If you don’t ‘blend in.’ You’re out…


I would not have mounted my Arabian steed and seen some of the most breathtaking views of my life. I would not have experienced one of the seven modern wonders of the World by candlelight. I would not have had lunch with Qassim Al Amareen and his Bedouin family today at Little Petra if several people hadn’t complained about the content of my talk on the cruise the other day. That’s fine, we are all wired differently and at the mercy of our conditioning, unless we question it. I accept that.

Advised that Jules, my guest and closest confident, and I would be disembarking in Aqaba, Jordan. They couldn’t take the risk of more complaints. My talk content, which had been previously approved as a series, is emotional, a little contentious and challenging. Maybe too full an immersion into the human experience; life, adversity, success and death. I guess some aren’t as enthusiastic about soul searching as I am. Particularly after five courses, fine wine and a couple of cocktails.

We were by no means left high and dry. The cruise line were generous to offer us onward flights to Muscat, they knew I had a rendezvous with my team and friends in Oman.

On a side note it was not all negative. Many in the Grand Salon were inquisitive, wishing me well for my future plans and willing to share their own experiences with me afterwards.

I understood the hierarchy’s reasoning. I don’t believe they took the decision lightly to let me go. They have a job to deliver a service to a wealthy and demanding clientele and don’t need ‘entertainers’ upsetting the status quo…and future bookings. It’s a close knit community. The ‘complainers’ apparently look for statistics, logistics, and plain facts on a destination.

That information is available on Google. It’s not how I roll. Taking a lengthy period of time, decades, to locate my deeply hidden emotions and feelings. I’m not about to put them back in a box now.

So freedom and excitement on the high, pirated seas of the Middle East? No. This may sound to some like a bitter retort on my experience. Certainly not my intention, only a truthful account of how I feel. Once the novelty of boarding the luxury ship wore off I felt like a heifer in a dairy herd waiting at the gate of the Parlour to be milked. Constrained by timings, dress codes and ‘blending in,’ or lack thereof. It’s not how I choose to travel going forwards.

On this occasion the cruise was a blessing and a success for several reasons…

The series of talks I wrote, and didn’t deliver, now form the structure of my book. For the last year I have deliberated, written thousands of words and further deliberated and procrastinated. The prose didn’t flow as I willed them too. Merely a chore. My heart wasn’t in the words but the beat now returns with greater strength and rhythm.

Complaints in this context is not something I’ve experienced before. One could not hurt or complain about me as I have myself in the past. With many years of self practice I found them easy to digest. They rolled beautifully off me, massaging and entertaining the ego of my rebellious soul.

Now, my deeply woven, intricate web of experiences and emotions are ready to be documented in chapters. Further details of my new record for getting the sack will feature in Part 4. Amen ?

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