Saturday, July 30, 2005

A Day In The Life of a Busy Traveler

Business travel has its ups and downs, as does personal travel, I suppose. There are rewards to being on the road, the little thrills of business success, plus the fun of exploring new cities, and sampling new cuisine. There are the downsides to road work as well, such as being alone when big things happen, no one to hang out with, airports, traveler's woes, and that small detail of having to work all the time.
The positive story for the day is that I can't wait for the show to open up. We are exhibiting at the Fraternal Order of Police Show in New Orleans, LA. A few months ago I got it into my head that I wanted to "claim" a show, to really make a mark at a show. I picked two big shows, and this is the first big effort. And so far it looks like my plan is working. Our "booth" is our mobile showroom, a large 18 wheeler trailer, with drop down back end, hardwood floors, and gunsmith's station. It even has a golf cart inside of it, that I will take for a few spins around the show floor tomorrow, just because I can. So far we dwarf the competition, and that is a great thing! Our rival, G, is directly across the aisle from us in a small little 10x10, looking small and pathetic. I can't wait for the show to open, just so we can enjoy the thunderous applause we've earned this year. Let's hope the attendance meets the promises.
We do have our work cut out for us tomorrow though. Unlike other shows, set up will probably take us several hours, in a largely un-air-conditioned convention center. Oh the joys of trade show work...
I have been looking forward to coming to New Orleans for a year now. And I have to tell you, I am seriously disappointed. We are right on Bourbon Street, right in the heart of the French Quarter, which sounds fun and all. But its not. Its gross, its dodgy, its smelly, and the public drunkeness never ends. I walked down the street at 3 pm, in broad daylight, and felt horribly vulnerable and unsafe. I think I will stick to nice safe places for the rest of my trip here.
Today had a great high point, and a low point. Low point- the airline losing my luggage. Somehow my suitcase took a little sidetrip to Pittsburgh, Memphis, and then to New Orleans. I think I should get the frequent flyer miles earned by my luggage today. It only seems fair, considering I had to wait 12 hours to get my bags. I think I will petition the airlines on this idea!
The high point of my day was in the form of an email. I got a little letter from the State Dept telling me I passed the Foreign Service Written Exam. I am very happy!! I took the test on a whim a few months ago, and honestly haven't given it one thought since. So now I have lots of romantic thoughts running through my head about which countries I want to sign up for. How far remote and exotic do I want to go? I'm completely open to suggestion, so feel free to offer up your thoughts! Right now I am obsessed with Africa and the South Pacific. Can you see me processing visas in the Congo? Or am I better suited for interviews in Fiji?
Please drop me a note while I am in exile out here in the Big Easy!

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