Saturday, 10 June 2000

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I arrived this morning at London-Heathrow airport after a fairly uneventful flight. Watched two DVDs, drained both batteries in the laptop (God DAMN, this thing is cool!), and fell asleep on my sunglasses, breaking them. Other than that, nothing too exciting happened. So, I get some money changed, grab my bags, and I'm off to find my ride. I'm thinking that some schmuck cab driver's going to be here to pick me up and unceremoniously drop my of at a two-bit motel where I get to stay until Timken is kind enough to locate me a more suitable accommodation. As it turns out, I got picked up in -I shit you not- a Mercedes! Timken sent a limo service to get me at the airport! Granted, I wasn't picked up in a limo, but I found out later that it's the limo service they use for all their out-of-town executive transportation. I could get used to this corporate travel thing.

So, we get to the hotel, and I go to check in. My name's Tony Rett. Yes, I'm with The Timken Co. Will I be making a reservation for dinner? Sure, why not? The company's picking up the tab, after all. At this point I'm thinking, fly me over on a Boeing 777, have a limo service pick me up at the airport, rent me a hotel room (and the hotel is NICE, not super-classy, but nice) and pay for my meals, and I'm just an intern? Hell, yeah!

Somewhat releived (closer to ecstatic) that everything's going so well, I head upstairs for a shower and a much-needed nap before dinner. Of course, the first thing I do is pull out my voltage transformer and plug in the laptop to start charging the battery and play some tunes. About halfway through my "Euro-trash Girl" mp3, there's a weird sizzling sound like someone's frying bacon inside the transformer. At this point, sparks erupt from the plug, there's a loud popping noise, the laptop cuts out, and there is now smoke rising from the half melted contraption that used to be my voltage adapter. Shit.

Back down to the front desk. Um, excuse me. I just managed to blow up a US to European voltage regulator. You wouldn't happen to know where I can find another one, by chance? The look on this girl's face was priceless. I may as well have asked for a uranium-powered fission reactor. Trying to be as helpful as she possibly can, she points me in the direction of a shopping plaza/mall type place nearby, though the odds of finding anything useful are pretty slim. Also, keep in mind that at this point, I'm going on nearly 36 hours with no sleep, a five hour time change, and the nap that I took on the plane is actually doing more harm than good.

So, I wander down this backwoods trail, through this bridge-tunnel thingy over the highway, to a little mini-shopping mall. After nearly an hour in there, I'm directed across the street (which turns out to be across and about a mile up the street) to a hardware store that might be able to help me. I trek over to the hardware store and find an adapter that does the exact opposite of what I need it to. By this time, I'm absolutely dead on my feet. It's to the point that I'm having trouble comprehending English, so I'm sure people think I'm just a total idiot at this point. Oblivious to the fact that I probably look and am acting like a complete moron, I decide to ask the manager for help. She confirms that they haven't, don't and will probably never carry the part that I'm looking for, but if I want to try an electronics store, there's one at some place called Six Fields, which sounds like it's really far away (I'll later find out that this is the equivalent of the Target at Chapel Hill telling me to try the Best Buy at Montrose, not quite walking distance). Conceding that I'm just not going to have a computer until Monday, I head back to the hotel and lapse into a coma.

More to come...

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This page contains a single entry by mordarageek published on June 10, 2000 4:39 PM.

Sunday, 11 June 2000 is the next entry in this blog.

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