Monday, June 25, 2007

Report from Atlanta

Greetings from Atlanta in Georgia, where it is six hours behind Amsterdam time and only 7 in the morning. I had an excellent flight out with KLM in Business Class, making sure I tried as many of the wines they had on offer, whilst eating a delicious meal, which had been 'devised' by a young chef working in a restaurant in Zwolle, of all places. After lunch, I managed to get the seat to extend to a near horizontal and have a very good sleep which took me almost all the way to Atlanta.

The landing proceduires were a nightmare as they undergo the same controls on everything coming IN as what one has on leaving in Europe, so had to hand over my suitcase for a second control and stand waiting twice for half an hour for it to turn up on the conveyor belt. The airport was teeming and it appears to be one of the busiest airports ion te world. You wonder why so many people would come to Atlanta.

I picked up a tourist magazine and there seemed tro be quite a lot to do here with museums, art galleries, a sea-life centre with some captive whales, the Coca Cola experience and a CNN thing - both those companies having their headquarters here in Atlanta.

Of course, the office and the hotel are completely the other side of the city, but fortunately there is a train connection to near the hotel, from where one has either to catch a taxi or call the hotel for the shuttle bus. Not very easy of you do not have the telephone number, as I didn't when I went out later, so had to walk along teh side of a motorway in the darkl for a kilometer or so. Not such a nice experience.

I checked in here, but there being nothing much to do here and there being the Atlanta Gay Pride in the city, I was soon out again, hoping I had not missed all the fun. And, sure enough I hadn't as there was a big festival going on in Piedmont Park, with a Coca Cola stage and a large number of stalls, both commercial and non-profit. The big surprises were to see how many lesbians there were and also how many gay black people there were. In European gay events, one does not see many black people and in Africa being openly gay is asking for big problems from society aropund you. Yet, here, at the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement, there werev very many black gay and lesbian people. Very nice to see.

No pictures unfortunately as the hotel computer has blocked flickr. Yet another form of censorship of this photo site, after the yahoo imposed controls placed in Hong Kong, Korea, Germany and Singapore a couple of weeks ago.

Anyway, time for breakfast at teh Great American Grill... is that two pork chops you wanted, sir?


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