Sharing letters he sent to his father during his years of traveling the world building—and then saving—a multi-billion dollar company, Bob Hemphill’s Stories from the Middle Seat recounts the funny, unique, and sometimes outlandish parts of international business.
From a time of significant prosperity to a period of domestic and international financial hardship, we have Bob’s insider views on what it takes to be successful, or at least to survive. We go from goose blinds in Virginia to Incan ruins in Peru, from the islands of the Caribbean to those of Greece, from Riyadh in Saudi Arabia to an Israeli kibbutz. Hemphill details the interactions with professional colleagues and with family, deals with the ups and downs of business, and responds with his inimitable wit and wisdom to it all.
Whether you’re an armchair traveler, a successful or beleaguered business person, or a reader simply looking to enjoy and learn about international business, you will relate to Hemphill’s humorous, candid and unfettered take on life, relationships – business and personal – and cultural eccentricities, realizing that it just may be these eccentricities and relationships that define our common humanity.
Jet lag, boardrooms, and high-pressure deals.
That’s what international business brings to mind.
But Dust Tea, Dingoes & Dragons will make you think again.
It shares a series of letters sent to the author’s father during his decade of traveling the world, building a billion-dollar power company. Hemphill illuminates the always practical, sometimes poignant, and often humorous things that happen as we connect and business somehow gets done.
“If they served you camel hooves for dinner, and you didn’t know it until you asked, what part of the camel did you have for breakfast?”
“In Islamabad hotels, you must sign a form certifying that you are an infidel and will assuredly go to hell, in order to get room service to bring you a drink. Is this form binding if you die outside of Pakistan?”
“Can you really claim to be in the movie industry if you don’t dress all in black, have a small pony tail, wear an earring, have an idea for a screen play, and harbor a desire to meet Meryl Streep?”
“Cinemas in the Czech Republic serve bacon-flavored popcorn. Why can’t we get that in the US? It’s even better than cheese-flavored popcorn. The whole movie theater smells like breakfast.”
Millions of people around the world travel for business. But how many of us take the time to truly appreciate what we observe and experience?
Dust Tea, Dingoes & Dragons, by author R.F. Hemphill, is a lesson in the meshing of cultures, the diplomacy of building business relationships, and, ultimately, of surviving to tell the tale.
And it’s darn funny, too.