Coming to a cinema near you: The Old Man & The Misfiring Laptop

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

Samsung blueWeeping like a willowSamsung blueSleeping in my bureau – with apologies to Neil Diamond

My hitherto Samsung (‘Sam’) laptop is threatening a work to rule policy. Perhaps not surprisingly.

Perfectly functional at home and in my various land-based interim bureaus around the world, my constant day and night companion has decided the relentless pace of travel is becoming too much. As a result, its battery (fortunately unlike mine) is threatening to give up.

As a result, Sam’s compatibility with certain airlines’ inflight charging connections (where they are in place) is as suspect as finding a man in a green and gold jumper in the middle of the All Blacks line-up during the pre-match anthems at the Bledisloe Cup.

Noticing my companion’s deteriorating health on a recent trip I bought a mobile laptop charger at the excellent Changi Airport Terminal 3 Sprint-Cass technology store on my departure from the TFWA show in Singapore.

Hong Kong to Shanghai Pudong done, now it’s on to Riyadh

Thus when my now less than trusty Sam decided it was nearing time for hibernation on my long Hong Kong to Riyadh flight via Shanghai Pudong on Monday, I reached for my new petite charger, hoping it would have the same effect as, say, slugging down a gallon of Red Bull might have on me.

Move over Robert Redford, there’s a sequel on the way {Photo:}

Indeed it bought me a few hours of solace to chip away at my Everest-like backlog of feature stories and working on the website that never sleeps.

But it wasn’t enough. The China Eastern flight from Pudong to King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh is a circa 10 hours and 15 minute slog and alas the charge it got wasn’t enough to keep Sam awake for the rest of the journey.

As a result, horror of horrors I was forced to do something I have barely done over the last few years on a flight, i.e. watch a movie. By now the exhaustion had kicked in, so I opted for light entertainment in the form of a 2018 movie about a senior American citizen (played by Robert Redford, now 87, when he was a sprightly 81) who also happened to be a serial bank robber.

Called The Old Man & the Gun, it was a charming story (loosely) based on a truth. And Redford, of course, delivered one of his effortlessly charming performances, every bit as debonair as an old man as he was at, say, 33, when he starred in Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid alongside Paul Newman.

And while I would never have been likened to Robert Redford in his prime, the combination of his senior incarnation and the film’s plot did rather remind me of myself and I’m thinking of approaching him for a remake called The Old Man & The Misfiring Laptop.

It has Oscar written all over it; the tale of a of an ageing writer who just can’t stop composing stories onboard planes and in airports, ferries, taxis, hotels and (very occasionally) home. And by the end of the film, the laptop (like Redford’s gun) doesn’t fire.

The reason for my visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is that Riyadh is hosting the ACI Asia-Pacific and Middle East and ACI World Annual General Assembly (WAGA) Conference and Exhibition this week (look out for an extensive picture gallery in my next Blog).

Besides supporting our long-term Trinity Forum partners ACI, I have the privilege of moderating on-stage discussions with Avolta CEO Xavier Rossinyol and IPP Travel Retail CEO Phillip Nguyen (IPP Group is co-hosting this year’s Trinity Forum alongside Airports Corporation of Vietnam).

Back in Riyadh, precisely a year since my last visit

It’s precisely a year since I wrote a Blog about the Kingdom and its burgeoning aviation and tourism sectors. I called it ‘Saudi Arabia – a place where the future has already arrived’ and events during the 12 ensuing months have only reinforced my view. Extraordinary things are happening here on such a scale that the term ‘transformation’ seems limp.

I’m writing this from inside the WAGA conference hall, watching speaker after speaker relate the opportunities they both see and intend to seize. Watch this space, as they say. But don’t blink. You will miss something.

Last night the evening kicked off with a Welcome Reception that included a brilliant Saudi music and dance performance. The photos below reveal that I was invited to join in the proceedings. They also reveal what anyone who knows me already knew. That I can’t dance. But boy, could I wield a sabre. Move over, Robert Redford, I’ve renamed that movie. The Old Man & the Sword is in town. ✈

Cutting-edge journalism at its best as I disprove the old adage that the pen is mightier than the sword


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