Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Midweek Cuckoo: Seasonal Nut

In the spirit of silly season, i'm happy to report this particular brand of insanity as inspiration to christmas lovers everywhere. Briton Andy Park has been celebrating christmas every day for the last 12 years. The whole 9 yards. With turkey, stuffing, roast potatoes, crackers, presents, the whole shebang. He even watches the Queen's christmas speech over and over again.

Think about it, a turkey a day for 12 years. Turkeys in the UK are not the same size as turkeys here. We've all seen the Mr Bean episode - they're the size of an ostrich!

I think the little nudge that pushes him over the edge to certifiable (worse even that watching the queen give the same speech every day), is the obsession with creating a No 1 christmas radio hit. Ugh. Christmas songs.



Put on your tinfoil beanies, ladies and gents, it's time for an update from the scientology front. Tom Cruise has purchased a sonograph for the express purpose of keeping track of his child's progress. The American College of Radiology is having ten fits about it, for obvious reasons. Ultrasound scans are for diagnosis purposes only, the machine is meant to be run by a qualified doctor and should not be used continuously over a long period as it may prove harmful to a young foetus. Just because you can afford a piece of medical equipment does not mean you are qualified to use it! What next? Purchase an MRI to find your keys? Get an X-Ray machine so you can take cool pictures of the dildo stuck up your ass?

Then again, this is Tom Cruise and he has special scientology powers that allow him to give medical advice about what treatment you should be taking for depression, so he must be a doctor!

Then again, doesn't scientology give him x-ray vision anyway? What does he need the sonograph for?

Monday, November 28, 2005

good weekend, bad week

After a 4-day weekend (Thanksgiving, yay!) i'm back at work and it's shaping up to be a hell of a week. I have way too much work to do. Ugh. Don't expect too much blogging this week.

However, I did just book the week before xmas off, so looking forward to some rocking leave in a short while. I've finally tapped into this year's leave. I should probably have done so earlier, but i've seen what the project looks like when i've been away!

As some of you may know, another openboxer has been sent to NY, for 4 weeks this time (better him than me). You can catch his trials and tribulations at craig d.

Speaking of openbox, another occurence of the openbox small world phenomenon has been brought to light - turns out my uncle is good friends with the mother of someone else who works here. Oh, and former ClawThing Ian is coming to work here for 2 months vac work. TeeHee.

Yeah, not much else to say. I'm still stuck at work, waiting for some data so I can send a nice email with said data to the big boss in NY bcos when he asks for something we jump, and stay jumped until it's done. Alex has left to go to his parents for dinner without me, bcos i don't know what time i'll be getting out of here.


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Midweek Cuckoo: 911 Conspiracy Theorists

Today's kook is not one person, but many. While many conspiracy theories abound regarding the 911 destruction of the world trade center, few people realise that the currently accepted version is, itself, a conspiracy theory. It's just the one that seems the most likely.

Read all about the rest of them at A group of community minded activists are seeking to reopen the investigation on the basis of several compelling pixels! Now you too can witness the fuzzy images that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that explosives were used! You can also use your primary school knowledge of physics to determine that there's no way the complex blast pattern could have been produced with a complex shape full of highly flammable fuel impacting a complex structure!

The government is obviously lying to us, people. Find out the truth at other sites such as, or spend your hard earned money on this book!

Alternately, you can make up your own conspiracy theory thanks to the miracle of javascript. here's mine:

In order to understand time travel you need to realize that everything is controlled by a cult made up of midgets with help from hippies.
The conspiracy first started during the resistance in Mongolia. They have been responsible for many events throughout history, including The Nuremburg Trials.
Today, members of the conspiracy are everywhere. They can be identified by nail biting.
They want to eviscerate The Catholic Church and imprison resisters in Antarctica using rollerblades.
In order to prepare for this, we all must be free. Since the media is controlled by lizards from Mars we should get our information from The Bible.

Friday, November 18, 2005


I'm back in the land of braais and boerewors, ladies and gents. The flight back was definitely better than the flight up, in that my luggage was not lost and once we left Dakar there were enough free seats that i could move away from the fat cow next to me and get some real space. Seriously, when you are so wide that you push the arm rest up at 45 degrees on an airplane seat, you really need to start thinking about losing some weight. or you should be forced to buy two seats, or a business class seat, because you may not realise but you are making the already arduous experience of travelling cattle class even worse for the person next to you. oh, you think i'm discriminating against overweight people just because they're not the norm? damn right. and they should be discriminated against. they don't allow smoking on airplanes, but no one bitches about discrimination there.

which reminds me: when did it become socially acceptable to be overweight? some comedian once said that these days we don't really think much of saying to someone who is smoking that they are killing themselves and they need to quit. But tell a fat person they're killing themselves and they need to lose weight, and suddenly you're a horrible person with no feelings. It's as if there's an anti-stigma stigma around weight. May i remind everyone here that heart disease is still the biggest worldwide killer of men and women, and far outstrips all cancer combined, never mind just the cancers you get from smoking. and the biggest contributer to heart disease? unhealthy lifestyle. seriously people, big is not beautiful, it's bad for you and it's killing you. the worst is people with fat kids. wake up. overfeeding your kids, or letting them eat whatever crap they like, is just as bad as handing them the cigarette and lighting it for them. You are setting them up for a lifetime of addiction and poor health, and an early death. nice one.

anyway, rant aside, the company is off on our annual getaway this weekend. should be fun. and i just discovered i have both next thursday and friday booked off. Long weekend! yay! booking your public holidays at the beginning of the year rocks. discovering you have a day off already booked is even better than finding money in a pair of pants you haven't worn in ages.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

walkabout in tourist town

I took the Q train to chinatown and stepped out of the subway station into the biggest market of cheap imported crap imaginable. maybe going on a saturday was a mistake, but i didn't have a lot of choice. the main thoroughfare (Canal St) was crowded with tourists. I quickly got off it and into the sidestreets, which were quieter but no less full of tiny shops jostling against each other for attention. judging by the number of asian faces on the sidestreets and the almost constant chatter of more than just mandarin, this area really is home to actual asian people, but who knows how they can stand living there because it just crawls with tourists and people preying on tourists. in between there are hints of real life - a drug store, an optomatrist, a school. but mostly it's just vendors and restaurants and purveyors of fine imported frippery.

After wandering about for an hour, i got back on the subway and this time took the N to times square. in the station i saw real life scientologists with a stand, offering free stress tests and selling dianetics and various other insanities in printed form. delightful. i think i laughed out loud.

i emerged into times square, and it is a sparkling, twinkling, upper class whore. if it were just a little more dingy, or possibly if it had been raining, it would have been strangely reminiscent of scenes from bladerunner. as it was, in the bright sunshine, it was bright, gaudy, saccharine sweet. i felt all neoned out. time to go back to the hotel.

just saw an advert where a car drives out of the surf on a beach, having just been under the ocean. the disclaimer read 'fictionlization. car not designed for underwater operation'. Again, i have to wonder, who is so stupid to think it might be? probably the same person who doesn't realise that the hot coffee they just ordered is hot, but who would complain if it wasn't.

FX, one of the channels here, has a very clever movie showing idea. DVD on TV - they show the movie, and during the ad breaks they show scenes from the DVD special features. It's kinda cool.

one more day on deck. then i'm on my way home. really can't wait.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Access All Areas

So I'm watching Access, which is the cable channel where every madman with a handicam can - and does - have their own show. The show I'm watching is the Robyn Byrd show, and it is so horrible that I have to share it with you.

Basically, this woman (who i'm still not entirely certain isn't a man in a bad wig and too much makeup) hosts a show where she gets a bunch of stippers to, well, strip on her show. it's full frontal, and in the last half an hour i think i've compiled a list of all the biggest turnoffs possible from someone whose job it is to pretty much do the exact opposite. Chief among them would be:
  • fresh surgical scars
  • inverted nipples
  • flopping (for the men)
  • female strippers who you would swear were men in drag, except, well, you've seen them naked. And even then, that doesn't rule out transsexual
  • female strippers who look like they might be in their 50s
  • male strippers coyly facing their backs to you and lowering their jocks to expose their toit buttocks.... and the jocks are stuck up their crack
  • lying on your back, putting your ankles behind your head, and then flopping around like some retarded breakdancer. not sexy. spastic.
  • and the number one worst - lumpy boobs. OMG, i cannot express how bad they are. 60GGG (she stated in the interview later) and you can see the wrinkles in the implants!!! I cannot express how disgusting this boob job was. You could actually see there were at least two separate implants in each breast, and the dividing lines between. And her boobs were a slight grey compared to the rest of her. i'm sure septicemia can only be a jiggle away.

Seriously, go to the website, go in and look at the pictures of Ms Robyn Byrd. Someone fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down. And she seems to be something of a cable tv madam, having at least 5 different phone sex lines i could see from the adverts liberally interspersing the show. yech.

I am increasingly looking forward to coming home and getting back to my real job. Playing sales manager for two weeks is becoming tiring, especially the fact that i end up dealing with irate customers who i really couldn't give two shits about but who i have to be polite to. naturally, i have to take all the responsibility of being a manager without any of the actual power. i have to sit by and watch what is basically an organizational trainwreck, and it's really not my place to say anything about it. and oh my god some of the tellers are slow. watching them trying to get through one sale is like watching teeth being pulled by a caveman using a mallet. seriously, there is at least one that i am sure is retarded, or at least educationally subnormal. it's not just the computer, it's everything she does. she's just terminally slow. i talk, and she nods, and says 'oh yeah', but i look into her eyes and there's nobody home.

She reminds me a bit of my sister, to be honest.

Oh, and everyone thinks that using a radio means throwing around terms like 'copy' and '10-4' and 'what's your 20', but half of them haven't caught on to the need to depress the button completely before you start speaking. So most of the time what we hear is 'gghghghggh come back' or 'ghghg hghgg ghghg do you copy?' No, i do not fucking copy, you monkey.

sigh. got tomorrow off. good thing. i might take someone's head off otherwise. i'm gonna try going down. down to chinatown.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

food glorious food

weve had some interesting trouble with credit cards lately. hopefully we got a fix in today, but i am so tired of credit cards. especially american express, who pervertedly have to follow completely different rules than every other card issuer.

i've been trying a lot of different foods:
  • pretzels - yummy. They look crunchy on tv but are actually soft and fluffy and very tasty. great snack, especially with the crunchy salt on the outside. They come in all sorts of different flavours, too, although i'm not so sure how i feel about the sweet, dessert style ones. I think i'm going to try a jalapeno one next.
  • ben & jerry's - best ice cream ever. It was someone's birthday the other day and they had ben & jerry's ice cream cake. It was so damn good. Then, last night on the way home i popped into the convenience store and bought a small tub of their pistachio icecream. zomg. divine.
  • trix - for kids. really. imagine fruit loops in fruit shapes, like tiny little watermelon slices and rasperry bunches and bananas. fun.

we had such a chancer at the deck the other day. Employees get one free ticket for themselves and their immediate family up to a party of five. This guy arrives with 14 people including 6 kids and tries to convince everyone it's his immediate family. right. his brother got so embarrassed he offered to pay for everyone. the guy was even trying to convince us that all the kids were his, but his brother picked up on of the girls, gave him a dirty look, and said 'this one's mine'. what an arse. Then it turns out the guy works for protection, and he gets his boss to come over, who says to the manager on duty 'oh, it's okay, i'll just take them up'. And the manager is like 'oh, no, you won't'. Chancers.

we also had to evict our first drunk last night. he wasn't impressed. neither were we, although we were definitely amused.

Monday, November 07, 2005

one week to go

yay, i'm into the last week. w00t!

not that much to say really. Nicholas Cage was at the deck yesterday, but i missed it.

here's some more stuff about the natives:
  • All americans think that the south african accent is australian. I'm tired of telling people i'm not from australia.
  • americans take elections seriously. at least, the competitors do. new york state gubernatorial elections are up soon, as are the mayorial elections for new york city. the adverts are amazing - the general tactic seems to be dig up as much dirt as you can on your opponent and advertise it on tv. the only rule seems to be that you have to declare in about pt 3 font at the bottom of the screen who paid for the ad. that's it. i wish we could get away with this sort of thing in SA. elections would be much more interesting. 'Vote No for corruption. Vote No for (insert name here)'. '(Insert name here) has a history of criminal activity, has been proven in a court of law to have abused their power, and has employed his entire family in parliament. Do you really want this person in charge?' Man, it would be great.
  • its not a real advert if it doesn't have at least one disclaimer. ads for cough mixture are followed by someone very quickly detailing all the adverse side effects and warnings to consult your physician etc etc. ads for cars all have the caption 'professional driver, closed course' on them, like you don't know the guy doing the handbrake turn is not you.

stay tuned for the next installment.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

day off

so i decided to go to the american museum of natural history today. I'm one street south of central park, on west 58th. The museum is halfway up central park on 81st. So i took a stroll through central park on my way. i headed in a generally northern direction, discovering all sorts of interesting things. To be honest, i couldn't help thinking it was eerily similar to running around trisfal glades going 'you have discovered The Ice Rink'. 'You have descovered the Brambles'. i didn't have a map or have any idea where i was going, i just walked, and it was amazing how much they have hidden in there. It must be great to grow up as a kid near here - central park is a mine of potential fantasy. carousels, forests, winding paths, lakes, a kid all you need to do is arrive armed with your imagination and there is no end to the games and worlds you could invent.

Eventually i felt like i'd walked enough and headed west, looking for a way out. i was impressed when i stepped out of the park directly opposite the museum. i am t3h l33t.

i paid for museum entry plus a space show, and headed straight for the hayden planetarium which is part of the museum. there, i watched the best planetarium show i have ever seen. the projector is apparently the most advanced in the world, and based on the show i would have to agree. the seats even vibrate! the simulated high speed trip to the orion nebula was just so damn cool. i don't think i stopped grinning like an idiot the whole show. good thing it was dark in there.

the museum itself has some great exhibits, including an amazing collection of prehistoric fossils. apatosaur, t-rex, allosaur, stegasaur, duck bills, pteranadon... all whole skeletons. It rocked. plus more stuffed animals than you can throw a stick at. oh, and they spelled Kudu wrong in the hall of african animals. what the hell is a koodoo?

it's the new york marathon today. the city seems to be full of runners, wandering around in the most porno running tights you ever saw. it's horrible. skinny legs, knobbly knees, encased in skin tight lycra. ugh.

on the home front, i hear from zenstar that the fridge stopped working. why does this stuff always happen when you're not around? good thing zen is there, or i would have come home to a puddle in the kitchen and the smell of two week old rotting food. yummy.

guess it's time for a new fridge then, huh?

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Curiously Strong

Another day of closing, which is pretty tiring, but it's way better than getting up at 6:30 so that's okay. I arrived at the deck for the start of my shift at 1pm, and it was chaos. One of the elevators was down, so capacity had to suddenly be halved, which meant we were very quickly sold out about an hour into the future. None of the staff knew how to deal with it so people on the street level were telling guests they would be able to go right up, and when they got to the box office they were then told next available timeslot in an hour and a half. naturally some people were upset. On top of that, there's a street campaign where 2 for 1 coupons are being handed out. Some retard was standing right outside the box office exit handing them to people who had just paid full price for their tickets, which meant those same people were turning right around and haranguing the cashiers at the box office to know why they'd been charged full price and they wanted a refund right now. Chaos. Whoever placed that guy at the door should be shot.

Anyway, we sold a record number of tickets today in the end, so it wasn't all bad. Don't let my venting confuse the issue, though. If anyone reading this is in NY now or is planning to come here any time, you really have to see the deck. It is absolutely worth it. And i'm not just saying that because they're our clients. Sure, it's the first week and we're ironing out training issues and operations issues and all sorts of things, but the deck and the view speak for themselves. Look around online for some photos and you'll see what i mean.

So, some more things i learned about America today:
  • Americans will do anything to get a free ticket or a discount, including be unreasonable, illogical, stupid, and even just plain rude. Even when they know they're being unreasonable. Probably especially then. If you bought two tickets to an attraction, and went up and saw the attraction, and later that day you got a coupon for 2 for 1, would you go back to the attraction and demand that they refund one of your tickets? To me it seems completely idiotic, but it seems that to the majority of the americans visiting the deck, this is perfectly normal behaviour. The foreigners don't seem to have a problem with it. In the real world we have a saying: tough luck.
  • Americans really think south africans live in the bush. They are continuously surprised to discover that we have buildings, cars, jobs, clothes, and don't ride around on elephants and get chased by lions. Seriously. I am getting tired of saying things like 'yes, we live in houses'. So to clarify: the wild animals are in game reserves, we have cities and wear normal clothes and have mtv.
  • Starbucks is king. hazelnut cappucino is the shit.

Seriously, if any of these are misconceptions, they have only themselves to blame.

I succeeded in my mission to try altoids, they taste exactly the same as Wilson's XXX mints. They are not 'curiously strong', they are exactly as strong as i would expect a mint to be. disappointing. Oh, and i took a walk in central park. Saw a rat, and the park smells like urine. Also disappointing although the pond was quite pretty. I think i'll take some photos, which won't include the smell.

Tomorrow i have the day off. I am going to try and visit the museum of natural history and the planetarium. I might also invest in a pair of flat shoes. my feet are sore. Let you know more tomorrow.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Another Day at the Top

Well, another day, another few thousand visitors. I can now not feel my legs below the knees. At this rate, by the end of the week i will be totally numb. This might be good.

Apparently they already had a proposal on the deck yesterday. going down on one knee, ring, the whole nine yards. it's just too cute.

By the way, i think you will all be interested to discover that there is a multimedia area on the 69th floor called the Target Room. yep. Aim right here.

Some more things i learned about America today:
  • Treating an american like an idiot is considered being helpful. When guests at the deck are directed around in loud, clear voices normally used on small children they do not find this patronising or insulting to their intelligence. they find it helpful. Good Morning Sir! Step Right This Way!! Pamela Your Lovely Host Will Press The Elevator Button For You Because You Are Too Stupid To Use a Lift!!! Enjoy Your View!!!!
  • Working two jobs is not unusual among the working class. i've met two people so far who work two jobs a day, six days a week. That seriously sucks.
  • Limousines are everywhere in NY. I saw more stretch limos just getting from the airport to the hotel than in the rest of my life up till now. I even saw one that had been converted into a family car. I shit you not. Mom, Dad and four kids.

I have saturday off so i'm going to do the tourist thing for a bit. I might take the camera to work tomorrow and see if i can't get some photos. A few personal ones, but maybe some nice ones for work. Right now, I'm propped up on the hotel bed, watching Speed with the laptop on it's eponymous perch, and life is not too bad. Not too bad at al.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

the big apple

Today the Rockefeller Center observation deck opened its doors to the public, for the grand opening. I can't feel my feet.

Yes, i have been on them since i left the hotel at 6:30 this morning. However, I do have to say that our system stood up to the challenge. Being on the Today show this morning (broadcast from the observation deck itself) and having the mayor of new york there certainly helped sales. Val kilmer was there apparently, in disguise, but one of the tellers recognized him. I missed it unfortunately.

You can google or blogsearch for "Top of the Rock Observation Deck" and you will find plenty of info on the opening plus pictures. Good pictures. Interestingly, i think the blogs are more informative than the news.

On personal notes, i got my luggage back this morning! w00t! nothing missing, nothing broken. It is soooooo good to have my stuff, and not try to wash my hair with crappy hotel shampoo. On the up side i did get another pair of pants and two tops out of it, so it's not all bad.

The hotel room/ apartment thing i'm in is really nice. Its a single room studio with a bathroom and kitchenette at the Wilshire Plaza. It's got this incredibly cool tv unit that has a dvd and video machine built in to the unit. That is the bomb. it's the hamburger pie of televisions. I also have cable. I'm watching some new show with David Boreanez in it and, well, he's still hot. Add to that a fully equipped kitchenette, high speed internet and an ironing board with iron, and what else can a working girl possibly need?

So far, i have discovered a few things about the states that i would like to share with everyone:

  • Americans complain about stupid things, and they do it loudly. While i was waiting at Atlanta to get my ticket to JFK some woman came up and interrupted the person helping us to complain that while she was on the phone the guy behind her stood on her foot and then hit her on the arm a few times. Could she call security or the police or something? And then each time she described it again she exaggerated more and more. He stood on my foot. He stamped on my foot. He ground his foot into mine. The poor south african guy ("I think he's a foreigner, he has some sort of accent") tried to apologise and said that had just been trying to get her attention for something and he was sorry if he upset her, but she refused to accept it. The woman from the airline finally talked her down, but i'm inclined to believe that a tap on the arm would very easily have turned into a smackin her little world.
  • comparative advertising is everywhere, and it's really arbitrary. Our product is great, compare it to this other random product. all the time. for everything. Like i'm really going to buy both of them to check.
  • taxi drivers in new york drive like maniacs. in london, there's this thing called the knowledge, where you have to drive around london on a scooter for weeks until you know every road there off by heart. in new york, it is not necessary to know the city, to speak english, to count, or even really to drive. You just have to aim your vehicle like a weapon on wheels, and try not to kill the fare before they pay you.
  • you can buy hardcopy of the onion here. On the sidewalk in those little coin op machines. Right next to the real papers.
  • Robotussin is a cough mixture. They may make other stuff, but so far that's all i've seen. "Put some robotussin on it". If someone can remember where that's from, please leave a comment.
  • no one in new york cooks. They all just get take out. And i can see why because the food here is incredible and you can get really really great food delivered. i'm not just talking junk food, i mean like real restaurant quality food, and cheaply if you're earning dollars. The delis are everywhere and their offerings for lunch make me want to cry. It's just so incredibly varied and the quality is fantastic. i could blog an entire post just about deli food.
  • It really is just like tv. Seriously. On the street yesterday, i caught this snatch of conversation: "I must have been going about 45 when i hit the deer.... what? never mind the deer, you should have seen the car!"

That's it for now. Oh, and peppermint patties are great. I have halloween candy :)

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Flight from hell

Okay, as zenstar has already told everyone, i'm in the states and i'm alive. So here's the story.

Leaving from CT was uneventful, if a little sad to stand on the other side of a security check waving goodbye to zenstar, knowing i wouldn't see him for more than two weeks. But that aside, checkin and boarding and the flight to JHB were relatively uneventful. I didn't check my bags all the way through to NY because that's how they get lost. 20/20 hindsight, I should have checked them all the way through, because then the probably would have got to New york before me. But anyway... I got into JHB with 2h40min before my next flight. Plenty of time, you would assume. Except that when i got to International Departures, the line for the JFK flight was out of the door. I stood in that line for nearly 2 hours, only to discover as i got to the front (and watched the checkin counters dropping from three to two to one, and for about ten minutes, none) that the JFK flight was full. I later found out this was because the friday flight had been cancelled, and JHB in their infinite wisdom had given my seat to a standby. Lovely. At the desk, the woman said i had two options: stay overnight in JHB and take the next flight, or get on the flight to atlanta leaving in less than half an hour. Since I had to be at work here on monday, I said give me atlanta. I then ran...literally ran... to the SARS office to declare the stuff i was taking out of the country so they wouldn't ass rape me on the way back, and then ran through passport check to the gate, where i was about the fourth last person on the flight. Everyone else behind me had made the same choice.

So i get on the flight. Departure time comes and goes. Turns out some people were no shows and they had to get the bags off. Same old same old. We taxi out to the runway and we're about to leave when... Is there a doctor on board? About 10 doctors rush to a seat where a passenger has passed out and thrown up (in that order). After massive discussion going back and forth with 9 second opinions, they decide she has to get off the plane. So back to the terminal we taxi, offload the patient, wait while they find her luggage (just in case she's faking it and is really a terrorist of course) and then finally taxi back to the runway. Time to take off, you would assume. of course not. The oxygen bottle they used on the sick woman is contaminated, and they were supposed to replace it once used. They didn't and they can't take off without a usable oxygen tank on board, so back we go to the terminal to get a new one. Finally, back to the runway for the third time and we actually take off.

The flight was the longest i've ever taken - 18 hours. This on its own was not too bad. There were loads of movies, and i pretty much spent the entire time watching them. What was terrible was the guy sitting next to me. He was an enormous black guy who spilled over onto the seats next to him. I spent most of the flight with his elbow in my ribs and his right leg over on my side of what should have been a dividing line between seats. i spent most of the flight halfway into the aisle to try and keep away from him. In addition, he smelled as though he had drank a bottle of aftershave and then vomited it up on himself. And he snored. So all in all about the worst person to sit next to. And stupid. Chicken or Beef? Fish please. Why's my video not working? Because it's on Audio mode? Dumbass.

So we land in atlanta only to discover our bags didn't. There was that paranoid moment where you're sure it's just you and maybe you're being stupid and you've just not recognised your bags. But when there are a cluster of you, and you recognise them all as being other people in the line for the jfk flight, you begin to see a pattern.

So we discover the bags aren't there, and are advised to report them missing at jfk which is our final destination. Except it's not the final destination for some of the people, but whatever. Eventually we get a flight to JFK for a couple of hours later. Get on the flight, get to JFK without too much trouble, where i have to babysit the only other person who was actually coming to JFK so that she can work out how to report her luggage missing. Get my ref number, get a taxi, get to the hotel. Check in, call the boss, call zenstar to let him know i'm alive (just after midnight sa time on sunday night... when i was supposed to arrive around noon) and then go shopping with the boss so i could actually have some clothes to wear on monday. Then back to the apartment to crash.

In the morning i spoke to Julie at work who was following up for me. The tour operator was apparently told that i was a no show for the JFK flight and my return tickets had been cancelled. When she phoned the airline to find out what the hell was going on, they told her their records said that i had got onto the JFK flight. Genius. She managed to get the return tickets reinstated, and find out that my luggage went to atlanta on the next flight which was sunday night. The luggage was meant to arrive at my hotel today.

Did it? I'll give you one guess.

Anyway, I have to be at work at 7am tomorrow morning for the grand opening, and it's 11pm here now. I'll probably have time to blog tomorrow evening, so i'll fill you all in on all the weird american things i've discovered are not exaggerations, they really are like that.