Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Happy Holidays from Saudi Arabia

Hello everybody,

I was going to comment back to you all on the post that C created, but there was just such an overwhelming rush of well wishing that I thought I'd take a moment to create a post and thank you all here.

First of all, thank you so much for all of your messages. I did get them and they meant a lot to me, being so far from home. Unfortunately, for some reason I cannot perform many functions, like get into blogger to update my blog, etc., with the service that I have in my room here, so basically I just pick up and send e-mail from there. however, there is a dive center at the palace that has satellite service and that is how I am able to do this post. I use it occasionally for chat and internet browsing.

Christmas here was pretty funny. I went to the house of a British friend in a Western housing compound (the kind that like to get car bombed) and as it housed Western diplomats we wound our way through checkpoints and cement barricades and army trucks with rear mounted machine guns with guys sitting in seats attached to them and then through an inner guard station and gate to get to his home. That was how Christmas began. Their house was decorated with the center piece being an artificial fig tree with christmas lights and ornaments. in the back courtyard we barbecued and where the courtyard was positioned we could hear the call to prayer from three different mosques mixing together and echoing in the couryard in a surreal caucophony.

For those of you who don't know, I am a sort of court artist and designer for a faction of Saudi Royalty and do a variety of art and design projects for a specific palace on the Red Sea. My primary reason for being here is to do maintenance on 10,000 Square feet of murals that I perfromed years ago in the marina where His Excellency's yachts are docked in the Red Sea. In additon I completed and had presented at the request of H.E. (we call him "the boss" here) a design that I have been working on for a couple of months now for a private shark aquarium about the size of half a football field with underwater acrylic tube and 360 degree underwater observatory. It is a crazy design that I might share with you later and was met with approval to send on to the architects and engineers for detailed plans. There is a possiblity that the meeting with said architects and engineers will be in Cyprus where the primary contractor has his offices. The architects and engineers are from England. Last project I went to England but I'm hoping this one will be Cyprus for something new and I can take Cindra with me!

So, that's a slice of my alter-life that crops up in between terms of teaching and here and there as the need arises. Mystery no more. I will be bringing home pics so that the curious can see what I am talking about.

Again, thanks so much for dropping by my blog and may peace and love fiind you wherever you are and whatever you may be celebrating this holiday season.

With Love,

Tom

14 Comments:

At 10:31 AM , Blogger Logophile said...

Happy Boxing Day, Tom!
Glad you had some company on Christmas and really, can you get enough of the call to prayer?

 
At 3:30 PM , Blogger goldennib said...

Very coolness. Glad to hear from you.

 
At 4:50 PM , Blogger Gawpo said...

Tom, don't know if you'll get this before you head back, but today was about Cindra going up to PDX to get the kids. I'm at work doing the 'ole grind; tomorrow is my Friday. Sure would be good to get over for a visit in the not-too-distant. Wishing you peace and wellness and godspeed all cushioned in safety for the trip back. Can't wait to see you! xo, Gawpo

 
At 8:44 PM , Blogger QuillDancer said...

Tom, it was great to hear from you! I can't wait to see those pics. Safe travel home!

 
At 2:35 PM , Anonymous kat said...

How interesting...grist for the writers muse. Have a safe trip home (if you aren't already here) and I look forward to seeing your art.

 
At 4:25 PM , Blogger Katie McKenna said...

Blessed be always! Great to hear from you!
Katie

 
At 9:37 PM , Blogger G said...

Tom that all sounds rather, well intriguing. Can't wait to hear and see more. Safe travels home to your family. ~ G

 
At 10:46 AM , Blogger O Ceallaigh said...

Well, that's ONE worthwhile use of our oil money. Glad to know there is one. :P Best wishes for the New Year, and if you're not already back in dampest Oregon, may you be there soon.

 
At 11:15 AM , Blogger Diesel said...

Wow, Tom. That sounds amazing. I'm glad I stopped by here today. Looking forward to hearing more soon.

 
At 5:55 PM , Anonymous Jackie said...

Tom, I know you are safe and sound at home now - thank you, God. And I'll be looking forward to your reports and pictures - you know how curious I am. (Rather, I mean, how filled with curiousity I am!) LOL xoxoxoxo

 
At 1:06 PM , Blogger The Grunt said...

Good to have you back, Tom. I really enjoyed hearing about your Christmas experience down there. I can't wait to see all of what you were describing in photos.

 
At 6:33 AM , Blogger QuillDancer said...

You know, Tom, if you'd ever post again I'd move you back to the top of my list of favororites. Hmmm, okay, second to the top. There is someone I favor more than you. Still ... POST!

[dang man is probably all caught up with his family, his job, and floaties .... like they are more important than us. Really!]

 
At 6:26 PM , Anonymous quilldancer said...

still? pft

 
At 5:36 AM , Anonymous quilldancer said...

And pft -- AGAIN! Are you ever going to share your work?

 

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