19 May 2007


Back in Budapest after a gruelling 24 hour journey from Mexico City. I had hoped to hold on to the spirit of Mexico for at least a few days longer through the special power of a bottle of premium añejo tequila, but thanks to global paranoid security culture, Lufthansa would not let me connect with it as cabin baggage in Frankfurt, and there was not sufficient time to check it. I do, however, have to thank the Lufthansa check-in staffer, who tried everything he could think of to try to find a way to let me bring it along, but in the end, his hands were tied by the security fascists, and I was forced to abandon my precious bottles at the check point.

Connecting through FRA does have its compensations, however. Generally, I do not like Germans or the German language, but I do have to admit to taking an inordinate amount of pleasure from saying the word "anschlußflug," a word which -- despite being German -- seems to roll off the tongue in the most satisfying way imaginable. I make a point of saying it several times whenever I connect through FRA, and this time was no exception.

But there were some more meaningful events in the world yesterday. Last winter, I had the pleasure of summitting Ben Nevis with some other London Business School alumni and students. For me it was short but pleasant escape from the work I was doing in Jordan at the time. For them, it was the first step in their 15 months of preparation for climbing Mt. Everest. Last I heard from them was a few weeks ago, when I received an email announcing their imminent departure for Nepal, and for no particular reason I was yesterday seized with the spontaneous urge to have a peek at their website. To my surprise and pleasure, I learned that two team members -- South African Greg Maud and Egyptian Omar Samra -- had successfully summitted just that morning. This was a first not only for London Business School, but Omar has now become the first Egyptian to reach the highest spot on the globe, so Nomadicity joins LBS and Egypt in wishing him a special "!مبروك" (congratulations!) on his effort.

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