Boy am I jet lagged! We arrived last night from a great holiday that included London and Orlando, Florida. I feel emotionally and mentally refreshed, but physically exhausted. Travelling with 3 kids can do that to you. Oh well, I always remind myself that we only have them for such a short period of time before they grow up, and I therefore make sure I enjoy it as much as possible.
Anyway, I want to share some random memories from the holiday:
“Kiss the frog”
Last week the kids were playing on one of those big jungle gym things at the resort we were staying at. There were a couple of other families there, one of which was from somewhere in the south of the US, judging from the dialect. The father wanted to take a picture of his son next to a poster of a cartoon frog, that was hanging next to the jungle gym. The conversation went something like this (imagine with a Southern dialect):
Father says “Come here son let me take a picture of you next to the frog.”
The son obediently stands next to the poster and replies “Okay.”
Father continues “Go ahead and give the frog a kiss.”
“Boy! Give that frog a kiss!”
“I don’t wanna kiss the frog!”
“Don’t mess with me boy! I said give that frog a kiss!”
“No, I don’t wanna!”
“Kiss the frog boy!”
“I said kiss that frog…”
At that point I walked out of the room otherwise I would have burst out laughing. In fact I walked around outside laughing to myself. That was one of the most bizarre conversations I’ve ever witnessed between a father and his son…
Land of The Fat
Every time – and I mean every time – two things take me by surprise when I go to the US. First, is the size of meal and drink portions in restaurants – they’re just huge! I’ve rarely finished a starters and main course, it’s just too much food. The second thing is the amount of obese people.
There are a lot of overweight people here in the Gulf – one of the highest obesity levels anywhere – but the US is without a doubt the undisputed heavy weight king when it comes to global obesity (pun originally unintended, but left in when I noticed it).
Of course while in Florida we visited the various Disney theme parks, and what saddened me was the number of overweight people using motorised scooters to get around. Had more of them tried to walk, surely this would have helped them get in better shape. I even saw what appeared to be perfectly healthy children, but that were overweight, being pushed around in wheel chairs!
As one American acquaintance told me, “The American people have lost their sense of shame! My late father would not have been caught dead on a motorised scooter, even though walking became agonising for him in the last few years of his life.” If we in the Gulf don’t do anything about our expanding waist line crisis, we’ll be there soon too.
Speaking of Disney…
We had a magical time of course. As an entrepreneur I admire Disney greatly. They have perfected the art of extracting money from people while making them smile. Something every entrepreneur should learn to do. Also, I admire their perfection of systems and operations. Imagine the effort it takes to make something like Walt Disney World run smoothly, day in and day out, 365 days a year.
The number of things they do is just mind boggling. A quick example; they paint the fence around main street daily. They even check the weather and humidity forecast to make sure the paint dries just in time before the gates open in the morning. Now that’s attention to detail! If you’re a business owner, ask yourself how much attention are you paying to the details? Personally, I do quite a bit, but nothing compared to Disney.
I’m also becoming a great fan of Walt Disney the man. You just have to admire a man with so much vision. I plan to read a lot more about him in the future.
My love/hate relationship with British Airways
We used BA for all of our flights. I like them because they are usually on time, and quite consistent in everything they do (which sadly is not the case with GF). But I’m no fan of their service. I find the service rather cold, rushed and ever so slightly bossy. And it makes no difference which class you travel in. And what I really can’t stand is how they turn off the entertainment system 40 minutes before landing. Why oh why must they do that?
But I do want to give credit where credit is due. We had a wonderful experience when we checked in in Orlando to London. We were taken care of a lady named Robin Ravey, if I’m not mistaken. And I have to say Robin was the friendliest customer service agent I’ve ever encountered. After we checked it with her I made sure to send BA an email complementing her.
Heathrow Terminal 5 Security
Our flight from London to Bahrain was from Heathrow Terminal 5. I like the terminal. What really took me by surprise this time around was how friendly the security staff were. After we checked in yesterday we went through what must have been the nicest security check ever. They were very courteous and patient, and even gave the kids stickers! Wow!
However, I was surprised when they asked me to take my iPad out of my bag, before taking it through the x-ray machine, as they usually ask for laptops only. Sadly, in my rush I forgot to take the iPad back and left it there. D’oh! I’ll see if they can send it to me somehow…
That’s all for now, talk to you soon.