A Hologram for the King Chapter 25
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- It's finally happening—the king is coming.
- Alan arrives at the tent to find chaos: lots of people setting up chairs and tables and bringing in food.
- Alan learns that if the king is about to arrive, his people will send word twenty minutes in advance. Reliant needs to be on red alert all day.
- Alan puts Brad on high alert. Brad makes sure that all systems are go for the joint presentation with London.
- But just as they get their hopes up, a messenger appears to say that the king won't be coming.
- Alan and crew sink into despair. The upside? The tent is totally decked out with couches, lots of food, and serious wi-fi.
- After all the excitement, Alan decides to wander around KAEC. He runs into Hanne, but rejects her offer of a ride back to Jeddah.
- He also bumps into Mujaddid (his first tour guide), who is excited to show him a condo that's for sale.
- Alan's broke, but Mujaddid doesn't know this. He agrees to see the place since he's intrigued by the pink condos.
- Mujaddid gets called back to the office, so Alan continues up to the apartment by himself.
- On the first floor, there's a kind of ghostly food court waiting for occupants to come. Alan thinks that the signs for western food chains are proof of progress.
- Alan wonders if this offer to view a condo is a weird way to tell him that he needs to invest in KAEC before Abdullah will award him the contract for IT.
- Though he's supposed to go to the fifth floor, Alan hears voices on the third floor and decides to check it out. Mistake.
- He stumbles upon a fight between foreign workers. Two guys are fighting viciously over what turns out to be Cayley's old flip phone. She'd thrown it on a trash heap.
- None of the workers can speak English. Alan offers to settle the dispute by tossing a coin, but the men don't understand the concept of "heads" and "tails," so his effort fails.
- One of the men grabs the phone out of Alan's hand and walks away. The other men turn on Alan and he has to beat a hasty retreat.
- He makes it to the fifth floor and is saved by the owner of the posh apartment that Alan is meant to tour. The owner is called Hasan.
- Alan and Hasan hit it off right away—probably because Hasan has some scotch to share.
- Alan tells Hasan about his encounter on the third floor. Of course, he leaves out the bit about the fight because he doesn't want to get the workers fired.
- Hasan seems concerned that the workers somehow might have turned Alan off to the idea of living in the building.
- Hasan admits that business has been tough at KAEC. Most of the chains that had committed to building there had back out. Remember the food court? Yeah, not so much.
- A major concern? That the city would die with the old king.
- But Hasan senses Alan's pressure point. He tells Alan what a great moneymaking scheme it would be for him to buy while things look grim.
- Alan is cautious for once. He asks why Abdullah is dragging out the building of the city when he could have it done instantly if he wanted to.
- Hasan believes the will to do the work just isn't there, even though the potential for great success is high.
- Alan winds up on the roof of the building after leaving Hasan (after taking a drunken wrong turn). He's riveted by the view of the developing city.