Sunday, June 06, 2004

Conversations: Uzbekistan, June 2004

Location: A metro station, Tashkent
Participants: Uzbek policeman (semi-automatic, moustache), me (semi-lucid, stubble)

Uzbek policeman: Welcome to Uzbekistan. Please, my office. Your documents.
Me: Of course. Here are our passports.
Visas, very good. Ah, you arrive today. You are criminal!
No, no. My attractive social worker wife and I are tourists.
Oh, tourists. Very good. Where are you from?
Ah, Australia. Kangaroo, crocodile. Konstantine Tszyu, champion boxer.
Yes, Kostya Tszyu. He's from Australia. There are many kangaroos. And more crocodiles than you could poke a stick at.
I like Australia very much. On TV I see program. Big crocodile. Man shout 'Ah!' How long you stay in Uzbekistan?
We will be here for two weeks.
You are terrorist!
Okay, very good. Which cities you visit in Uzbekistan?
After Tashkent we will go to Samarkand and Bukhara, maybe to Khiva.
Oh, Samarkand, very good. You will like Samarkand. Very beautiful. My mother is from there. Her home town. We visit every winter, whole family. My mother has very nice house. There is big tree with figs.
It sounds lovely.
You have bomb!

[and so forth...]

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

The apocalypse as originally revealed to John's brother Aristos

This is the revelation given by God's angel to his servant Aristos, who testifies to most of what he saw but has never had a good memory and in fairness was also feeling a bit peaky.

I looked and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And I heard a voice like a trumpet saying, “Come up here and I will show you what must take place after this”.

At once I was in heaven and before me was a great throne with someone sitting in it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, which is a kind of reddish-brown, and a rainbow resembling an emerald encircled the throne.

That much I remember. Around the throne were other thrones, a large number, between 15 and 25. Anyway, quite a few.

In the centre around the throne were four other creatures. The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, and the fourth was an eagle, I think. It was quite large. I recall there was a beak.

The next part is a bit of a blur. Things started happening quite fast. There were a number of lamp posts, several seals and a great multitude in white robes. They might have been singing.

Later, as I stood and watched, I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had 10 horns and seven heads, and it resembled a leopard, and it had feet like a bear and a mouth like a lion. Or was it a mouth like a bear? Whichever.

As I watched as the beast rose from the sea, and it was given dominion over the earth and then it made war against the heavens. The beast encountered the great prostitute, which was Babylon, and Babylon was naked and was thrown into the sea. There might be a bit missing in the middle there.

After that the angel of the Lord came down and hovered over the abyss, which as I recall was situated near a great lake that was filled with fiery sulfur. The angel held in his hand a great chain with a key on the end of it. I think it was a key. It was hard to tell. It was quite dark.

There was a new Jerusalem and a new heaven and a new earth and a river of life, and the one who sent his angel to show his servant the things that must take place said, 'Behold! I am coming soon', although in what order these things came to pass I can't be sure. It was a long night. And everything happened so fast.