Sunday, November 11, 2012

While most DDB’ers were off jet setting around the world, my dust-ination was Riyadh. It was holiday season in Saudi Arabia celebrating Islam’s annual pilgrimage of Hajj.

Fortunately, I wasn’t Riyadh bound alone. Khaled, Amjad, and Murthy stayed behind as well in the sandy capital. Murthy spent his days off with friends, relaxing lazily. Amjad was with family and loved ones. I spent my break with my family, having three consecutive nights of BBQ. We kept exchanging bags of meat with our neighbors in the spirit of generosity. Little did they know, that we were simply replacing the cutlets into new plastic bags to re-gift them to other neighbors. Now that, ladies and gentlemen, was money laundry 101. As for Khaled, his situation was merely ironic. He sought to spend his time in relaxation but ended up driving his son around. What he thought would be a one time father son favor, unraveled to become a holiday duty of driving his son to parties, tennis practices, and basically to every corner of Riyadh. However, that came to his benefit because he found it to be an opportunity to give his son driving lessons.

The Saudi Commission of Tourism and Antiquities would be proud to take in Ali, Mohammed, Fadi, Abdulrahman, Saleem, and Abdullah as spokespeople to promote domestic tourism, since they traveled across the kingdom. Ali went from Riyadh to Medina and back. He spent Eid with his family in Medina and spent the remainder of the holiday in Riyadh trying to lose weight. - Take a moment to applaud for Ali before pursuing on to the next sentence – Saleem was also with loved ones in Medina, but they did not get a chance to meet. Mohammed chose to invest his time wisely by going to Hajj and officially becoming a pilgrim. Apparently Hajj Pilgrimage this year was very much digitally oriented with people checking in on Foursquare benchmarking holy sites. Mohammed must have unlocked the ‘Be blessed’ badge online. Fadi, an unlikely drifter, spent his holidays between Dammam and Bahrain. Frankly, he seems to be more Saudi than me. Abdulrahman met him halfway by vacationing in Dammam. Abdullah was out and about in Al-Qassim.

Serge and Ibrahim took a flight to Labna Hills AKA Lebanon. Ibrahim spent his Eid with the family celebrating traditionally. Serge added a twist to his stay by throwing a birthday surprise for his mom before catching a plane to Istanbul. The fantastic four of graphic design hit their home country of exotic India. Sameer visited his in-laws and is not fond of his parent-teacher conference at his son’s school. He enjoyed his stay with his family by having movie nights on his new big screen HD TV. In Ajit’s own words, his holiday was short and sweet. I assume Vishal’s trip was similar and perhaps sweeter. Abhilash is yet to come back from his retreat.

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