Thursday, May 13, 2004

Peachtree Street everywhere

Atlanta is a funny city. It seems to consist of a long and winding road that apparently never ends and is called Peachtree Street. When I got my hotel booking, I looked at the address and smiled. I imagined a tiny, cute hotel at the end of a cute tree-lined street, maybe with peachtrees? I should have googled the hotel and checked out more about Atlanta. Instead, the hotel was an obscene (though comfortable) 75 storey one, bang in the middle of yes, you guessed it, Peachtree Street. It was not one of the conference hotels, though was a 2 minutes walk from the conference hotels, all 4 of them.

My first touchdown on American soil was a trifle tiring, it took me 4 hours to get out of the goddamned airport, ensuring that I missed out the first event of the conference and was the last person to register that day. I seem to look suspicious to all airport security people, I was strip-checked everywhere. I cannot say I was not annoyed, still. I wonder what it is, my brown skin, my non-Indian attitude, my first-time visit? Whatever! Also, I found it very annoying that atleast 20 people mistook me for a mexican or something and spoke with me in Spanish, and even at the airport. Look at my passport people!

The conference was over-whelming.There were 7000 professionals registered and if I wasnt so confident and full of myself, would have been scared to death. I enjoyed the lectures and sessions I attended and it gave me a chance to assess myself and also re-affirmed my career choices. I must have met atleast half of the people and made some good friendships with people closer to my age, though there were very few of them. The receptions and parties totally rocked, the booze flowed like flood-water, the food mostly was Southern and I had my fill of crabcakes and green fried tomatoes. We had parties at almost every Atlanta landmark like the CNN centre, the Georgia Dome, Swan house and the Margaret Mitchell house. I indulged myself at some of the nicest restaurants in Atlanta. At the end of it, I got utterly sick and found myself a Sushi bar not far from my hotel. Needless to say, I ate well and as a result, am dieting these days. Sigh!

Next stop, Manhattan!


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