I get melancholy looking at this image. I’m thinking about what lasts in life. Fran was a “good person.” There are few who qualify for this designation in my world. I know a few and am blessed. She was a quiet dependable friend. What can you say? She was just there for me on so many occasions. I never ask/asked for help. It’s just me, how I operate (pun). I miss her… both Ginny and me and a lot of others.
Don’t laugh. I don’t fit into this tux any more. The occasion? It was a formal dinner for a hospital fund raiser. I do believe it was the infamous dinner where Richard left after the soup. Yeah, he was a weird guy. … just left without even a “good-bye.”
There is a style here. Dinner. It’s traditional. Which is to say that after the first several times I attended, it has a recognizable pattern. This typical dinner in my compound was attended by men. Females, even physician colleagues are not invited. A lamb is prepared – grilled – and then served over rice. Picking at the meat with your bare fingers to get to the succulent parts is an accepted norm. Eating with your fingers is common. Forks are provided. No knives. The usual dessert is a sweet semolina cake that has cream or mozzarella cheese in between the layers. In Mexico it’s called arepa. My friend Nasser – we call him Kideida – dressed in traditional formal garb in celebration of the occasion. I wore my golf shirt. Ha! I don’t golf.
The Jeddah Spine Summit was a grand success thanks to the hard work and planning of Farid. You really need to watch every single detail and he did it. The opening banquet was held in a museum in Jeddah. It was a big social event for the folks at the hospital, and many departments other than orthopedics were on hand. Neurosurgery was represented. The place was one where virtually everyone knew about it but had never been to visit. It’s kind of like visiting the Empire State Building for a New Yorker. The place is huge and is privately owned. A collector/owner has gathered art and collectables of Middle East life into a huge compound and four story building which ranges from costumes and jewelry to weapons and art. There are some interesting items of junk as well. But overall it is a fantastic collection of contemporary life. Since it is really not curated, everything is pretty confusing. It was, however, very very impressive. I’ll probably not see this again.