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1/7/09 The King Is Coming....?

Ever since I first visited Berberville last April, I've been told that The King Is Coming. Maybe next week. Maybe next month. Definitely before Ramadan. OK, definitely after Ramadan. Absolutely before the end of the year.

The preparations for His Majesty's arrival crescendoed steadily throughout the year. First everybody had to paint their houses red, then the roads were getting repaired, then the schools and post offices and gendarmarie and all other official buildings got a facelift or a major rebuilding, then the street was lined with red and green flags, and then the school canceled all extracurriculars (including the club we have been trying to start) in order to prepare for him.

But on the day he was scheduled to arrive, nothing happened. And then nothing a week later. And now that the situation with Israel and Gaza* ... is what it is ... his attention has turned from our little town to affairs of state.

Some have joked that he learned just how cold Berberville gets in the winter. Others said that he went to France for Christmas. Rumors are rampant, but all anyone knows for certain is that he never came, and that he's too busy to come any time soon. Current speculation says that he may come in April. But honestly, whether or not he ever comes, I'm glad he said he would. The very fact that he announced he would come has meant tremendous improvements for Berberville and the surrounding countryside. The road to SouqTown, one lane since it was first paved 10 years ago, has been widened to two lanes for almost its entire 140 km length. There's room for more students in the schools. Teachers no longer have to share classrooms, thanks to the new school buildings. Hillary Clinton's staff once refered to her as a "One-woman public works project", because so many improvements were made in areas she visited. Our King is similarly bringing good things to communities all across his country. :)

* We've been issued a strict gag order. No discussing it, no theorizing about it, and definitely no attending the protest rallies springing up across the country. So this is me, not talking about it. Not commenting on the Al Jezeera news footage. Not describing the images being beamed into every home and cafe. Nope, not a single word.

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