Ok ... so as it turns out, I went to WA to escape the heat!! ... Oh the irony!!
Just when we thought things could not get any worse, mother nature thumbs a rather malicious nose at us for fucking up her planet!
And "get the hint peops" we are so ill-equipped to deal with this ... trains cancelled, power outages, accidents, heat stroke and other heat related fatalities ... a little mini armageddon!!
I'm only thankful that I escaped the bulk of it. So the work trip, odious as I thought it would be, in the end was at least good for something.
Now I'm no jet-setter, but I have been on the odd work trip before this and I must say, although we covered alot of ground with a punishing itninerary, by and large, this trip was not as disastrous as i thought it would be ... lets be frank .. you don't really want to be spending more time than is necessary with your work mates ... particularly if they're not the ones you would ordinarily knock about with ... and packing for these jaunts is always problematic because its not a question of t-shirts and shorts, but work pants and suits and shirts etc ...
I managed to fit it all into a relatively small case which was very proud making until we finally landed in Perth and the baggage belt spewed out this sorry sight:
The pics don't show the full extent of the damage ... there were more cracks underneath and one wheel had fallen off!!
I know its a cheap bag ... but really!! Its travelled alot before without any hassle ... Baggage Handler, if you're having an off day, please don't take it out on somebody else's property!!! Qantas, thanks for the inconvenience caused. Will you be paying for the transport costs of getting the damn thing to an outlet for an exchange? I don't believe so.
On the plus side, the replacement seems to be a more robust proposition, although M remarked on the burnished gold colour!!
I did feel on the day that it forbode badly on the trip as a whole, but the Rydges hotel and its location soothed most of the early jitts away.
You're usually stuck with the purely functional on such budget work trips bordering on the rancid (although I was impressed with Star City in Sydney ... I know ... shoot me!), but my hotel room was actually quite plush (and I was sooooo relieved that sharing was not involved).
Rydges is located on the cnr of King and Hay Streets ... that section of Kings hosts most of the luxury boutiques like LV and the like and Her Majesty's theatre is right there on the corner.
Directly opposite the hotel was this brilliant second hand bookstore called Elizabeth's chockful of great finds ... definitely a must-stop if you're ever in town.
I won't bore you with the details of the trip ... but here are a few salient points:
- was great to see another side of the business at work ... and seriously the pressures of targets aside, this is one damn cushy well-paid job!! Although there were serious issues brought to the table, it was fun meeting new people and also people who you've only had non-visual relationships with previously. We went from tea party to tea party (well, in most cases hospitality was a little lacking - not so much as a glass of water!!!)
- one of my colleagues is a consummate mimic and consequently a great entertainer, the other is a dag and on ocassion extremely tedious
- we were accompanied on some of our meetings by a supposed sales hotshot from the states who made his mark in one of the bigger publishers - I say time to hang those skates up boyo!! he's like 60 and straight from some gun-shooting hick town caught in the 50s ... John Wayne coupled with Jack Nicholson with a mid-western drawl croaking with age and a healthy 2 pack a day smoker's habit. In one word - Embarrassing!!! We maybe in the arse end of the world, but we are urbane and sophisticated, even in our 'burbs!!! We know BS when we hear it!! K kept us entertained throughout the trip with his impression of JoT!!! HIlareeous!!
- the University of WA has a beautiful campus with the largest tree I have ever seen. M helpfully informs me that the trees grow taller in WA!!!
- WA librarians are by and large lovely people
- parts of WA remind me of Singers/Malaysia
- Freo still impresses although S from Notre Dame reckons that it is dead at night and can be a touch on the dangerous side! But the Little Creatures brewery and the foreshore still rock!