Monday 4 August 2008

USA: the conference commences

As my usual sleep pattern is similar to that of an Omani dustbin cat, five hours of sleep was sufficient to wake up feeling refreshed. I opened the curtains to reveal the view over the harbour from the Holiday Inn positioned between the USS Midway and the Star of India. I stepped into my 38-hour old crusty clothing and headed to the conference centre.

The first day of the ESRI conference is never taxing and I was soon making my way into the downtown area to work my way through Mrs M's shopping list.

At the hotel, I noticed that the 'guest room attendant' had left a pillow menu on the bed. Apparently, Mildred had taken special care to prepare my room, and was offering a Pillow Menu programme designed just for me........yep, just for me. How thoughtful. Mildred had also personally signed the bottom of the card.
That evening I was surprised to find many of the restaurants in the Little Italy area still open at 8 p.m. Each establishment along India Street is fronted by a beauty queen in a perky outfit standing behind a small podium positioned next to the menu. Cafe Zucchero was crowded with families and large grou
ps squeezed around undersized tables. I tucked into a disappointing sea food risotto rescued by a couple of well-deserved Pironis.

Back at the hotel, the concierge feigned sympathy that my bag had not arrived. I needed to rinse smalls.

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