« Archives in March, 2014

Been There, Done That… Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

I have had the good fortune to travel all over the world—for both business and pleasure, not that those are mutually exclusive. This blog is about my unique experiences around the globe. It is not intended as a paean to the wonders of the locales themselves, as there already exist volumes that more than do justice to the magnificence of virtually every corner of this earth.  Here, I simply recount small, personal moments of surprise, embarrassment, stupidity, excitement, fear, heroics, and other stuff like that.

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Riyadh (& Jeddah), Saudi Arabia…1995-1997. Its culture diametrically opposed to my own and its appeal, well, there wasn’t much of that, despite my first-hand look at the opulence of life inside the walled residence of the scion of a family whose patriarch was a highly placed member of King Fahd’s Council of Ministers.

The chauffeur-driven limousine picked me up at my hotel at about seven that evening for the twenty-minute drive to the residence. Surrounded by desert and twelve-foot-high walls the color of sand, the house itself came into view only when guards opened the heavy wooden gates to a courtyard where several more men stood. Even then, with few exterior lights suggesting grandeur, I was not overly impressed. Then I stepped inside.

The foyer was massive; its polished marble floors seeming to rise up to meet the moonlight filtering through a sky-high stained glass cupola as impressive as many I’d seen in European cathedrals. Ahead to my left, a doublewide marble stairway curved itself to a higher floor, while straightaway beyond was the Library where I would meet my reason for being there. I tried to act like this was all normal fare for me. Yeah, right! »Read More

“LITTLE MAN ON THE COUCH”…On Bachelor Weekends, Footmen & Dr. Seuss

The window washer did what?

TP: Morning, Little Man. You look happy!

LM: Big weekend coming up, doc. Bach’n it with Dad.

TP: Bachelor’s quarters, eh? Where’s mom going?

LM: Headin’ out west…her and Mr. Leo have a photo session with some big wrestler-type.

TP: Wrestler?

LM: Well, actually, he’s one of those M&M guys. Mixed martial arts, I think it’s called. Or Maximum Mayhem Administrator…I don’t know, something like that. Basically, a big badass!

TP: For the Soft Side animal thing, I assume.

LM: You got it. Guy’s out there training for his next big match in April. Anyway, dad and I’ll have the place to ourselves for the weekend. Woohoo! »Read More