I took this photograph some time ago in Doha. This man did a wonderful job cleaning the windows at the Ramada Hotel – and made it look so easy. The gold you see behind him is the other side of the hotel. I was staying on the 8th floor, so it was nice to see that he was wearing a harness/belt which he had clamped onto the railings outside. That same week, I saw cleaners washing (I mean washing washing – with running water) the curved glass cover of the entrance of Al Manshar Rotana hotel here in Kuwait. For those who don’t know it, this is 4 metres high! The guy was standing barefooted on curved wet glass wearing no protection whatsoever. His shirt was a little dodgy, so you almost wished he would fall.
It takes courage to work at high altitude. Courage is the subject of a joke that I came across this evening. A little long but worth it
World War Two. Close to the front line, three Allied generals talk about courage. One is Russian, the other is American and the third one is British.
The American general wants to show the others how courageous his men are. He calls a soldier and tells him: “Private, I want you to run across that mine field, jump over two enemy trenches, and come back in 10 minutes!”
“Sir, yes sir!”
The soldier does everything the general asked him and comes back on time. The American general says to the other two: “You see? That is what I call courage!”
The Russian general is eager to show the toughness of the Red Army. He calls a soldier and tells him: “Comrade, you must run across that mine field and jump over no fewer than four enemy trenches, while carrying a box of live grenades. And for the glory of Mother Russia, you must be back in 8 minutes!”
“Da, comrade general!”
This soldier also does everything the general asked him and comes back on time. The Russian general says to the other two: “You see, comrades? That is what I call courage!”
The British general raises an eyebrow and steps in slowly. He calls a soldier and tells him: “Hey, you there! Go and run across that mine field and jump over ten enemy trenches, while carrying a box of grenades in your arms, a timed C4 explosive on your back, and balancing a stick of dynamite on your nose. Oh, and be back in five minutes.”
The soldier replies: “You what? Are you bloody mad? I didn’t join the army to listen to braindead idiots like you! Go and do it yourself mate!”
The British general looks triumphantly at the other two. “Now, gentlemen, this is what I call courage!”