralex now on facebook!