The Magic Kingdom - With Three Short Trips to Hell: Life as scientist-diplomats in Saudi Arabia

Jeff Wynn

Published by Independently published, 2018
ISBN 10: 1980225494 / ISBN 13: 9781980225492
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Synopsis: Saudi Arabia is blessed with huge hydrocarbon deposits, and is the source of most of the gold of King Solomon. It is also a paradise for working geologists and geophysicists. You never have to deal with swamps, bears, bodies of water, or vegetation that hide the rocks and make access difficult almost everywhere else in the world. “The Magic Kingdom” is a term used for Saudi Arabia by expatriot western visitors, and refers to a different form of logic, what we called local logic for lack of a better word. It meant that my first task as the male scientist-diplomat was to find a gilded cage for my wife and daughters, as they could never drive or even travel except with male family supervision. I had one spectacular failure here – when we learned that a month was not a month. My next task upon arrival was to identify the spies assigned to watch and report on me. Then use them. The ‘Rub al-Khali, or Empty Quarter, is a terrifying wonderland, the largest contiguous sand-dune desert on Earth. It is logistically easier to cross Antarctica than the Empty Quarter, because neither fixed-wing nor rotary aircraft can venture into this forbidding wilderness. If you enter it, you are very much on your own. Here the humidity is typically just two percent – barely measurable – and the temperature during our first expedition reached 61oC/142oF. Getting to the Wabar Asteroid Impact site, where a detonation the size of the Hiroshima Bomb took place in 1863, was an amazing experience by itself. What happened here would have been phenomenal to watch, but you would not have survived it. Traveling there required truly formidable logistics, plus the assistance of an amazing "sky-to-earth" tracker from the famous al-Murrah tribe. Ali al-Murrah typified the incredible kindness and legendary generosity of the Saudi people, a people who have raised hospitality to levels not found elsewhere on Earth.

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Title: The Magic Kingdom - With Three Short Trips ...
Publisher: Independently published
Publication Date: 2018
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Good

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Jeff Wynn
Published by Independently published
ISBN 10: 1980225494 ISBN 13: 9781980225492
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