Siddhant Pyasi

The Acid Reflux Dam Returns, and a cool BMW

Apr 12, 2021 | Read time: 4 min | 601 words

Here’s some new material to chew on!

Ethiopia’s built a dam called the GERD on the Nile river, which is threatening the very existence of Egypt, what with Egypt being the ‘Gift of the Nile’ and all. Generally, if you threaten the existence of a country, the country will do its best to stop you from doing that. Which means war, as I wrote in November.Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). GERD also stands for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, which is basically really severe acid reflux.

Around November, trouble erupted in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. The Tigrayans had unresolved issues with the Ethiopian government, and soon the region descended into a civil war, leading to the displacement of ~2.5m people, with both sides committing several war crimes. That’s not all. The countries of Eritrea and Sudan have been dragged into the conflict too - Eritrea because it’s been overtly helping the Ethiopians against the Tigrayans, and Sudan because all the displaced Ethiopians have taken refuge in Sudan.

The war comes at a good time for Egypt. It’ll want for Ethiopia to remain weak and distracted internally, so that Egypt can dominate the negotiations around the dam. The longer it takes Ethiopia to deal with the Tigray issue, the better. Of course, if Ethiopia manages to figure out a solution quickly, it’ll end up appearing stronger, and that’s not desirable for Egypt at all.

If I were running Egypt, I’d do my best to help the Tigrayans out. I suspect Egypt is doing something of that sort; it is one of the few sensible things that can be done from their perspective. Sure, Egypt’s been making noises about going to war over the dam, but no country wants outright war - wars are expensive, messy and tough to end once started. The only way out of this mess that I see is if some regionally ambitious country (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey, etc.) steps into the mix and makes the two countries negotiate. The ideal end result would be some sort of water sharing agreement, like the one India and Pakistan have.

This week’s cool car that will definitely appreciate in value is a 2002 BMW Z8. It was designed as an homage of sorts to the original good-looking Beemer, the 507, which was catastrophic for BMW when it was introduced in the late ’50s, financially speaking, sending the company to the edge of bankruptcy. But, it looked amazing. It was one of those cars that just radiated a sort of timelessness with its curves. By the way, a 507 in good condition today will set you back by atleast $2m, if not more. Which is why we turn our attention to the Z8.

BMW built ~5,700 of the Z8s, which is a nice number - it is large enough for these cars to still be affordable today, and small enough for these cars to become scarce a decade or so down the line. Even back then, BMW intended for these cars to end up with collectors, which is why it guaranteed spares for them for 50 years. And, it’s a manual! Oh, imagine driving it with its top down, slotting the gear lever into the right spot, and giving the 4.9l V8 the beans. As of the time of writing this piece, the bid for this car was at $161,000. If you’re interested in bidding, I’d say a safe bid would be around $180,000.

The Covid situation in India is pretty bad, and way too many people have tested positive. Please do whatever it takes to save yourself from this ghastly disease, people. All the best.

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