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I Had A More Exotic Winter Break Than You

Hey! How are you? Great to see you!

How was your break? Oh, really, you went home? How fun for you! Where’s home? Really, San Francisco? I adore San Fran! Did you have the kaiseki at Kyo-ya? No? Well, next time you are there, you must go, seriously!

Did you spend your whole break there? Hmmm, that’s cool, I guess. Nice to hang out with the family, right?

My break was great, thanks for asking. I’ll tell you all about it.
I split time between New York, Miami, and Santa Monica. Yeah, it was a lot of fun. And that was just the first weekend.

It was nice to keep things “continental” for the first few days. Sometimes you just get the urge to stick close to home, you know? But after that, I was ready for a vacation. I love to travel! Especially to other countries! You do, too? That surprises me! You seem like the type that would rather relax and watch some football. Anyhoo.

After I left New York, I chartered a submarine with some friends and took it down to see the ruins of the Titanic. It was so fun! It doesn’t look anything like it does in the movie-it looks much more historical. We brought along a former seacaptain who told stories and made drinks for all of us. If you ever have the chance to rent a sub, you should really do it. I can give you the captain’s number.

For Christmas, my parents were bored sick of the same old “skiing in the Alps” routine. So they got a couple of families together and rented out Newfoundland. It was really fun! I love having a white Christmas! We hired out a couple of the locals to stand outside and act like snowmen.

The day after Christmas, we were all feeling fat and dying to work out, but it turns out there isn’t a single Pilates gym in all of Newfoundland! Bizarre, right? So we decided to go on a Cardio Survival Trek instead. It was great exercise wandering around in the wilderness! I miss it. Oh, and guess what? I showed one of our guides how to catch a fish with part of an alarm clock.

For dinner, our guides killed and cooked up a reindeer-served au jus. Huh? No, it didn’t taste like chicken. I guess you haven’t tried it before. It tasted a lot like gazelle, actually.

I had a couple of days to kill before New Year’s, and all of the sudden I got this feeling like, “I’ve been really blessed this year, I should try to give something back.” I decided to fly over to Mozambique and see what I could do to help.

God, it was so sad over there. I hooked up with an HBS alum in Maputo, and he gave me some bags of rice to hand out. The people were so great! The little kids were so cute…I just wanted to bundle them up and take them home with me. I know I didn’t solve any problems, but it felt good to do something, you know? I just wish I had more time.

I was about to leave Maputo when I got a call from a sectionmate in Nairobi. He was bored, so we agreed to get together and go on a safari.

Really, you’ve been on one? Wow, cool! Yeah, no, we didn’t want to do one of the normal “photo safari” things. They are so touristy, you know? Of course you know, you’ve been!

We arranged to have my Land Rover, a shotgun, and a case of Amstel Light shipped into the veldt. We had so much fun! Oh, I have to tell you about this one thing that happened: We were cruising around, listening to 50 Cent, and my friend had the gun dangling out the window. He was being silly, making all these hip-hop dance moves, and all of the sudden the gun goes off!

Yeah, I know! We are both totally frozen with shock, and then a second later, something drops out of a tree about 50 yards away! We both started dying laughing! It was hilarious! I think it was a monkey of some kind.

Let’s see, what was next? New Year’s Eve, I guess. I got some old friends together in Fiji and we spent the evening with our old friend Dom Perignon. Huh? No, not the champagne, the man. Dom. He is such a trip. Turns out he is a huge sparkling cider fan but he’s never been able to crack the market.

The last 10 days have been pretty uneventful. I decided to check myself into a monastery in Nepal. I just needed to be inside my own head for a few days, you know? Just to make sure I got my networking priorities in line for the year. The monks were really great. I’d like to keep in touch with some of them, but it’s hard since they don’t have the Internet, and also because I didn’t really talk to any of them.

So that’s my story. I touched down at Logan exactly 21 minutes before my first class yesterday. Hey, what are you doing on the job front? Really? That’s great!

Yeah, I got another 3 offers over the break. It is so random the places where you can meet top executives!

Well, anyway, great to see you. We need to hang out more.

January 12, 2004
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