Hello there, hope I will not annoy you during this flight? Oh hi there, I will set next to you, talk to ya, sleep on your shoulders, and when I see ya next to the baggage claim will never recognise your face? My hello? Have we met before? I am from Tennessee! And its my first flight to this part of the world? Do you live in the village next to us? No I live in Dubai? Oh where is that?

Being a traveller I get a lot of the above chit chats, which I would rather avoid as I get this stiff neck when I try to look at the person on my right or left and talk, of course having learnt that eye contact is important I have to turn my head, some people have the knack of talking without looking at you, or they could be starring at the tv screen and talking, but I am not like that! If I do not see the apple of the passenger’s eyes, I haven’t talked to him.  As simple as that. 

Anyway, during one of my fights few years ago, I had travelled on Business class to go to Qatar (I don’t do this often, even though I would love to, as I do so many trips in the year, I could use the whole income on flying on business), sorry did it again! I often digress.  The person next to me was very friendly, and being a head of a company, and I am the head of a company, he sort of felt at home, we talked about economics, the gulf and it’s future, children, partners, my studies, his studies, where we were from and so on and so forth; it’s what you would call a salient conversation between two people who had forgotten to bring their books along (this was before the creation of the IPADof course), after lunch was served (or was it dinner) he asked me a sort of off the mark question: so tell me, what went wrongs? I said excuse me? He said, well, what went wrong? You are a traveller, studied and worked abroad, speak fantastic English (on hindsight I should have bragged about mon francaise, ah out, joe parole francaise, Mais UN puex) own your own business, children studying abroad, husband works with you in the same place, you drive the rest execute, a real leader, a woman and a Bahraini? and went on and on mentioning attributes and qualities that I didn’t know I possessed. Again he asked: what went wrong?  Well at the time, I told him that it’s my dad’s influence, come to think of it now, it’s the world’s influence and of course my dad.  However, how do each one of us drive ones self? Not sure that I know the answer to this one? Next time you are on a holiday, let people be inspired about themselves! Say the question! WHAT WENT WRONG?

The second chit chat didn’t happen to me, it happened to my daughter. I tell you guys, it was one of my worst nightmares!

She was doing pre med, and seems to enjoy it very much, telling me about what she dissected or what experiments she conducted, and how many rats she killed??? Until I said bye to her at the airport, she was adamant to bring the grades to allow her entry to med school.  Suddenly after two months I receive a letter, she says that she found out that she doesn’t like it, and that she will exit with a bachelor in biomed, and then do a masters in Business. My stars were roaming around my head, like in cartoons. I was trying to find out what went wrong, and how can someone change their mind in such a short span of time, but couldn’t find out.  Her dad and I told her that she is free to do what she wants, it’s her life, and we respect her decision. 

At mid year break she came back, and while chattering about all sorts of things, the bubble burst.  She was telling me about this person who sat next to her on a 21.5 hours flight and talked about how he hated his 
Iife being a doctor, and how he wanted so much to be a health speaker, so after a long and successful career as a doctor, he quits, joins the UN organisation or  WHO, and becomes a speaker in conferences, travels around the world, sees places and meets people. He told her that it made a huge difference to him from a person who was treating the ill to a person preventing illness and meets healthy people all the time. he also told her that the negative energy that he felt had been transformed to a positive energy, and now he plays sport, and does regular exercise.  

You see now? You can tell your life story, and inspire people? Or change people’s minds. Please think, and ask the questions first, rather than influencing people’s minds. 

I am not sure why I thought of these two long forgotten incidents; maybe because I am on one of those long journeys, and I am not talking to the person next to me?