Sunday, October 1st, 2006 - 3:33 PM

Norway Day 5 Prequel

I’m home now.

Day 5 was probably more eventful than all previous days combined. I also consumed more alcohol on day 5 than all other days combined. That was not a difficult task: I barely drank on previous days (a couple beers), day 5 was Friday, and my flight didn’t leave until after noon the next day… but this is not the day 5 report. First, I have a story from day 2 that Jeff Tulley reminded me to share.

On Wednesday morning as I walked into the hotel atrium for complimentary breakfast, I noticed an Irish family having breakfast. Actually, I didn’t really notice the family or the nationality at that time. I only noticed the father, who was about twice my size (I’m a puny 6’3″, 300 pounds), was dressed like a biker, and had more than the usual number of visible tattoos (for this particular hotel, anyway).

I didn’t really notice them again until I got up from breakfast to go to work. I’m not sure how many of them there were — they were like a single spastic organism (not so different from my own family when we go out). I’d guess there were Five or six of them.

When the father inquired about the location of his young daughter’s shoes (she was probably three or four), I realized how accurate Brad Pitt’s accent was in Snatch. It’s not so much speaking as just uttering (while preventing lips or tongue ever making contact with anything) the first syllable of each word… but that has very little to do with the issue of the child’s shoes. The answer came from the mother in a more traditional Irish brogue, and was something informative like “she doesn’t have them, does she?” The conversation continued, with the father making his disapproval apparent and the youngsters running, jumping, pulling hair, etc. within a small perimiter until someone scooped up the barefoot girl and they headed down the escalator. My colleague and I followed behind them.

On the long ride to down the escalator to the lobby, I learned of the exceptionally pungent fragrance of my new Irish friend. In following days, I became more familiar with the scent as the cumulative effect of the complete lack of soap in my hotel room–instead of soap, they provided “all over shampoo” that didn’t quite seem to accomplish the same thing.

Anyway, when we reached the bottom of the escalator, my co-worker and I managed (after some effort) to move out of the scent trail and through a separate door. We had a short conversation in which we both agreed that our breakfast companions were probably not staying at the hotel.

So… that’s the Irishman story. A unique cross-cultural experience.

1 Comment to “Norway Day 5 Prequel”

  1. Ben Says:

    Hey Woody, we were distant colleagues at SYMC. I’m trying to contact Mark Wells; please pass on my email address. Thx. How were the “fragrances” in the airports? I’ve always found Charles DeGaul (the airport – never met the man) to be the polar opposite of a florist shop.

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