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(Fox News)   Man swallows $13,000, 1.5 carat diamond at Sri Lankan exhibition: If it wasn't a blood diamond to begin with, it probably is one now   ( ) divider line 52
    More: Dumbass, Sri Lankan, Sri Lanka, diamonds, exhibitions  
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3941 clicks; posted to Main » on 05 Sep 2012 at 2:25 PM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2012-09-06 03:47:38 AM  

Aeon Rising: Does anyone else realize that a 'blood diamond' is any diamond that does not come through the corrupt and morally bankrupt debeers cartel?

Yes, other people realize. But it kind of kills the perforated anus joke.
2012-09-06 08:36:34 AM  

Jackal_N: MBooda: JesseL: My brother-in-law is a Sri Lankan gem dealer, so I'm getting a kick...

True story. Back in 1980 give or take a year, before the Troubles there, I was in USNS Wilkes in the Indian Ocean, stopping now and then at Colombo. We were told by an Old Hand (he had a lot of fun with us, most of which we didn't figure out til later) that the best gems could be had on Gem Street in downtown Colombo. He told us, "the Buddhist dealers are on one side of the street. The Hindu dealers are on the other side. Avoid them all. Go down to the end of the street and stop at Muhammad Ali's shop. Only honest man on the street. Tell him I sent you. You'll be glad you did."

So we make port call in Colombo (something to see, only place I've been where the stevedores all wear sarongs), and head down to gem street. Sure enough, the Sinhalese shops are on the left, the Tamil shops are on the right. We walk down to the end and there's Muhammad Ali's. We walk in expecting to see some big Muslim guy, like the boxer. Out comes this tiny, ancient, brown, bent-over guy who looks exactly like Gunga Din. He recognizes us as Americans, shows us to his displays, no pressure. I didn't buy anything then but my friends did and they wound up very happy with their purchases.

Two-three years later I'm back in Colombo, and I'm looking for a nice-sized stone. Make a beeline to the end of Gem Street. Sure enough, Muhammad Ali's is still there. I walk in, the old guy is still there, browner, more ancient, more bent over. He sees me and cries out "American ship Wil-keys!" Recognized me instantly. Bought a very nice sapphire from him, not a native stone but a real steal. Thirty years later and it's in my wife's wedding ring. Wonder if Muhammad Ali's still there.

/ask me about the tea plantations, Kandy, and meeting Sir Arthur C. Clarke

It has been mentioned, your experiences need to written down. Your family, and others who have known old salts, would love to have the opportunity read them. In a hundred years, or even a few decades, those places and the ability to have those experiences may have gone the way of the bulk carriers.

I keep telling myself I will when I get a round tuit. Retirement's not far off so maybe then I'll get a chance. But then that's what my dad said. He was one of the early Navy pilots, went through WWII at Pearl Harbor, Midway, Guadalcanal, then helped out writers at Republic Pictures in Hollywood, was vaguely associated with some OSS characters in Europe, then an aircraft carrier in Korea, then an overseas correspondent and magazine editor. He always said he needed to organize his memoirs. But the Parkinson's beat him to it. Somewhere in our old house are tons of boxes filled with scribbled notes and unlabelled photographs.
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