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voyages 2009 Archive
Microsoft TechEd is the premier Microsoft hosted event held in various locations around the world each year. Last week I attended the Australian slice of this over-inflated pie at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre. As long as you stayed clear of the blatant product placement and product-advertising-disguised-as-industry-briefing seminars, the convention is well worth the price.
The first surprise was how well run it was: for a week, more than 3000 nerds where herded successfully between seminars, workshops, product displays and food. I guess I should have known that it would work smoothly since both Microsoft and the GCCEC […]
This is the first post of a bunch I’ll make to finish off my public impressions of our trip. yes, we’re at home but that’s no reason for you to be deprived of the benefits of my mind. In Paris, it was day eight of our holiday and Sunday, the 5th of April.
We took ourselves, after a late breakfast, to the Opera so that Kathi could geek all over the place where she wants to work. The sandstone monument to the Arts is very grand and every bit as showy and grandoise as Versailles but on a much smaller […]
Back to my house, my bed, my cats, my books (with some new additions), etc. Yay me.
Over the next few days, I’ll post some of the stuff I would have posted in France if I had a working internet connection.
Right now, I’m concentrating on staying awake while it’s daylight here. […]
I had been using the wifi connection at the apartment to post here and it’s gone belly up for some reason. I could contact the owner to restore the service but I’ve got monuments to see and friends to visit.
What this means is that you’ll have to wait until I get home to Brisbane later this week to read the continuing adventures of Chris and Kathi in Paris.
Normal service will be resumed when we figure out what’s normal. […]
Today was Kathi’s treat – a visit to Versailles. We caught the train near home at 8am and were walking up the entrance courtyard before 9am in the face of a grand chateau with statues and trimming in gold reflecting the morning sun into our eyes. This is truly the palace of the Sun King.
OMG! This place is big! Really big! Really, really big! Big just doesn’t cover it. Neither does huge, enormous, gigantic or any other words of the same type. It took us more than three hours to wander from one wing to the next and […]
Last night we went to a little restaurant called “Au Chien Qui Fume” (At the Dog who Smokes) which was done up in that faux-Victorian billiards room style, the type that has paintings of dogs in evening dress playing cards or pool. Kathi had something made of duck and I had a chicken casserole in a mustard sauce. I was so exhausted that I can’t remember much detail at all except that my French must be OK because, unlike last time we were here, people are willing to converse with me in the language rather than switching automatically to English. […]
We’re resting in the afternoon on our second day in Paris. Yesterday, our arrival, was pretty much a write-off. We were so exhausted and grumpy after the particularly awful seats on the plane for this leg of the trip that after we had collected the keys to the apartment, snapped at each other buying groceries and took an unsatisfactory walk through the Jardin de Tuileries – now a dustbowl after the recent cold snap killed anything growing – we just went to bed and slept 15 odd hours.
Our studio apartment is in the centre of Paris between three points […]
This is our last day in Honkers. We fly out later this evening for Paris.
I’m calling it ‘honkers’ because that what the British tourists call it – and what a bunch of sour-pusses they are. Never in my life have I heard so much whining about everything, especially “how they can’t speak proper English.” It makes me wonder what their expectations were before they arrived. Surprisingly, the German tourists here are quite nice. Previously (the September 2005 trip to France) we only encountered the sort of German tourist which led us to dub them “the Americans of Europe.” Here, […]
Hong Kong is a city bilt on the vertical rather than the horizontal; that is, all building is up rather than out. There are high-rise apartment and office blocks everywhere, many built in farms of so mny buildings per row for so many rows. It looks like a cleaner version of the Soviet worker ghettos or the projects of Harlem and New York City. It’s the only way to fit so many people in so small a space.
It is also a city which is unashamedly racist in that your occupation can be guessed with a fair degree of accuracy […]