Monday, 26 November 2007

Travel again

Gee, it seems like it has been a while since I last posted. Actually, it has been a while since I last posted.

Recently, I went on a trip for work. I had almost forgotten what it was like to travel intensely - being in three different cities in one day, trying to stay awake for the next presentation while resting as much as possible in between. It was definitely harder than I remembered, but once I was got back into it, it was like second nature.

Unfortunately, my trip was cut from being a two week trip back to one week, due to the Thanksgiving holiday in the US, meaning I didn't get a chance to head over to Chicago and New York. I'm not sure whether such short trips are good or bad - by the time I was over most of the jetlag, I was back on a plane for more jetlag the followng week!

The best part was the fact that I managed to visit another city I had not been to: Las Vegas. It is definitely a city which is very different to any other I had ever visited. With a culture of gambling embedded the whole city seems to revolve around vices. The Bellagio was a nice place - and it brought back memories of watching Ocean's Eleven. I wasn't sure whether I could stand the idea of having such an open gaming floor right next to reception - as though every moment spent outside of the gaming section was a wasted opportunity to make money. Unfortunately, the conference was jam packed full of meetings and the occasional meal, which made it difficult to get some other time in to take in the city. In my mind, I had anticipated that the hotel would exude class, which for the most part, it did. However, I was a little disappointed to find that there was a chapel near the back of the hotel. Surely, this was a slice of market share which could have been excluded from achieving underlying profits? However, all in all, it was a very comfortable place to stay. I have to admit that the rooms are poorly lit - although the conspiracy theory says that it was a ploy to get guests out of their rooms and onto the gaming floors.
There were definitely a bevy of well dressed individuals around the place. As much as others I knew there seemed to spot the "workers" in the lobby, I didn't exactly see any - perhaps my attention was always caught somewhere else.

Surveying the surroundings, there were a whole lot of busy cranes and incomplete properties around the main strip. With such a myriad of hotels and casinos to choose from, I would have thought that there would be glut of supply on the market, making it a tourist market. However, I was surprised to find that occupancy levels are running quite high as well as the fact that every new supply seems to be more than absorbed by the new demand to come and see what the new kids on the block had to offer.

I was lucky enough to be able to fly to LA and spend a night there and catch up with my good friend J. Since she has move to LA, I admit I have been quite poor when it comes to keeping in touch. However, being the truly hospitable type, she took me around and we chatted like old friends which was really refreshing. I guess it is during these times that I feel happy that I managed to tag a bit of personal time on top of a long work trip.

It's good to be back home - I can sleep in, and fall back into the comfort of routine for a while.

Previously, I had traveled with a laptop which allowed me to check emails and do some work while on the road. Unfortunately, a Blackberry just doesn't seem to be that rich in functionality (or, I am not used to operating on such a small device). It did seem a bit weird not being able to check my emails and having to resort to communal terminals. Furthermore, a lot of time is wasted while commuting. (The waiting can be horrendous - especially when I got delayed for around two hours in Las Vegas, and when we taxied out of the gate, there was a queue of around ten planes trying to take off. The person next to me fell asleep and asked, "Are we there already?" Much to his dismay, we hadn't even left the terminal!)

As much as I may have not given much thought to it in the past, I have to say that I am quite happy with my new toy, so I guess that means that I have less of an excuse to not check emails while I am away!

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