Sunday, March 25, 2012

What. A. Mess.

Well, today was a total disaster. Thankfully, I had my best friend with me through all of it, or I would have been miserable!! We slept great last night (12 hours!!!), which was much needed after our rough night on the airplane. When we woke up at 9:00 (no English speaking churches to be found), we got ready and headed for breakfast. Our shuttle was supposed to run at 12 to check in at the World Congress of Anesthesia.... that's the whole point of our trip. We thought, like any other academic meeting we've been to... and there have been several... we would run over, check in, look around, and leave. We'd have the day to explore. We were invited to a banquet and reception tonight and then we would hit the tango show next door to our hotel at 10. Pretty much none of that happened. We got to the hotel where the shuttle was running. It was 30 minutes late. Not a huge deal, but it still put a damper on the day. Then, when we arrived at the convention center, we realized quickly this was not very organized. Which is weird. Anesthesia meetings are normally extremely organized. Not today. There were lines everywhere. Pre-registration, Faculty/VIP, cash only, kiosks for who knows what, another line to receive your tote bag (who cares about a tote bag!?), lines to book tours, a (closed)information desk... how do you have the information desk closed during the registration hours!? There were seriously lines everywhere!
Once we stood in one line, we were directed to another line. In that line, we would move to another line. Nobody working at the meeting spoke English (all of the talks are in English, so you would think they would employ English speaking people... they didn't). The building was one large room... with no vending machines, no food vendors, 1 restroom about 2 football fields away and through a parking garage. It was crazy! I have never seen anything like it. Nobody knew what was going on. I was extremely irritated. I hate when things are not organized. This convention happens once every 4 years... they've known for more than 4 years they were hosting this, and they don't have anything together. I answered more questions for people than the people at the information desk (which did finally open, about 2 hours into the registration). We found a nice, Belgian guy that finally printed my name badge so that I could ride the bus and attend this "reception." His coworker... looked JUST LIKE Jim Halpert from The Office. Jason pretended to take a picture of me and got a great one of him. :)

So, we left the hotel across the street at 12:30 this morning and at 5:00ish, we still hadn't had lunch, or anything to drink, we were done. We didn't really have time to come back to the hotel and change into our dress clothes like we had planned. So, we ran through the rain to a pizza place across the street. The bag actually came in handy.
It was the best pizza I've ever put in my mouth. Delicious!

And while we were in there, Sweet Home Alabama was playing on their radio. How weird is that!? That also happened to us in Austria about 9 years ago. Cracks me up. Anyway, after a long day of standing in lines, sitting in the floor (did I mention there were no benches, chairs, NOTHING in the whole place to sit on), eating the one package of m&m's we had in the bag, we were done. Come to find out, the reception and banquet was actually some juice in a wine glass while you walk around the vendor hall. No, thanks. We'll just go back to the hotel.
I should also mention that we've heard of 4 people that have been mugged today. Apparently, the trick is, the thug throws foul liquid all over you and while you are trying to clean up, they steal your wallet. For any thugs reading this, just ask for the money. Don't pour anything nasty on me. Please.
Here's where we'll be seeing our Tango Show tonight!!

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