The diary of a Saudi man, currently living in the United Kingdom, where the Religious Police no longer trouble him for the moment.
In Memory of the lives of 15 Makkah Schoolgirls, lost when their school burnt down on Monday, 11th March, 2002. The Religious Police would not allow them to leave the building, nor allow the Firemen to enter.
What do you do when you fancy a Chinese? Drive down to the Lucky Dragon? Ring up for a home delivery? That's what we mere mortals do, isn't it?
But King Abdullah knows how to do things in style. Mind you, he's filthy rich. Every time you fill up with gas, he gets even richer, which is a nice thought to occupy your mind as those numbers whizz round at high speed. Anyway, yesterday his family said that they "felt like a Chinese". So they went down to the airport, turfed a load of homeward-bound Bangladeshis off a Saudi Airlines 747, and flew to Beijing. Here they are arriving. When I said his family, I meant his whole family. There they are, stretching in a queue 100 yards back to the aircraft, then up the stairs, and there's about 150 of them still inside waiting to get off. They are desperate to get at the Crispy Duck, but here's some guy blocking the way with a bunch of flowers. Look, Pal, if the King wants flowers, he'll buy friggin' Holland. Now put them down and take our order. One Chinese Banquet for two hundred and sixty. With Prawn Crackers to start, and Tiger Beers all round.Not that it was all relaxation, of course.Topics on the table for discussion besides energy will be counter-terrorism and military cooperation, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said.
But not Democracy or Human Rights, of course. No point in discussing things that don't interest either party. Besides, it would encroach into our valuable eating time. Next visit, perhaps. Pass the Soy Sauce.