Thursday, November 08, 2007
A bit late, because I forgot. With good reason too. For the first time in three years, I went a whole month without playing online poker.
I was pretty surprised when I realised this. Although the primary reason for no online play is detailed over the last half-dozen posts or so...
At least it gives me some ammo if anyone ever accuses me of being a gambling addict!
It also means I was level for the month, which makes it one of my more productive 'efforts' this year.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
The return trip, thankfully, went a whole lot smoother than the outbound leg.
Simple checkout via The Tropicana TV screen and key drop, $6 shuttle bus had me at the airport in 25 minutes, swift check in and security clearance, time for a snack, before an on time departure for Newark, slick connection, and the desert sun was effortlessly replaced by Glasgow rain. All good.
There were still a few things that made me chuckle, and one incident on the plane that I'll save for a separate post...
The shuttle bus dropped me off directly at the Continental departure zone. At McCarran there are check-in desks outside the terminal. I approached the first empty desk.
'Where you flying to today, sir?', asked a middle-aged guy in a definite American accent.
'Newark, then on to Glasgow, Scotland.', I replied.
'I'm sorry sir, we may have a problem.'
'Yes, we don't allow Rangers fans to check-in at these desks.', his eyes twinkled.
'Ah! Then we're OK.', I grinned.
Unreal. 5500 miles from home, and I run into a Celtic fan on the check-in desk. The real 'problem' being international travellers had to check-in at the main zone inside the building.
My heart sank when the seamless check-in was followed by the sight of an absolutely mammoth queue leading up to the security zone. There must have been a thousand people in front of me.
However, the TSA at Vegas are clearly on the case, and we fairly whizzed through.
During this short wait, I became aware of a late 40-ish guy in the queue nearby who was a real shambles. Grubby shorts and shirt, unkempt hair, unshaven, weather beaten, and apparently drunk.
He was muttering incoherently and staring around with a somewhat bewildered expression. I had him stereotyped immediately, and imagined him repairing pick up trucks in some southern backwater.
He disappeared from sight in the melee as the queue forked to pass through the multiple security checkpoints.
Only to reappear an hour later near the departure gates. I was seated near one of the desks, and noticed him wandering aimlessly, with a still bewildered expression.
A Continental agent hailed him.
'Do you require assistance, sir?'
'Let me help you with that.' she persisted, taking a boarding card from his hand.
'Sir,' she continued, 'you do realise your flight left twenty minutes ago?'
'Don't worry, come sit over here and we will sort it out.'
Classic Vegas. Priceless!
I was glad to be back home, glad to be met at the airport by wife and child, and glad of a proper sleep, but still slightly sad the adventure was at an end.
An epic trip was over, and there are many memories I'll savour for a very long time. I'm already looking forward to the next one.