So here’s the truth. I’m writing this from my cabin on a luxury cruise – an outside cabin with a deck, mind you – while we’re cruising somewhere in the Asian waters. Let’s just say we’re somewhere between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur and leave it at that, OK? Why am I being vague? Well, here’s the thing. I signed a confidentiality agreement with this client. In fact, I’ve signed a whole lot of them during my lengthy and successful career in this industry. What does that mean?
Basically, I need to be quiet about my clients, and since I’m a talker, well, that’s not easy. But you know what? I’ve been doing this a very long time and so far, so good. Me keepy mouth shut – me keepy happy clients. And that’s how it goes for me.
What’s that you say? Why is this necessary? Why can’t you just tell all?
Well, the answer is complicated yet easy. You see, I have a conscience. Unlike some of our current political candidates, ahem, I don’t sell my soul to the devil and then hope/assume for a reality show or tell-all book to follow. I sign a deal. I make a commitment. I stay true to my word. That’s how I roll. That’s how I was raised – thank you Don and Marcia – that’s the way I work. Period.
What does that mean to my readers? Well, you can travel with me if you want. If you can read between the lines and handle the suspense, albeit not quite a best selling mystery novel. But still, I think I live a pretty interesting life and am happy to share what I can when I can.
Which is why I’m posting this tonight. It’s just after midnight on November 1, 2016, and I’ve just had an incredible experience that I want to share. Except I have to delete some of the information.
Like where I was dining and who I was breaking bread with!
So, I have to turn to words to make up for the lack of ‘juicy’ information and a photo montage. But journey with me for just a minute, please, as I set the scene for tonight’s dinner:
- our group is in an exclusive Italian restaurant. We are, indeed, on a cruise, somewhere in the waters in/around Malaysia.
- at our table tonight is the Director of Food and Beverage for, well, just about the global reach of this gigantic cruise line and believe me, he’s a powerful guy, born in Wales, raised as a Canadian. He’s sitting on my left. To my right is the Director of Rooms, aka Hotel Manager for this particular cruise, and yes, that means he can approve/disapprove of your upgrade or downgrade as he sees fit. Sayin’. (I might also add a charming Swedish-Italian who’s been around the globe a few times…) Continuing on around the table is the Revenue Manger born and raised in Singapore, and wow, is she ever powerful in this position. Young. Beautiful, and powerful. I’m in awe. That’s all I’m sayin’ about her except that she’s smart, well educated, and of course, Asian. She’s got my vote and we just met. Then we also have some key power players in the charter cruise industry.
- And then there’s me. I’m a meeting planner. I’m representing a power player client who has yet to board but will soon be on this ship and very definitely his presence will be felt, seen, and heard. Why? Because he represents money, and in the end, that’s what it’s all about, right. (Thank you, Mr. Trump, for making the entire universe feel like everything, ad museum, is about money. Oops, did I just let that slip? Must be the Limoncello talking…)
Anyway, where was I? Oh yes. Trying to paint a picture of what’s going on. At our very civilized dinner tonight, after the exquisite meal and wine selection where we expertly dissected every presentation and pouring, we all talked politics because that’s what America has done to this world right now. Everyone is fixated on the US elections, even for those who are not citizens and have no vote. Everyone’s talking.
So, want to know that they think of the US elections?
Shameful. Well, they used a Chinese word that I really can’t spell even though it sounded so much more pleasant in their language, buy basically it meant, @#$sh$%^. Which, indeed, is quite frankly how most of us feel right now. And even though you are currently getting it slammed down your throats back in the states, I thought it might be interesting to share what this side of the world thinks about the USA right now.
We are laughing stocks.
We are mocked.
We are presented as “fools”… “drunk on our power”… and, worst of all, “greedy beyond any reasonable explanation.” As in, “How much more power do ‘you’ people want in the world?”
Think about that as you prepare to vote.
I’m not trying to sway you one way or the other because that’s not my style. I just want you to understand that this election is so much more than just another POTUS (male or female – no one globally educated seems to think the gender thing is an issue) for us. It’s our representation to the entire world. It’s who people everywhere think we are. And while your world might be quite small, the one I live and work in is large. In fact, most of my associates in the hospitality industry would agree that “our world” – the one we live and work in – is only a phone call away, even if that connection is on the other side of the globe.
So, why am I writing this tonight? Because my Swedish dinner companion reminded me about something that my Swedish grandfather, the Honorable Senator Harold M. Saur (Rep, 3 terms-Michigan) stood for way back when. Honesty? To the core. Reliable? Does the term Swedish mean anything to you? It should. Swedes – and the Scandinavian community of immigrants – have a long history of being hard and honest workers, no matter the job, no matter the pay. In fact, Senator Saur got $2.50 per day – as in two dollars and 50 cents per day! – during his remarkable tenure in the US Senate. And he was so proud of that!
Am I grateful for all that remarkable heritage? You betcha!
Am I glad I can now watch the current shameful shenanigans of our presidential candidates played out from my perch on the other side of the globe? Sigh. Ya-ya.
One more side note, having also just visited Dubai where I also asked every Saudi I came in contact with what they thought of the US elections. Their response? “We believe there is power in money.”
And there you have it, direct from the center playing field, aka the Middle East.
I pray that everyone votes with a clear conscience. May God help us all in this election.