Monday, January 19, 2015

Okay. Fresh Memories and Cheeses. Okay.*

Yesterday was a long day on the road, beginning with an annoyingly premature wake-up call, a rushed breakfast and a seemingly endless bus ride through morning rush hour traffic. The visit was interesting, only modestly marred by a few faux pas on our part which might be chalked up to caffeine deprivation. Or poor upbringing. Maybe brain trauma. Anyway. Questions were asked, responses received, knowledge transferred, then off to round two.

But before we continue, 500 ml of Americano, by mouth, STAT.

It is truly gratifying to see how we are received. Our hosts have all been genuinely interested in helping us understand their missions and how their missions relate to our program and ambitions. Following our second visit, we had lunch at the beautiful buffet of the local Five-Star hotel. With any luck, our visit will not cost them more than a star or two, and of course they can always try and get them back next year.

That's us, postprandially perambulating.

Our Official Booty Call

But it's not all fun and games. After returning to Mission Control there were massages to be had, shops to be shopped, dinners to be found, drinks to be drinked, et cetera. There were even some who ventured to the Executive Lounge to write up their post-visit reports, like grown-ups. Heh.

That is not the Executive Lounge. But it totally could be. Okay, prove it's not.

You can actually SEE him ordering.

This is not one of those places I was talking about.

"Yet, time and again those restrictive trade policies have been proven to be wholly ineffectual!" (j.k; they were totally talking about girlie stuff.)

Now there's something you don't see everyday: A hand-pulled scrumpy: fresh farmhouse-style hard cider served like  English ale (flat and warm). The dude actually tried to serve it to me in a pint glass full of ice. They clearly don't know from scrumpy.

Man, I wish this picture had come out better. That dog was totally owning the scene at the little corner shop where we ate dinner. I swear it was smarter and more alert than some of...nevermind.

Is there any more universal experience than shopping at the 7-11 at the end of the day for that thing you need? You know, that thing? Do they even have the thing? I mean, there's a place on the shelf for things, but of course it's empty. B.I. has the highest number of 7-11s per capita in the world. And we walked by all of them.

*I might have to explain that title to you if you weren't there.

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