The 2009 Financial & Insurance Conference Planners Annual Conference has come and gone, but the memories of time spent with our neighbors to the north linger on. For me, it is always fun to visit different countries, especially ones where they speak the same language as I do. (Trust me, nothing is worse than having to explain your actions to a police officer who doesn't speak a word of English, but that is a travel tale for another time.)
Things could not have gone smoother in Toronto, even though I was slightly taken aback by the immigration agents at the airport. When I went through immigration, I noticed that all of the agents were clad in bullet-proof vests. I would be lying if I said I wasn't a wee bit concerned, because I was still in an airport where, for the most part, guns are not allowed. I wanted to know what the immigration people knew that I didn't know and, if they knew something, why didn't they warn me instead of asking what I did for a living. “So you're a comedian, eh? Well, two words for you, funny boy: duck and cover.” I wrote the experience off to my own paranoia and moved on.
I arrived at convention central for registration and the first thing I received was a $150 gift card. I thought at first that I won a prize but was soon told that everybody had been given a gift card to use for the dine-around Monday night.
My dining experience took me to The Sultan's Tent, an exotic restaurant serving food from Morocco, another foreign country. I have never been to Morocco, but I know it was the setting for the Humphrey Bogart classic Casablanca, so when I met the hostess at the door, I immediately said, “Here's looking at you, kid.” She told me to stop looking at her and directed me to my table.
The restaurant was decorated to look like the inside of a sultan's tent (go figure), and the menu was festooned with a lot of stuff that I didn't recognize and couldn't pronounce. Things like hummus, which is Moroccan for grits; couscous, the dish so nice they named it twice; and samak saghir, which, if you rearrange the letters, becomes his gas karma, a very appropriate name for this dish. I settled on the sautéed hump of camel, which was tasty but left me very thirsty.
The highlight of the dining experience was the performance of the official belly dancer who, thankfully, was not wearing a bullet-proof vest.
Dale Irvin is The Professional Summarizer™. He will emcee your next event and keep the audience updated on what they have just seen with a running comedy monologue. Visit www.DaleIrvin.com and sign up for Funny Business and The Friday Funnies. They're free and worth every penny. For booking information, contact Speak Inc.'s Ruth Levine at (858) 457-9880 or email@example.com