Wednesday, November 17, 2010

ATR 42 and the Metro

Well, that was a fun-filled day-and-a-half. I'm now sitting in a hotel which was not the planned hotel and my feet are very tired.

Let's go back to the beginning. Yesterday's flight from Port Gentil to Libreville was a 30-minute puddle jump on a less than half-full ATR 42. We boarded from the rear which I thought was odd, but once I was inside it was clear. The cargo area is in between the passenger cabin and the cockpit so the only door to that area from the outside is a cargo door. I've always been slightly amused by the Port Gentil airport. From the parking lot, with the right angle, you can see through usually open doors past the ticketing area, waiting area and outside to the tarmac. A straight line of sight from my car to the plane in this ultra-secure facility. Janet Napolitano must be having a fit that children can board a plane without being forced to undress.

Libreville to Paris (CDG) was on a standard 777-300ER. Nothing special, but at least I finally saw Inception. Solid film, probably would have been better on a big screen, or simply a bigger screen. And of course I slept because I needed to "wear a smart-looking suit and ace them (the client)". (Can you name the film that quote is from? It's one of my favorites).

The meeting itself went as expected. Some good news in terms of time available, but nothing too surprising was said. We have changed plans to finish tomorrow due to a non-attendee today. Thus, my flight back to Port Gentil is getting pushed to Friday.

It has been after the meeting that was so entertaining. My hotel reservation was not done properly. And my hotel is full. Well, they offered me a room for 380 Euros a night. I passed and made some phone calls to get our Travel Department to make a booking somewhere else. Well, they thought it was good to get a booking in Clamart. For reference, I was nowhere near Clamart at the time. I was supposed to be staying at a hotel about halfway between La Defense and the city center. Onto the Metro I go! Back towards the city center, then a transfer to the southbound 13 line to the very end. And then, this is where my classic stubbornness kicked in. I could have taken a cab or even a bus. But hey, it can't be that far away so I'll walk! Sigh. I think I just walked about 4 miles carrying my backpack and wearing my suit. Yeah, never quit, never surrender indeed. It'll make for a good story once my feet feel better.

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