Monday, September 22, 2008

monday, monday, monday


Today was a very interesting experience. Boss 2 and I went to the Grand Palace. To get there we took a taxi (which if every in thailand make sure to take a metered taxi, otherwise you will have to negotiate the price once you get there) As soon as we stepped out of the taxi we were re-directed to, what seemed to be the entrance. well, as it turned out it wasn't. We were then told that the palace was closed for lunch [which i found suspect but boss 2 went with it] and the man we were talking to told us that it would be a good idea to take a tuk tuk ride to the giant buddha statue, which seemed like a good idea. Half way into our adventure, and after the second store that we didn't want to stop at, I mentioned that I didn't believe that the palace was actually closed and my boss agreed. So, when our driver mentioned stopping at yet another store we asked him to just take us to back to the palace, but he didn't really like this idea. He turned around and informed us that if we went into 3 more stores for a minute he would get gas money. [i believe he only told us about the scam because i saw him getting money from the guy at the second store] Instead of being side tracked from our original adventure any further we decided to just offer him 100 extra bot to just take us back. [the ride was supposed to only cost 20 baht, but he ended up getting 120 baht instead] Once we were back at the palace it really sunk in that we had been, literally and figuratively, taken for a ride. But all in all we only spent an extra $3.50 or something close to that, so it really didn't affect us very much and probably helped the tuk tuk driver eat that night. Either way we got to the palace and took a lot of pictures [to be posted soon] and to night....the ping pong show. [i'm slightly concerned with what i might be getting in to]

that's not my name

ahh, so its off to new lands again. Lets see again i have been neglecting this page and not updating anyone on what I have been up to. I guess the luster has dulled a bit on this toy, but I digress.

While in HK not much happened I didn't really have any time to go galavanting around as I usually do. oh, except for the whole boss tackling the old man thing, apart from that not much happened. Okay, so I guess I should tell the story then. We were walking past the small group of people protesting the Jewellery fair, on the way to the MTR, when an old man basically runs my boss over. Well, everything might have been fine if we didn't see this man again but when we got to the ticket counter he was waiting at the window. So, in order to get to the second window you have to pass through a roped off section that passes the first window...well, instead of letting well enough alone she decided that barreling through him would be the best revenge. I really do think that he may have left at least half his face on the window. By the end of this debacle we end up on the wrong train since she was too amused with the result to function properly. Other than this not much happened in the HK.

Now, in Thailand, thats very different begin the trip we first had to get on a plane, I don't know if anyone reading has every flown on srilankan air but I don't suggest it, not in the least. The plane on take off shook so violently that I thought the whole thing would burst into a million pieces. It was quite possibly one of the scariest moments in my life thus far.

The second day, sunday, we went to the weekend market in Mo Chit. I've been to quite a few markets but non of this size and chaos. It seemed as though we might have a quiet (well as quiet as markets go) day but as soon as 12pm hit it was one of the most chaotic places i've ever been. Most foreigners were buying shirts with thai phrases that they couldn't read, or things that they deemed and "crazy thai" objects. Meanwhile, I'm following my bosses around (who are really doing the same previously mentioned things), that have been here before, just observing the culture clash that comprised the market.
Since we had walked around for several hours, we decided go get rubbed on. The thai massage is definitely an experience in itself. I opted to just get a foot and leg massage while one of my bosses (male) went for a full body massage. My boss chooses not to partake in the accustomed happy ending of the massage but there were a few men that came down that had clearly taken part.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

show me, show me, show me how...

much like any other country that has housed the olympic games china is all a buzz about the opportunity, so much so that fights and angry mobs have affected the torch race.  this information and topic is all over the news here, but i learned that it made it safely to tibet yesterday.  [I really want to go to tibet before it is overly influenced by the chinese government] There is also an abundance of little anime style olympic figures everywhere you turn...even at the jewelry fair there were little jade figures for the olympics being mass produced and available for mass order.  

Speaking of mass production... i was sitting at lunch yesterday and these two [identical] black boats went speeding by, and i thought to myself that this can't be a regular person's boat [they looked too put together and expensive]....and then I started thinking about how it would be interesting to get a behind the scenes look at the military stuff they might have...bc you know they have access to a lot of high tech stuff and the man power to produce it quickly. 

anyway, when we got to the show yesterday.... I went to open my water bottle [which actually had coke in it] and the lid shot 20ft in the air with a really loud bang [there was no fizz and no mess just a lot of noise], but everyone just carried on about their business as though nothing had even happened [which also fuels the scary war machine theory in my head].  One would think that a loud bang would elicit some sort of response, but the fact that it didn't sparks the notion that people just expect there to be loud gun like noises at any given time.  

oh, and we had dinner with scary food people but as i am out of time for the moment i will have to talk about that later.  

Friday, June 20, 2008

just run with me through rows of speeding cars

speaking of italians...the loud rude ones that are staying at my hotel got yelled at last night for having a business meeting in the breakfast lounge last night.  [only e-club rooms can be down here and their guests aren't even staying at the hotel] It was really funny. 

anyway, I went to the night market last night...I couldn't justify buying anything, but now that i've thought about it a little more I think i should have bought those few things that caught my eye.  I guess i'll have to just go back tonight or tomorrow night and get them.  

so far the show is going well and we are buying a lot of great product. We have two more big meetings but we've already gotten a lot and don't really need much more...i guess more is better than not enough though [oh how economy and consumption baffles me sometimes, I think the trends and patterns of the mass market are funny though] everyone has to have the newest thing and then a week later its something completely different.  It's an easy thing to see when you are the one doing the buying for the propulsion  of these trends, or even if you are buying just to keep up with them.  The thing is, I get to see the trend before it becomes big and thats really strange to me....its almost like making a snow globe.  you put all the right ingredients in and then set it down on the table, the trend spreads but only when you shake it up a bit, and then shortly after everything settles until you do it all over again.  

Thursday, June 19, 2008

this love type thing

okay so, we may have missed a few posts since the last...let's see I arrived home safely from the last trip [to Italy] and now I am in Hong Kong for a week on yet another buying trip.  

The flight over was very long and un-eventful, I watched almost all of the movies available on HBO during the 18 hr flight and didn't sleep a bit.  I typically try to stay awake for the flight to HK since we usually arrive at 10pm and if I slept on the flight I would never get any sleep and be jet lagged for days.  

I think I actually prefer HK to Italy.  The business day starts later [around 10] and ends around 5, but even though business is over it doesn't mean that the night is over.  They tend to stay up very late here [unlike the Italians who tend to shut down around 10pm] and things go on way past 11pm.  In fact if you try to go do anything before 8 there isn't anything going on.  
And although the people in Italy were helpful [which isn't always the case] the people here [HK] are more than willing to wait on you hand and foot.  [in some cases they tend to hover and become overly doting]  
Another observation/comparison is that the pace of business and life is much faster here, where the take to a more laid back approach in most of europe there is always movement here, always something to do.  There are also more options for transport here,  they have one of the best subway systems that i have ever been's always on time and, although they pack it in like sardines,  it is very clean.  I think the whole sardine idea can be applied to the city as a whole, they have a tendency to use up all of the land that is available and have to re-claim or make some new land to build more.  Every time I come here the canal gets smaller and smaller, and I think eventually there will be a land mass connecting the two islands [kowloon, and HK].  

This is really all I have for today [6-19-08] and I am off to the show to buy some jewelry.  


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I'll Stay up with you all night


Leaving Florence at 8:30pm, it's going to be late when we get back to the will be about 11:30 or so.  We didn't go see David, but we did see the cathedral.  While at the cathedral we decided to go up to the top of the dome where you could go out on the balcony on the roof...well...first we need some back story...okay, so I am absolutely terrified of heights, as in if I am near a ledge I either pass out, throw up, or run the other direction completely dizzy and unfunctionable.  Now, back to the Cathedral...we decided to go up to the roof.   Everything starts out well, but as we get further up the winding concrete stairs I begin to notice the view out of the random small windows...everything is still fine, and then we get to the walk way that overlooks the inside of the church from the base of the dome arch [the ceiling].  Okay, so i'm trying to be a good sport...I go out to the ledge/walkway, I take a look around and then turned right back around to go down the wrong way, but I stayed there for a min before I did.  [I really wish I had thought to take a quick picture]  Now, some people may say that it's a waste of time to go up all of those stairs just to turn around and go back down before getting to the roof, but at least I tried...I stayed there longer than I ever had before.  So get over it, I'm working on it.  

I've got bigger hands


Ha ha, I couldn't resist this title [reminiscent  of a convo with Sam] 

So, I've missed a day of blogging but not much has happened.  We ended up not going to the show on the 18th instead we went into the city and drank a lot of wine, but we did go the next day.  Nothing really came of it though.  I'm now on a train to Florence.  We decided that since it was raining on our last day here we should try going somewhere that it wasn't raining.  The ride is quiet and really pretty.  Today may be the best day in Italy.  Rilo kiley and Cat Power take the ride to a level of perfection that would otherwise not be achieved.   This really solidifies my want to do a train tour of Europe.  It will happen one day, I'm going to make it a point to do it before I'm 30.  Maybe with a group of friends, maybe family, maybe a little of both, or maybe I'll do it twice, once with each group.  Either way it's going to happen... 

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Breaking the rules once I learn the games


It’s raining even harder today…and as it turns out people stare at you funny when you eat breakfast by yourself here in your pajamas [they’re all in business attire since they’re all vendors at the show, im just here to buy from them]  oh, the reason why I ate breakfast by myself…we drank a lot of wine last night, and after about 6 or 7 glasses I might be starting to come around to the idea.  I’ve always wanted to keep wine in my apartment but I never really had a valid reason [except for the fact that girls like it and just having it gives you the appearance of being cultured in this society of ours].  Anyway, no word from my boss yet but it’s only 9:48 and we don’t usually go to the fair until about 10:30 or 11. 

It’s a little cold in my room…maybe it’s time to get dressed.  Hopefully we can make this buying trip worthwhile.  I’m sure if I poked my head out of the window I would find my boss smoking out of hers.  [her room is beside mine] I believe we are planning on meeting with a few companies today but nothing is very promising and is probably over priced.

Apparently HIV is a big problem over here [well at least in Germany] because every other commercial is about preventing it or the spread of it.  Or maybe it’s just that people are more open to helping people that are affected by it instead of trying to ignore the issue.  

You simple-minded mortals make me sleepy


I was woken up by a phone call at 6:30 this morning…well not so much woken up since I was already awake, just not wanting to get up.

So, I got ready for breakfast…

I have 3 hours before I have to be ready for the jewelry fair…basically my job today consisted of walking around the convention center to see if I/we wanted to actually meet with any of the companies…not much popped out at us, and we’ve pretty much decided that buying in Asia is better and cheaper. 

Finding food in this city proves to be a very difficult feat.  We finally found a snack bar that wasn’t too busy and got some pasta.  After about 6 hours of ‘window shopping’  we called it a day, and since it’s raining [still] we have decided to eat at the bar in the hotel [and apparently I am going to learn to like wine]

…this should be interesting…

oh, and the quote of today is “Well, they try things.” [my response to my boss’ inquiry to the female fashion sense here]  

I roam the streets with absolutely no purpose…contrary to my last statement I fell fine


Right so, new hotel is in the middle of nowhere.  When I say nowhere I mean there is nothing here.  I think there’s one restaurant in walking distance and everything else is an hour away.  There is literally nothing to do.  We tried to go into town, but after waiting and hour for a bus [that never came] we gave up.  Now I’m watching mtv in german…the commercials are actually very funny, and the music is quite good.  And now its raining so there will be no walking around.  Looks like an early night…good thing since breakfast is at 7.

The only lips I wanna see are the ones that sing

On todays water taxi…oh, wait I should start with breakfast…so, I finally made it down in time for breakfast during which [much like the rest of the week]  I had the opportunity to practice my Italian [as well as my French and German, interchangeably] It works wonderfully since everyone understands all three, and since I only know a little of each.  Anyway, I had toast, juice, and really great coffee…meanwhile J came through to say bye and to tell me to have a safe trip.  Its sort of strange how my only contact in Venice was a straight boy.  I have now checked out of my room with my magical luggage in tow…looking back it was actually really nice not to have had to carry it to the hotel, kind of like my own personal delivery service [that I never want to use again]  Okay, back to the water taxi, which I am currently riding.  I met a new couple and oddly enough they are from Atlanta [Toco hills area]…and my foot has gone numb…

Its going to take an hour to get to the airport, and these two creep me out.  The husband [we’ll call him stripy shirt man] tends to just stare at me after I say something, which makes me uneasy and then even I start to feel as though I was meant to say something more.  Its an odd feeling and I don’t really like it, so I’ve moved from the aisle seat over to the window with my bags between us.  Creating my own comfort zone.

I woke up at 4:30 this morning…I literally jumped out of bed because my phone decided that I needed to get up.  I was confused and trying to figure out if it was 4:30 Atlanta time or Venice time, but I quickly decided that it would be absurd for it to be Atlanta time since that would make it 10:30 am here and it was still dark out.  Then I saw that I had messages and suddenly had a reason to stay awake. 

This boat is oddly comforting and the random shuffle of songs on my ipod seems to fit the experience. 

While waiting for my boss’ plane to arrive…I was amazed at how many people ran back through the No Entry doors just to be escorted back out by an armed guard…it was amazing.

Driving in Italy [well, riding] is kind of like roller derby in high speed vehicles….rules, merely a suggestion…lane lines, apparently just there for a rather large connect the dots game…not for regular use.  

If I lose, If I lose you

Holy crap…happy day.  My luggage magically appeared in my room tonight.  No more washing clothes in my sink.  The only problem is that I can’t open it, they have put a locking twist tie thing on the zippers.  I guess I’m going to have to ask the front desk for a knife or something to cut it open.  It’s weird though I was downstairs the whole time and they didn’t tell me. 

So, as soon as I saw my bag I was instantly starving…I hadn’t eaten in a few days due to anxiety.  When I ventured down to the lobby to go to a restaurant I saw J again [he had just come in for work].  I stopped to talk for a min, and since I had my camera with me we took a picture. [but he confused the poor old couple that took it for us, they thought that he wanted a picture of them…they apparently have myspace too… it was al very funny] With all confusion aside we finally got a picture.  Then after we planned my morning departure I headed off to get a pizza.  It was so good…I ate like I hadn’t eaten in days [J] there was an instant gratification from this meal.  It felt nearly like a ladytron night [nearly].  I was sitting there with a smile but when I looked up there was no one to return it.  It doesn’t change the fact that I’m happy but it makes me miss you just the same.  

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I like my new bunny suit

I’ve done a lot today.  I went to the Palazzo Grassi, the Gallerie Dell’Accademia, and the rialto bridge.  I bought a few things things for people today, I’m trying to get more into the spirit of things and not think about my lost luggage [which is still mia].  I mean I’m in Venice, and if I wash my one change of clothes every night I’m fine [by wash I mean hand wash in my bathroom sink]…it kind of sucks but you learn to deal.  I’m now taking a mid-day break in the lobby since I have pretty much walked the entire island.  I keep debating on what I want to eat, but I keep getting stuck on the fact that people choose to eat at the McDonalds instead of the other surrounding restaurants that cost about the same.  I don’t really understand it.

I’m really tired but I know a nap now will keep me up all night again.  So, I’m just sitting here watching the people walk by the hotel, and reading a book while I cool off.  A vast majority of people that pass are girls holding hands, which just makes me miss being home. 

This city is an interesting mix of tourists and people living their everyday lives.  The locals always seem to be in a hurry while everyone else is just strolling along.  I love how everyone here knows at least 3 languages.  America is so isolated it doesn’t occur to anyone to learn anything else. 

…so, I ended up taking a nap before my 2 o’clock [eastern  standard time US, home time] chat date.  I may regret this in about 2 hours when I try to go to sleep…. 

...oh good news, my ipod is over its fit and works again

Oh what a night…

Since I couldn’t sleep I went downstairs to the lobby to buy some Internet time.  I apparently took the guy at the desk by surprise.  He was outside smoking when I approached the desk, when he saw me he stopped everything and said, “my heart is beating so fast, you are so beautiful” [or something to that affect].  Then he said a few things in Italian.  It was all very strange for 1-4 in the morning.  I bought 2 hours of internet time, but some how ended up with 3.  Which was wonderful since it gave me more time to talk online and post some blogs.  But this isn’t where the strangeness ends.  When the guy at the desk [we’ll call him J] saw that I had a mac he went into this long story about how he paid $2000 to have one shipped to him, but it never came.  So, I went to the other room and started chatting, and few mins later J came into the room and asked if I wanted some tea.  In the process he saw that my myspace page on the screen and got really excited because he is on myspace too.  Out of curiosity I searched for his page [he gave me his email address so I could find it] since he was a nice guy and an interesting story I added him as a friend. But it was a little strange when I heard my profile song from the other room.  He seemed very impressed with my music and movie lists which led to a short discussion about Japanese cinema [its apparently his favorite].  He said that he could never compile a list like that since it is too boring to do something like that [I’m not really sure how I should take that].  Just keep in mind that through all of this I am trying to get in as much online chat time that I can.  [it was soothing my bad day, and calming me down]  With this said J started realizing that I wasn’t giving him full attention so he periodically would go back to his desk in the other room.  At some point, probably around 4, a guy came in and asked J to call one of the female guests, but when the guy tried to go upstairs J said that he would have to pay if he was going to stay the night.  This didn’t go over well, so the guy said that he only needed an hour [which really means…this is a booty call].  J was going to allow it, but only if he left an id with him.  He apparently didn’t have one on him so he got frustrated and left. [somewhere in this process the girl called down to see what was taking so long, the whole thing really only took about 5 mins] 

By the end of the night I had gained a map and a new plan for the upcoming day.  

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Constants aren’t so constant

So, ending my first day in Venice…it turns out that the group of older couples’ hotel is directly across from mine. Needless to say, in a day of consistent disappointment, I found my hotel [and theirs] with no complications. After dumping the little bit of stuff that I have in my room, I had a wonderful walk around the Piazza and its surrounding streets. I took a few pictures and then took a nap. This city is beautiful, but would be more enjoyable with someone to share it with.
My plan for tomorrow: GET MY LUGGAGE, and then play at the Grand Canal.
…and my ipod has decided to freeze…

I have dreams of Orca whales

Hahaha…well, I spoke too soon about not having any complications or hassles.  It seems they have put my luggage on a different plane, and they said it will hopefully be here tomorrow.  Luckily I packed a change of clothes and shower stuff in my carry on bag.

I slept very little on the plane, but I’m wide awake for some reason.  After leaving the help desk I have decided to take the water taxi/bus to Piazza San Marco to my hotel, it’s about an hour ride and I get to see the other islands.  While I was waiting to board the boat a few fellow plane passengers [who also lost their luggage, on the same flight] approached me and began asking me questions about the water bus and how to get to the Piazza [and to their hotel].  Now, I’ve seen a few maps of the city but I’ve never actually done this in person [which I explained to him] but none the less his wife [named Marie of all things] decided that they will be following me.  So, not only am I responsible for myself, but I am now leading a group of older couples through a country I’ve never been to with no luggage and a faltering hope pf a place to sleep tonight.  Hopefully all will end well…oh, and without a map.

I wonder if you think of me while you’re hanging in New York

Oh my…its my biggest nightmare stuck between two chatter boxes for 18 or so hours. The first comment out of Marcy’s mouth was “if it wasn’t for her [me] I would really enjoy these seats.”
…Unfortunately they’re related, mother and daughter [Marcy] of the previous generation. They are going on a cruise…go figure.
The lay over in New York was mostly uneventful, I spent the majority of it on the phone trying to calm the storm. Even though it has just begun, I’m starting to have my doubts…I’m just hoping that my hotel reservations workout.
I feel like I’m being watched over sitting between these two. They keep asking if I want things, and I just want to sleep.
I feel like I should be home this week, there’s just so much going on that I need to take care of.
It occasionally smells like mothballs and citrus gum, but only on my right side where Marcy’s mother is sitting.


Just to take you on an airplane ride

As I arrive at Hartsfield I have random pangs of anxiety.  I know i've done this a thousand times before, but there is always the chance of complication. 
Why does it always feel like the boarding gate line is leading you to slaughter? It's a strange phenomenon- the gathering of groups of people in an airport- no one is ever happy about it and all common courtesy goes out the window.  I'm just happy to get through these things without hassle. 
It never fails...planes always smell like sweat and coffee, but surprisingly the older gentleman next to me doesn't have hair growing out of his ears.  Ever since i was 7 and beginning to fly by myself, i always ended up next to old man hairy ears.  It's good to find some change in life.  
-Expect Delays- before we can even take off on the first leg of this trip, we suddenly arrive back at the gate so we can 'fix' something.  Which usually just means- we need to figure out how to turn this indicator light off.  No biggy, we're just an hour late already.
...Scratch that, 2 hours late