Of the 17,000 No Reservations commercials the Travel Channel broadcasts daily, why didn't I notice they were having a contest to select a location? I would have entered Chattanooga for sure. Saudi Arabia was chosen because Tony (the host of the show) has "misconceptions." 15 of the 19 hijackers were from there he says. Although none of the hijackers were from Chattanooga, we do have a criminal element. Our Sheriff was arrested for money laundering, accepting bribes, and purchasing a gun from an FBI agent. The almost too ridiculous to believe FBI document detailing the crimes reads like a Coen Brothers movie script. If you Google "worst mayor ever" our very own Chattanooga Mayor tops the list and has inspired a website dedicated to his idiocy.
And people think we all dress like this lady, who greeted visitors last Saturday, coming to have their crap appraised on the Antique Roadshow. (A shout out to my friend who found out that the painting her family likes to use as a target for hitting golf balls, is actually worth as much as something you would hit golf balls at. Bummer. Welcome back to poverty land my friend.)
This Saudi Arabia episode will be interesting because not only is it rarely ever featured as a travel destination, it is a county without alcohol. Lets see how long it takes before Tony starts to sweat and have hand tremors. If he wanted to go to a place where alcohol is illegal, we could have taken him to a few dry counties right here in Tennessee, like the county where Jack Daniels is produced. It's always been an interesting little factoid that although they make Jack Daniels in Lynchburg, you can't buy it or any other alcohol there.
Hey! Maybe Samantha Brown could do a Great Weekends, Middle East series. Saudi Arabia, Iran, Yemen, Turkmenistan. Now that would be fascinating.
UPDATE: The Saudi Arabia episode was excellent and gives a completely different perspective on life in that country than what is typically perceived. The view of cooked camel hump was nauseating, the enclosed fast food booths in which to eat your chicken nuggets in private, interesting. But what was most intriguing to me was the contest winner Danya Alhamrani. She was born in Bismark North Dakota and divided her time between Saudi Arabia and North Dakota. She is a film maker. I want to know more about her and her life and you would think others would too, but as of this morning only three people have posted questions for her on her message board. My question is: When are you going to write a book about your life?