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Finishing up in Dhahran

The end of a long two weeks ... I'm writing this blog in the reception area at the Dhahran International hotel, ready for posting after an overnight flight back to the UK. My car arrives in about 60 minutes ...

Today has been spent shrinking. Clothes and possessions gathered this morning and fitted back into suitcases - they fit easily, rattling around as I don't have ton of delegate folders and I'm hopeful to NOT get stung for being heavily over weight at Bahrain airport. But we'll see. And after the course, my laptops, backup CDS, books all shrunk back into my handluggage.

So what's my impression been of Saudi Arabia? A country where everyone is very polite and there are some lovely people; get to see the person (man) within the national dress and you've got some great people. But it's a culture that's very different to that which I'm used to. I feel myself overserved by wait staff; I went back to the training room to grab my camera at lunchtime today, leaving my half eaten dessert on the table. "I'm not done with that" I said to my delegates and the hover-waiter, hoping to come back to it. But, alas, another hover-waiter had cleared it when I got back and hover-waiter #1 was falling over himself in apology. Personally, I would have much preferred to have simply had them laugh it off.

Place wise? Can you believe that I've not strayed from the hotel? I'm told there are some interesting caves and geysers 150 km to the North, a nice beach at Half Moon Bay (but it's too hot there at this time of year), and some nice shopping malls ("if you like women's things and window shopping") not too far away. But I have been warned that I would probably be alright at the caves but a trip there with my wife, if she was in town, would not be recommended. And that the malls are frustrating as all the shops chuck you out for 30 minutes at prayer time - that's five times a day. Somehow, straying out into the 40 degrees (C) temperature in this arid land, alone, didn't tickle my fancy and I didn't fancy hiring myself a hover-driver to take me around.

Would I come back? Yes, I would. And there may be a chance of further groups for training, or for advanced course(s) for the same groups. The hotel's been fine for me but the group has been critical. Yes, it IS old and the AC in the room wasn't really coping with all the kit. The wireless internet connection turned into a useless internet connection for about 48 hours, and the buffet, though beautiful for a day or two, began to look too much of the same after ten or twelve.

It'll be good to be home in England in the morning.

One final thought - ladies, I've often wondered what it is you see in shoes. I've always felt that they're just foot coverings. But now I understand as I sit here in reception, watching all-black face-enclosed ladies passing by, the only sign of elegance being those high heeled, pointed toe, shinily polished shoes pointing out from underneath and clicking along the floor as they walk.

(written 2006-06-01, updated 2006-06-05)

Commentatorsays ...
Ms. Winter Socks:S.A.? My, don't you get around? Your comments reveal you as a detail-minded individual. I wish you well in your business... I'm sure you must work hard at it and that you are appreciated by all you have serviced. Good for you.

WS
(comment added 2006-06-02 04:58:42)
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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