Saturday, January 26, 2008

Kuwait and Indonesia - Fall 2007

I am writing this post from memory about 3 months after the fact. From now on, however, I shall try to only make posts in 'real time' - i.e., as my trips unfold. Last year - 2007 - was already a busy year for me: a month in Sumatra in April - May and 7 weeks in Kuwait in July - early September. Then, in mid-October, it was off again to the 'sand box' in Kuwait. More exactly the Partitioned Neutral Zone (PNZ) - that little sliver of land in-between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The two countries decided that since they couldn't agree on exactly where the 'real' Saudi-Kuwaiti border lie, they would simply split the oil production coming from within that area of disputed territory 50% - 50%. The company I work for manages the Saudi half of the concession.

Having arrived in Wonderful Wafra (Wafra Field is the name of the oil filed from which the PNZ oil is produced) in mid-October and stayed for about three weeks. Thanks to an urgent request from a customer in Indonesia, I made a ten-day side trip to Balikpapan, on the island of Kalimantan - that's what we in the West often refer to as 'Borneo'. A truly interesting and enjoyable location. I stayed at the Hotel Gran Senyiur - perhaps the only 5-star hotel in the area. Nice rooms and excellent food!! Also of note, the hotel employs what they say is the world's second shortest man - Mr. Rahmat Santoso (picture above). Rahmat - despite his size - deftly lugged my suitcase onto the elevator and up to my room without a hitch!

After my one-week assignment in Balikpapan had ended, I returned to Kuwait (via Dubai). I spent one night at the Grand Hyatt Dubai - very comfortable but very expensive ... as are seemingly many of the hotels in Dubai! The next morning, I flew to Kuwait and resumed my work there. When I finished my work I returned to home-sweet-home (again via Dubai) on Monday, December 10 using the new NON-STOP 16.5 hour Emirates flight from Dubai to Houston. It's a looooong flight but taking this direct route to the USA sure beats having to go through Europe (Amsterdam, Frankfurt or London).

That's it in a nutshell. I should be more detailed in future posts as I will try producing them as each trip unfolds rather than writing the posts from memory (after the excitement has faded).

Ta ta for now .........

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