Sunday, August 1, 2004 8:48 PM
part 10

Another day, another trip. This time, Fred and I went to a conference at Microsoft. The Microsoft campus in Redmond is so large, there are buses for people to use to travel between the buildings. Being Microsoft, if there had been an accident, no-one would be surprised to see a headline in the newspaper that said "Microsoft bus crashes".

On the way back, Fred and I were the only people in the back of the plane. Apparently, no-one wants to fly with the virus guys.

Do people listen to pilot announcements? The pilot was talking about a town that was settled "back in the 1850's, when I was born".

The next trip was the other Peter and me, to the Dublin office. While we were waiting for the plane, the flight staff were allowed to board. Why is it that there are always pretty flight attendants getting on the plane, but when we board, they are nowhere to be seen? Where to do they go? That seems like false advertising.

The aeroplane had a sign on the luggage compartment, which said "Caution: headstrike". I have no idea what they intended to convey.

Whenever the television screens were not in use, they displayed bright pink Phong-shaded hypnotic blobs. They were just like the ones in demos on the computer.

When we flew to Redmond, we were in the Economy class. When we flew to Dublin, we were in the Business class. To fit in an Economy class seat, one merely has to place one's knees behind one's shoulders. Compare this to the Business class, in which even with straightened legs, one cannot reach the back of the seat in front... and the seat has so many functions that it comes with an instruction manual.

"Hi, I'm Anna. Would you like a treatment?". On a plane. I was shocked. Especially because it is called "Virgin Touch". More false advertising. ;-) In fact, it was a massage, moisturiser, etc. I didn't get it, perhaps because Stephen Hawking was also on the plane, and the attendants were all busy taking care of him (or asking for autographs).

We arrived at our hotel in Dublin, and went to our rooms. My room had a main door and door marked "alternative". If one locks the main door, one locks oneself in; if one locks the alternative door, one locks oneself out (it has no keyhole).

Eventually, the guys from the office met us and suggested that we all go to the pub next door. Evidently, I missed the quotes around "next door", because to the pub was reached only after a ten minutes walk down the street.

A bus went past with a sign that said "an lár" (city centre) via "an lár". Nothing like the direct route.

In the pub, everyone was shouting because as people drink more, they begin to talk louder, and everyone else has to compensate. I was asked if I wanted a pint. I said no, because I don't drink alcohol. To me, the answer was equivalent to wanting nothing to drink. To the person who asked, the answer was equivalent to wanting something smaller than a pint, and I was handed a half-pint instead. Someone else drank it for me, with great enthusiasm.

After some drinks, it was time for dinner. We went to a restaurant that was really (surprisingly) next door. Food was had. And drinks. More drinks. After the meal, it was already dark o'clock, but it was only Monday(!), so it was on to another pub. By that time, Peter and I were tired, so we headed back to the hotel, while some of the other guys stayed behind.

The next day, we arrived at the office on time. We were first.

Several hours later, it was time to leave. It was not much of a visit. While riding in the taxi to the airport, the driver had the radio tuned to a station that was broadcasting an interview with a foreigner. The interviewer's first request was "Say something in Australian". We laughed out loud and missed the response, so here is one: G'day mate. Bewdy.

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