Monday, July 25, 2005


Since I'm leaving Bahrain in a few short days to start an elective at a hospital in London, I thought I'd write a post about 10 things I've learned, achieved and experienced over the last few weeks:

1. Bahrain to Dublin, direct, three times a week starting December 2nd.. the best bit of news I've ever heard from Gulf Air.
2. Golf can be a very entertaining game if you persist with it (and manage to bag a free membership to the club for a week).
3. The heat.. the godawful heat. Not to mention the sporadic waves of uber-humidity.
4. Meeting new people who you expect to figure prominently in your life from now on can be quite a gratifying and enjoyable experience. Its been a pleasure, gentlemen.
5. You can get very fat, very fast in this country if you don't stick to your gym plans. So much for all the weight I managed to lose during exam time.
6. I've become more emotionally volatile when it comes to things I'm passionate about. In an effort to maintain a more characteristic cool, I will now try to take criticism more calmly.
7. Bahrain is growing at an unbelievable rate. A few months abroad and you're dumbstruck at the amount of roads and buildings constructed in the short span of time you were away.
8. It takes me approximately 5 weeks of doing absolutely nothing to recharge my batteries. All the physical and mental effects of a gruelling cross country commute-filled academic year have slowly been washed away.
9. I've realized that within less than a year I will be entrusted with the lives of people, and that no matter how worried that makes me feel I'm reassured by the fact that internally I have the confidence to cope with whatever fate throws my way.
10. I never knew one person could make me so happy. I never thought I'd be so head over heels. I love you sweetness.

See you in five months, Bahrain. Don't go changing too much on me now.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Elusive Idea

The Million Dollar idea. That one project that can net me a load of cash to set me up for further investments and wealth. I've been dwelling on this for the last couple of days. I have no money to my name, I have no assets I can sell, I have no investors to back any plans and most importantly.. I have no idea.

The focus has been on a cheap and creative way to provide a service that the Bahraini people require. A friend of mine has launched FeedMe, an online food ordering service (check it out!) and is slowly but surely building up a solid customer base. It caters to Bahraini (and Arabic, in general) people's love of food by providing another way to get the good stuff delivered to your doorstep. Integrating the Internet was meant to speed up the process for office workers with no time to pick up a phone, but it has also proven to be a hit with the younger generation (particularly teenagers), since ordering off a website is infinitely cooler than doing it the old-fashioned way. If you're reading this Fady then I expect a decent amount of free food vouchers delivered to my mailbox in return for all of this free advertising.

So I've been trying to come up with something similar, even simpler. Something that requires little start-up cash and yields instantaneous returns. The problem is, the market is quite small which means that to get the profits I'm looking for I have two options:

1. Target a large demographic and have a cheap and affordable service.
2. Provide the service to a niche market and charge a lot of money.

I'm also not in Bahrain for a good 8 months of the year, so running and propagating the service is also an issue. This is why the idea has to be spectacular, something that only needs to be introduced for the customers to flock to it. I have no time to start small and utilize word of mouth publicity.. I need instant impact. Its a get-rich-quick scheme/dream. I want to do the least amount of work possible and get the most out of it.

We were given a talk once about how doctors are notorious for their poor money-management and investment skills. Most medical practitioners earn a decent wage and could be much wealthier and have more free time to dedicate to their families/pro-bono work/social lives if only they invested wisely. Maybe in the future when I've got some greenback to my name I'll actually sit down and think up a proper way to start a profitable business. Until then, I'm just going to keep dreaming about my Million Dollar Idea.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

A Strange Dream

You'll all be pleased to know that I passed my exams and am officially in my final year of study. Before the results were released I had frequent dreams about them, not particularly about failing.. just ABOUT the exams in general.

Anyway, ever since the results came out and all was confirmed, the dreams ceased.. except for last night. I had a very strange dream that I thought I'd share with everyone. Quite random, so I thought it would be fitting to post it onto my "Random Blog":

**Begin Dream**

I'm sitting at home and I check my college email to discover that the results for the multiple choice exam have just been released. Hello.. what's this? What exam? I thought the results were all published? Anyway, I got a mark of 0 out of 20. Disastrous, since it means that I'll have to resit Pharmacology (of course, pharmacology was a subject I did 3 years ago but nothing makes sense in this dream, so read on). But how could I have gotten none of the questions right, I could've sworn I did better.. even though I don't remember taking the fucking paper! So I'm enraged at this point, I pick up the phone (some crazy Washington-Kremlin Red Hotline looking thing) and call the exams officer. I inquire about the result, about how I could've failed so miserably and how if I had gotten 2 questions right then I would've made it through.. so the guy tells me this:

"You see, you answered two questions correctly.. except we had Mario (from the Nintendo videogame, Super Mario Bros.) take five penalties in a shootout. Mario had to make at least the same number of penalties as your correct questions for you to pass, but unfortunately he missed all of his kicks."

So this is where I completely lose it. What the hell does a fat, Italian plumber videogame character have to do with my grades? Why does he decide if I pass or fail, and since when has this system been standard practice?

**End Dream**

I was quite agitated, which I believe is the reason I woke up without finding out the answers to all of my questions. A possible explanation is my being completely hooked on the Zelda videogame (which I completed yesterday after a week of vigorous, life-interrupting videogaming.. a period of time in which my girlfriend learned many new things about the way my childish mind prioritizes tasks sometimes).. but what does Link (the hero in Zelda) have to do with Mario? And yes, I've had football on the brain.. which could explain the penalty shootout.. but don't I always have football on my mind?

So many unanswered questions that are destined to remain as such.