It is almost impossible (even for me) to describe the sheer joy I am feeling – and this is only the beginning of Day 2. I am staying in a magnificent hotel – that is the only way to describe it. Like Emeritus Air, they have thought of everything, absolutely everything to ensure their guest’s comfort, convenience and often, excitement. A man from London, here on business, says that he always stays at this hotel – and there are plenty of choices. Plenty. But who would go elsewhere? One cannot improve on perfection.
I am staying in a deluxe room, holy cow is it deluxe??? What is deluxe? Definition: luxurious or sumptuous; of a superior kind, for example, a deluxe hotel. Its synonyms delight: luxurious, luxury, sumptuous, palatial, opulent, splendid, magnificent, lavish, grand, rich, superior, high-class, quality, exclusive, choice, select, elegant, well appointed, fancy; expensive, costly; upmarket; plush, plushy, posh, classy, ritzy, swanky, pricey, fancy-pants; swish; swank, loaded;. Its antonyms are: basic, cheap, downmarket. I do prefer fancy-pants, swank and upmarket.
The room, located high on the 28th floor is enormous, gargantuan. I have never slept in a bigger bed, a huge television, built into the wall faces the bed. Huge window, beautifully draped, a balcony, two comfortable stylish chairs with a table in between. Then an enormous desk, with leather chair, tasteful lamps upon the desk with plug in for ALL your devices (I have many). There is a painting of the skyline of Dubai that is so tasteful, in colors that are complementary to all of the furnishings. (Photo of painting will be included). The enormous bathroom has a separate ‘room’ for the bidet and toilet, a shower stall. An enormous bathtub which could easily accommodate two people (but with no husband, this would not be possible, until marriage). A sink surrounded by vast marble (it seems) shelving.
The electronics defy description and are most complicated, but if something is difficult (and was) one need merely pop downstairs and you are provided with a ‘colleague’ who is an electronic genius. Not sure if I shall tell you the name of the hotel because then everyone will be rushing in and I shall be unable to make reservations to come back and stay.
Although it is now 4:20, it appears that my jet lag has vanished but I had two melt downs and once a wonderful staff member (from Egypt) accompanied me back to the room. I had temporarily dislocated the key to the room and a credit card. Key replaced and credit card found.
But it is no wonder that I found myself totally exhausted because, I do think, it was the most exciting day of my life. It began with the breakfast, which is included in my room rate. Never in the entirety of my existence seen anything like it. It has ‘stations’ – egg station, pancake and waffle station, juice and yogurt station. Then just to be even fancier there is a noodle station which provides Chinese breakfasts and an Asian station. All these stations are staffed by men willing and able to provide you with anything you want. A waiter brings you coffee of your choice, or tea. I chose a latte, it was delicious. I am in awe of the place but the other shabbily dressed people seemed to take it for granted and were actually rather rude to the staff. It is, as if, one is disdainful, one achieves status. Trust me, it is not true. If one is disdainful, one is merely rude and downmarket. But, in the long run, what do I care? The staff enjoy my enthusiasm, my Thank Yous, my From What Country Do You Come From? I always tell them first:
Me: I was born in Canada but came to live in the US in 1967. You can tell by the way I speak that I am an American. ( I speak in a style called Vocal Fry, Google it and there I am). The juice chosen was green apple – never tasted it before, it was absolutely delicious. Then some cheeses, a small bagel with cream cheese, a collection of mezza on Arab bread, eggs cooked in Arab fashion (delicious!). People around me were boringly choosing fried eggs with hash browns, and ketchup. Luke, my charming waiter, was from Zimbabwe – that is a place I would like to get away from, but for me, so is the United States. I will come back again this morning and sit in his section, he is so courteous and loves listening to my stories. Everyone else sits, shoving food down their throats, sometimes using bad manners. They treat the staff as if they do not exist.
I was so satisfied with my food, took some Arab bread and mezzo with me as I could not finish it. Then went to the ground floor where my favorite French restaurant in the whole world exists. The woman who greeted me, remembered me from my last visit (almost two years ago). I was able to snag a handsome waiter, so ordered another coffee and croissant. At the bakery table had a conversation with two men.
They: Well enjoy!!
Me: Enjoy which? The handsome waiter or the butter croissant?
The waiter was from India, by the way.
Then to the concierge – the most helpful man ever. He said that I made his day. I went back with another request – he said I made his day twice. He helped me with everything. I reserved a trip to Abu Dhabi on October 20, 2021 to celebrate my first year anniversary to the Islamic faith. It will be a long day, beginning at 9 but it shall be so exciting. I will tell you about it and include photographs.
But jet lag sank in and it was back to the room with a Do Not Disturb sign and a nap of two hours. Waking refreshed. Changed my head dress, people did not recognize me, it was a departure from the black silk scarf wrapped around my head.
Now this you will NEVER believe. I was walking through the hotel, and there in a ‘coffee shop’ – (most luscious coffee shop I have ever seen) spied a man in Arab dress with a gauze coat over it. I walked up to him, and an amazing woman who accompanied him, and said:
Me: You must be Royalty, your Highness, I can tell by your garment.
She: He is! He is a Sultan from Saudi Arabia.
I did not actually hear from what Middle Eastern country he came from. But the three of us conversed, me telling them of my other ‘brushes’ with Royalty from the Middle East (UAE and Qatar). We laughed, His English was rather limited but she would translate. . Do you know who she was, this woman beautifully dressed with the most gorgeous jewelry ever?
She is Judge, a woman of impeccable credentials. I learned so upon examining her business card – one side is Arabic and the other is English. Guess which side I could understand? Our encounter was rather rushed as they had other commitments.
Later, somewhat later, did learn from my favorite concierge man that the Sultan truly was from Saudi Arabia. I searched him out, found him and told him of my May 31, 1943 Life magazine that featured his ancestor Kind Saud. It is the most precious document I own as it depicts a wonderful man, caught in a time warp with a Saudi Arabia that is now unrecognizable. I insisted that he come to my room and retrieve it – he did, He said he was leaving soon on an airplane so I told him that he could get it back to me somehow. I walked him to the elevator, marveling as to why I had brought the treasure with me in the first place. The blog contains much discussion of the magazine. The May 17,2021 blog contains a photograph of the cover. If you type King Saud into the search engine up pops many blogs about the incredible man, some respectful, some rather irreverent. Typing King Saud into the search engine yields 56 blogs – I did not reread them all, but I did write them, so I am excused.
I am not at all fond of the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia – I am not alone in that stance. But this man, of the same ancestry is a kind man. One can tell such in meeting him and the adulation held by his advisor Judge. It was most encouraging to learn that there is at least one person in that pivotal country that is of high moral character.
It was he that asked that a photograph be taken of an old lady born in Saskatchewan and Royalty from a dynasty of Rulers. One of the most touching aspects of the photograph is my ‘purse’ – a quilted bag made by my mother. She was known as the Bag Lady and was so proud of the places that her bags went to, the people that held these bags dear. She would be so proud, this I know – that her only daughter was holding the bag she so carefully pieced together, standing there with Royalty – although I am certain she would have no idea where Saudi Arabia was. My mother and I had a conflicted relationship throughout our life together. It was only when I unpacked my possessions after they were in storage for six and a half years that I realized how proud she was of me. I did not realize it before. But it is not too late. I had a dream the other night, she and I were together, I was about to leave.
Me: Mother, You are coming to San Francisco with me!
She: I will.
It is most complicated to explain but the Islamic faith allows a reconciliation between the two of us – I will bring her to Paradise with me, not perhaps on the same level but up there. I believe it, it brings such comfort. I once spoke of this to a man of the faith – not a scholar by any means, a man purposively quite ignorant of the Qur’an. If he went to the mosque five times a day, he would be off to Paradise, he was convinced. I told him of my oneness with my mother one day.
He: That is your duty.
Me: That is not my duty. That is my dream! And how was I supposed to know that was my duty? You explain nothing of the faith to me and isolate me from Islamic scholars. He was a usurious man, I rejected he and his family but never the faith.
It will be interesting to see what will become of my magazine, with my relationship with this amazing Judge and with this kind Sultan.
Although I seem to have recovered from jet lag my energy levels are not equal to a long day at Expo 2020. I am not sure what the day shall hold.
I have plans to travel to the government office on Sunday – Friday and Saturday are the days of worship. Sunday is the same as Monday in the US and Canada. These plans made by my most able concierge.
Photographs are of Alexis and Royalty and a drawer. I was confused as to the location of Mecca. An employee kindly informed me that there was an arrow within a drawer in my room that pointed the day. I opened the drawer and there it was. There is also a prayer rug in that drawer. It feels so blessed to be in a Muslim country where they think of everything.