Brussels – Last Take
November 6, 2012

This morning the conference started at 9am with a motivational type speaker (Roy Sheppard). He did a session on how to make people like you; how to be the life of the party.  Better described would be ‘How to take an introverted, boring actuary and become an interesting person’. Quite a challenge in 60 minutes. I think he failed. Some people liked him. I lost interest after 20 minutes and did my emails instead. Paul would have lost interest after 10 minutes, Marcus after 5 minutes.  That session was followed by two workshop sessions. The first one was on Stem Cells which was quite interesting especially since Mom has experienced the benefits of it. The amazing thing is that they none have 4 human trials running (in clinic trials is the medical term) for Stem Cell drugs. Most of them are focussed around diabetes and if they are successful it could wipe out diabetes as a disease.  That would have a phenomenal affect on mortality of humans and better living for many millions of diabetes sufferers.  The other session I attended was false advertising. The session sounded interesting on the programme but it was terribly boring and eventually 3 of us gave up and left. It was so technical only Louis (our Gen Re guru actuary) would have understood what was going on.

After lunch we left for the airport by taxi. My second taxi experience was pretty similar to the first one. This guy looked like a Serbian drug dealer and I reckon he was trying to flee the police when he picked us up. He used two lanes through the tunnel he was driving so fast. I had visions of the paparazzi chasing us in the tunnel and dying in a mangled wreck of Mercedes taxi (oh no, wait that was what happened to Diana and Dodi not a nobody like me).

The airport was again very spooky. When we entered the first bank of check in desks were totally deserted. What is it with Brussels? Does no one use the airport? We were the only people at passport control, the only people in the duty free shop (when in Belgium at least buy chocolates … all my favourite people are getting so you’ll have to wait and see if you make that list), the only people going through security.  I know you don’t believe me so I took a photo of the airport to prove it.  And in case you think that is a person at the very end, it isn’t.  It really is the weirdest feeling being in a airport like that. It is a ghost airport.

I am now back in civilization at Heathrow airport. I am flying back to Johannesburg tonight, in Johannesburg for business for the day and then back to CT.  I will be back posting again next week when Helen and I head to Nassau. Watch this space.


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