Land of the Sand Part 4
Trip Start Apr 11, 2006
90Trip End Ongoing
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Being cooped up in our confinement and forced to survive without some of the luxuries of life like Alcohol and Footy brings out the problem solving best in desperate people. We were desperate, so we convinced the 'Company' there was a need to buy Showtime Satellite TV boxes and the satellite dishes. Unfortunately ‘Inshalla’ delayed the installation of the aforesaid Dish and box and we missed the start of the World Cup. ‘Inshalla’ literally means ‘If god wills it’. Saudi people insert the word ‘Inshalla’ into every sentence. Inshalla is a get out jail free card, because if it doesn’t happen then it’s not my fault, it was, ‘Gods will’ that it did not happen. That’s right it’s God’s bloody fault. Arabs play this trump card continually and unfortunately all you can do is accept it and sit back and wait for ‘God to get around to it and put it on His will list for the day’. Eventually ‘He willed it’ and we got the Boxes and Dishes just before the start of the quarter finals of The Rugby World Cup. With the boxes in place we chipped in together and purchased the required card to allow access to the satellite and we could watch the Rugby World Cup - Inshalla. The TV was in place now we needed one other ingredient to make the World Cup a raging success – Inshalla.
Just like in a good old fashioned War movie, imagine ‘The Great Escape’, the ingenuity of those deprived of what they desire will overcome all obstacles and they will risk everything to get what they want. Hence it was with such ingenuity that the veteran Scott passed on the secrets of home brewing to some eager desperate young ears. It was then off to the local store to buy yeast, sugar and loads and loads of Grape juice. What follows next is a very scientific formulated approach to brewing deliciously delightful wine. You open the grape juice – pour in a heap of sugar – bung in some yeast – then shake the crap out of it for a couple of minutes – then behold, nectar of the gods!!! Well not quite, it needs to ferment of course. It is always a very man thing to throw some more sugar and yeast in, just in case there is a possibility that the concoction is lacking in either – so obviously we put way too much in. Shake, shake, shake, shake and Wolf Blass would be proud – now let the stuff rest - Inshalla.
The timeframe for the fermentation process is a very sensitive stage in the development of the wine. A good wine, that is the real stuff, needs at least a few years in an oak barrel stored in a cool damp cellar to make it even close to a vintage red wine. After a very thoughtful 3 seconds we decided that our vintage would be given 7 days to get its act together then the ‘wine’ would be decanted and then laid to rest for a further 14 days. It was very co-incidental that the World Cup Final was 21 days away and a night of footy and grog never entered into it in our pursuit to achieve the perfect drop of Red – Inshalla.
Again after careful consideration of all the variables – our brew was stored in the cupboard in plastic water bottle containers. The lid to the water bottle containers can either be loosened or screwed tightly on; there are pros and cons to either approach. If the lid is tightened the fermentation will create a hell of a lot of gassy discharge. If the gas is not released at least three times each day, well picture Hiroshima and the ensuing Mushroom cloud and you have some idea of the pressure. If you forget to release the gas you may well come ‘home’ to a freshly decorated room, complete with a fresh paint job. The colour of the paint job will depend on the flavour of the brew, red grapes will obviously be red, white grapes will be a yellow colour, mixed fruit will be blood red and apple cider will be urine murky yellow – bit like malaria yellow, Inshalla.
A loose lid will not have the build up of gas, it will allow the discharge to climb out of the water bottle and make a hell of a mess of the area surrounding the bottle. There will be no explosions with a loose lid. If you’re a forgetful type, like young Luke, then the loose lid technique is the best option – Inshalla.
Whether you choose the tight lid or the loose lid technique you cannot escape the fact that the gas produced during the fermentation process smells like the armpit of a mutant rogue feral camel, not that the author has anything against mutant rogue feral camels of course (just being politically correct at this point) or the Arabs that love them – wink, wink. The odor of the gas is foul – seriously foul, or as Jason would say ‘dead foul’ (‘dead’ is the new ‘wicked’ in England), yes I often wonder about the English and their language myself. With the loose lid technique your room is only safe to enter if you are wearing the correct prescription gasmask. Prescription gasmask’s can be purchased from your local suicidal fundamentalist terrorist; there is one on every corner here in Saudi - Inshalla
At least with the tight lid technique the ‘dead foul’ odor has its highs and lows rather than a constant dead yuckyness. When you release the pressure in the water bottle you will feel a horrendous burning on your hand as the toxic gas rushes from the bottle. The paint on the walls in your room will instantly begin to peel, you will look like an extra from the ‘Night of the Living Dead’ and any living creature within a mile has 1.0987 seconds to live. The smell begins to dissipate once you tighten the lid and of course you will return to normal after your brief lapse into lunacy – Inshalla.
After the fermentation has been happening for 7 days you need to decant the brew. Fermentation is the yeast and sugar reacting together. Alcohol is the feces that the interaction produces, in other words you are putting sugar and yeast shit into fruit juice. The gas smells bad; well so does the dregs at the bottom of water bottle, in fact it may smell worse if that is possible. The dregs are the physical aspect of the excrement of the sugar yeast interaction. This sludge is revolting and is not even good enough to be served to a heathen redneck bootlegger from ‘upnorf’ (upnorf is anywhere north of Plymouth). So the sludge needs to be removed, this is called ‘decanting the wine’, some technical jargon there for the uninformed. ‘Decanting the wine’, means to separate the bad shit from the not as bad shit. Simply ‘Decanting the wine’ is done by pouring the top 90% of the bottle into another bottle and leaving the sludge behind. Word of warning, no matter how tempting the sludge may look DO NOT BE TEMPTED TO DRINK IT YOU MORON!!!! There is no cure for ‘stupid idiotic sludge consumption’. The sludge is now to be placed in a lead box and buried 350 metres below the Earths crust in a concrete tomb 27 feet thick. The half life of the sludge is 1,000,975.87 years - Inshalla.
The wine can now be tight lidded, as with the sludge removed the fermentation is nearly nonexistent. Some delusional people, like Paul, like to ‘reboot’ their brew. This means that after the 7 day ‘decanting’ you slip more sugar and yeast in to try and increase the alcohol content of the brew, all you end up doing is stinking the compound out for a further period of time and you make the wine taste like Vegemite, or Marmite for you Poms. You see once wine hits about 14% alcohol it cannot produce more alcohol, so to increase the alcohol content you need to distill the wine and burn it off – shit a brick!!, imagine this lot with matches – Inshalla
Now the wine must mature for either 14 days, the World Cup Final starts or the DT’s start and you cannot help yourself, whichever comes first is satisfactory. Then sit back, grab your water bottle firmly by the neck and give the lid a sharp twist …… and then ….. gag and dry retch as you get a nose full of gas as the wine is still fermenting ….!
The World Cup was a raging success, not one of us knows who won, but the rumour is that England made the final after beating Australia in the Quarter final. Come on please, I was not that pissed, next you will be telling me the Frogs beat the Kiwis!!!!!! Anyway whatever happened in the World Cup Final I had a great time watching it with a few mates and 15 litres of homebrew. Life just does not get any better …………………………………… unless …..
………………unless ………….of course, you are playing Monopoly with a few mates and 16 litres of home brew. This was the case the other night. It was actually a wake for the England football team, England never qualified for Euro 2008. Believe it or not I watched this game with about 9 English people and believe it or not, I was the only one, except Alex, who wanted England to win. The rest of the sods were supporting the Croats. Why? Because they hate that bastard McClown, or that bastard Lampshade, or that donkey Heskey, I just cannot believe it. Oh well they got their wish, England lost.
So the next night we hit the Monopoly board – well it was kinda Monopoly, you see here in the Land of Sand the Arabs have a great deal of trouble distinguishing between a B and a P. As such we played Monoboly!! Prior to the commencement of the Monoboly game we had the inaugural 2007 Jubail Wine Tasting Competition. Contestants came from all over the compound. The entrants were:
Last Minute Luke, who entered his famous dreadful diarrhea inducing Red.
Pompey Proud Paul from Portsmouth gave us a liquid version of a Ranting Raving Racist Red.
West Country Mike produced a slow drawl of a red with a hint of turnip and brussle sprouts.
Black Country Rob tried to enter a bottle of water as he did not want to spend any money – he was rightfully disqualified.
Aussie Dave, that would be me, produced a smooth slightly fruity but very complex mellow Red with a slight Dag fragrance (English people ask an Aussie what a Dag literally is).
Then it was time to start the Monoboly. Rules were simple each time you paid out money you had to consume half monetary value of the payment by drinking in fingers (confused??? Have some brew it will become clear). For example if you bought something for $2 then you had to consume one fingers worth of brew. If you had to pay money for landing on a house, say $4, then you drank two fingers worth. Things got interesting, or should I say disgusting when a hotel was landed on and $12 was paid and 6 fingers of brew drank – not pretty!!! – Inshalla.
Warning: do not try to make a brew at home. The makers of brew in this story are untrained and unprofessional and have no idea what they are doing. You would not like to turn out like them now would you??? – Inshalla.
Ohhh my stomach, it’s off to the Loo again for me ………….. Inshalla.