Saturday, April 22, 2006

Hectic Weekend

About two weeks ago, a young lady told me, 'Thursday the 20th is my birthday.' Naturally, I asked, 'Would you like to go out?' but she said, 'Thanks, but I already have plans.' I later found out she has a new boyfriend, and just wanted to spend her birthday with him.

Then, Dubai put on an art/antique show with lots of Egyptian pieces. I have a friend who has been subscribing to Egyptian antique journals for years, but hasn't had the opportunity to see much of the actual stuff. I told her about the show, and she asked if I'd please go with her and her husband to keep her husband occupied while she looked at the scarabs and other junk. Otherwise, he'd get bored and drag her away before she could see anything. So I agreed.

At the show, I got a call saying that the first lady's girlfriend had put on a birthday party for her, and they wanted me to come. She said it would be around 8. Or 8:30. Or whenever.

After the husband dragged his wife away from the Egyptian antiques and went home, Ann called. She and I had been talking about selling a school in Sharjah, a school Farook had showed me about a year ago. Farook was hoping to charge us double the asking price. He said we didn't need to see the owner, just give him the money and he'd take care of everything. Finally Ann and I met the owner. The school was a gift from her Sheikh, and can't be sold, but the owner was hoping someone would see it, think it was for sale, and give her about €7,500,000 for it. When we asked about the school, the owner said it was no longer available, but we could talk to her niece.

Her niece had been given a small piece of land by the Sheikh, and sort of had permission to build a small school on it (although the permission was conditional, and might not actually be granted, and the permission was for such a small school that it couldn't be very profitable), and the niece was hoping someone would give her at least €1,500,000 to build the school (which would still be her school, and which might not be allowed to open). Ann wanted to give me the update that she'd given up on selling any UAE school, at least any school that Farook might have found, or any school these two Sharjah ladies might be selling. As Ann was explaining this, the birthday girl called to ask where I was.

So off to drop by at the birthday party for a few minutes, then home.

Friday morning, a frantic Saudi professor called. His university wants to become a famous research institution, and ordered every professor to get a paper published in a Western scientific journal by June, and they want the acceptance letter by Tuesday. Letters saying the paper had won a big prize for major scientific contribution of 2006 would also be appreciated.

I'd offered to help. The Saudi called to say he needs the acceptance letter. He wasn't planning to actually do anything about writing the paper, he just wanted someone to write it, get it accepted in a major journal, and then he would give the actual author 1% of the Nobel prize award after he got it. I said I'd go over what remained to be done to get the paper published, and went to meet him. Naturally, he was an hour late for the meeting.

As I'm going over the outline I've done for him, and explaining what he has to do to finish ('No, you go ahead and finish it for me, and give me the acceptance and letter from the Nobel Prize committee, and I need it before Tuesday,') I get a call from Faisal, whom I've been trying to call for more than two months now for some rather important business. So I dashed off to see Faisal, and he still hasn't finished his part of the business.

And now it's Saturday, and all the work I needed to do over the weekend is still sitting in front of me.


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