But you were just...
... yes, but only three weeks after my return from the Far East, I have been in the Southern States for three days now.
It's quite a contrast between Phnom Penh and Atlanta. The size of the average population, the amount of cars, the size of the buildings and the nutritional value of the food (which brings us back to the first point).
At least the climate is similar, from 37° in Cambodia, to 22° in Germany again to 31° in Atlanta, is a pleasant change. But the humidity is higher here, which makes the heat a little more oppressive.
The flight with Delta Airlines was not as pleasant as the flight with Thai Air. The seats are a bit tighter, the plane is older, the flight attendants are rougher and also the food could not quite keep up. However, I half froze to death on the trip and had to wrap myself up well in the blanket during the almost 10 hours flight.
Nevertheless, they brought me and my colleagues safely to their destination and the way through the homeland security was pleasantly uncomplicated and fast. This was not always the case.
Hardly from the airport we were already assigned a nice taxi driver, who preferred to make prices directly and wanted to save some energy by simply switching off the taxi meter. I got the receipt then also as a blank note, to fill out by myself :D
But also he brought us safely to the Holiday Inn and we quickly cleaned up.
A short walk through the adjacent streets led us to a very nice restaurant.
There was delicious food, a nice service and good beer. I had a grilled plate as well as salad and it was a very nice evening with good entertainment.
A very nice incident happened when I came back from the salad bar with a full plate. A woman in her mid-thirties walked in front of me and suddenly started dancing around a bit. I'm not sure if she was already tipsy, or just happy. However, because of this dancing I had to brake to prevent her from running over. This didn't bother me at all, because I always think it's very nice when people just enjoy life, even if it's only a few seconds of dancing :)
A few meters further on she noticed that someone was running behind her. So she turned around and saw me smiling at her. Apparently this must have upset her a bit, because she looked at me briefly and intensely and said that I had a beautiful smile. During these words, however, she walked backwards and almost fell over a chair.
Nothing happened, she and the chair just stopped and she continued walking. I was happy about this funny incident and the compliment. I also remembered that I should smile more. People keep saying that to me.
After dinner Patrick and I had a beer together at the hotel bar and then, tired from the exertions, we went to our rooms.
There I watched House of Cards for a while and eventually fell asleep.
House of cards
I woke up early when the alarm clock in the room rang at 5:30. The last guest was probably an early riser. It's not me. But I couldn't sleep too well afterwards, so I kept watching House of Cards. At some point I slept for another 1-2 hours and at about 10 or 11 I had breakfast.
This was very tasty. There was fresh omelette as desired, bacon, sausage, meat cakes and other greasy things. But also some fruits and a fresh orange juice!
Afterwards I went back to my old occupation and continued watching Kevin Spacey at work until I finished the second season just before 3 pm. During all the watching of the series I chatted with lots of people and enjoyed being lazy a bit. You can't be lazy that often.
On a Sunday there is generally not much going on and as it was clear that this is the only day on which I could do some sightseeing, I looked for the perfect destination.
This was found quickly, as it was only a few hundred meters away from the hotel: "World of Coca Cola".
I had dreamed about this place for such a long time and finally my wish was fulfilled. Actually not, because I almost never drink Cola and if only as an ingredient of a long drink, but never mind.
The entrance fee was quite cheap, only 16$ + tax and at the end there was as much coke to drink as you like + 1 bottle for free.
All in all it was a long promotional event and very American. But I liked the pop art galleries with advertisements from the last 100 years. Finally, I have a nice cola woman in my living room as a poster.
You could also see a small production line for the bottles, 4D-cinema, the safe with the recipe and a "real" polar bear running around with which you could take pictures. The rest I already forgot again.
Oops, a beer garden!
After this great Coca Cola experience we were very hungry and found a real German beer garden.
There was almost only German beer and only German food. The prices were also good and so we spent quite a long time in this place.
After three (four?) Doppelböcken I was a bit tired and so the wonderful day came to an end.
Off to the conference
Since I am learning disabled, I woke up rudely again at 5:30 am.
Again I couldn't get to sleep and so I lay around writing with people and thinking.
At 8:00 I went to the Waffle House for breakfast, which was quite ok. Afterwards I went straight to the conference about 500 meters.
There were a hell of a lot of people there. In the big hall I estimated 2000 people and the organizer said in the keynote that it was about 4500.
That's a bummer. Until a few weeks ago I had never heard of OpenStack.
Since I had no idea about the content of the talks, I spent the whole day going into everything that sounded at least approximately interesting for our project and slowly learned.
In the meantime I understand some things a bit better, but there is still a lot to learn.
In the lunch break I had some fun at the sponsor stands for a change. I play a little bit with Oculus Rift glasses, which meant that as an elephant I destroyed some animals, houses and people with my huge trunk. All by the movement of my head.
Why wasn't I allowed to play Quake?
Unfortunately it was an older version of the glasses and therefore the resolution was poor and you could see a little bit out at the edges. Cool it was anyway!
At Rackspace's booth there was a cartoonist standing around who painted really cool pictures on an iPad Mini within minutes. Since there was not much going on at the moment, I got in line and was illustrated very perfectly :D
He asked me if he could take a picture with me and my picture for his blog.
Of course I said yes, after all he didn't ask everybody!
While eating, a very nice message came out of my fortune cookie, which made my day really sweet.
Overall it was quite interesting to see different kinds of servers and racks. Oh in case I haven't mentioned it yet: OpenStack is a software for managing and automating data centers or clouds.
Around 18:30 I was served in the hotel again.
Because I had set myself the goal of the day to start a blog article, I wrote it completely. No half measures.
Till Friday I will continue with countless lectures. I hope they will be interesting and I can return to Germany with more knowledge.
If not, I still have the nice experience in the Coca Cola World and my caricature.