Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Saudi Arabia

Hi everyone from Riyadh. What a trip. about 30 hours and 4 flights by my reckoning. Second leg to Singapore probably the hardest, bearable after a couple of Singapore Slings. Changi Airport immense. We had six hours stopover and a hotel room each to relax in. Shopped for shoes and ate Mea Siam for breaky....sort of Laksa soup with a boiled egg - very hot. Third leg to Dubai not so bad and Dubai even more awe in spiring than S'pore. A couple more Singslings on the way helped. An hour's stopover in Dubai then on to Riyadh. Completely alien environment. No women at the airport and no shops. A plane load of Phillipino labourers and us. Fortunately Brian Chambers and his Yemeni driver Abdullah met us and using Abdullah's command of Arabic we were able to negotiate customs and be photographed and fingerprinted without too much bother. All gear arrived OK. Driven to the Dip. Compound which is guarded by a couple of machine gun posts and some khaki-ed military types who checked under our vehicle with a mirror for devices, and met by the NZ Embassy staff with a magnificent meal and a couple of cold drinks. temperature very mild in mid-20s. Off to the Embassy for lunch if we can rouse Nils who got in from Hamburg about 4.00am this morning. Gig tonight for assembled diplomats and friends hosted by Rod Harris, NZ ambassador. Will report tomorrow if poss.


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