Wednesday, June 25, 2008

George W. Bush Sewage Plant

Balter's Blog: George W. Bush Sewage Plant

In 1973-4, I was 'Project Manager' for the hotel company that was due to run the Golden Sands Hotel in Famagusta, Cyprus, at 600 bedrooms probably one of the biggest (and most hideous) hotel projects in Europe at that time.

There was a certain problem with sewage. The town system never quite got connected to the new hotel project, for the usual reasons (corruption, laziness, indifference, etc) and a temporary solution had to be found.

So a huge, shallow cesspit was built, in the only space available, right in front of the hotel, held in place and covered by a concrete shell, and disguised with a rose garden on top.

On Grand Opening Day, the usual crowd of dignitaries and uppities were gathered for a big lunch and ceremony.

Pierre Beaufort, the Parisien gangster who was my nightclub-hopping mate at the time, (and would be still, if I could find him) and also head chef at the hotel, gave them a bloody good lunch. Each of the dignitaries and uppities was also given private use of a hotel bedroom, to 'wash and brush up' after lunch.
After that, they all assembled for a group photograph in front of the hotel. The Cyprus government's protocol advisor took about half an hour to get them all ranked in order, and the official photographer, with a full-plate camera, and a genuine billiard cloth covering himself, directed the crowd from the middle of the rose garden.
Meanwhile, the hotel's drainage system was in full operation mode, for the first time ever. All those washes and brush-ups (showers 'n shits) began to rumble.
Just as the photographer got almost everyone to say 'Cheese!' (you can't get a Frog to say 'fromage' with a smile) the whole scene erupted.
The rose garden blew up, under severe subterranean pressure, quite spectacularly.
Anyone who was anybody in Cyprus at the time was showered with shit.
Which was only a foretaste of what would happen a little later in 1974. Henry the K confessed himself that the 1974 invasion/occupation of Cyprus by the Turks was nothing more than a passing whim.
So, I hereby name that unnoticed incident in 1974 as 'Henry Kissinger's Shit Show'.
I wish now that I hadn't witnessed it.