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You tweet like a Maltese falcon

June 30, 2008

Greetings from beautiful Malta!  I’m here attending my company’s EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) sales meeting.  I arrived yesterday and spent most of the day in meetings today.  I did manage to sneak out for an hour in the sun by the pool, but don’t tell my boss.*

Getting here was not half the fun.  I flew Alitalia out of JFK Saturday afternoon.  The flight was delayed for 2 hours while we waited out a thunderstorm.  I don’t mean to be the “ugly American”, because I am anything but…however…I really missed traveling on a US carrier.  Well, to be more specific, I didn’t enjoy Alitalia.  The plane seemed to be held together by the power of duct tape and prayer, the headphones didn’t reach all the way to the video screens (which was comical to watch me try and view “Michael Clayton” while in half Gaynor), and the plane was noisy and clangy which afforded me little if any sleep on my way to rome.   Perhaps worst of all, swear to the supreme being of your choice, someone in the cockpit was smoking during the entire flight.  Seriously.  Ever 30 minutes or so, for about 4 minutes at a stretch, I was engulfed in cigarette smoke.  It wasn’t the flight attendants, and it wasn’t someone in the bathroom.  It HAD to be up in the cockpit (this is the point where you can conjure up an image of a small Italian man puffing away on a Marlboro while flying a plane.)  You also don’t get a lot of communication from the flight team on these flights.  No “turn off your electronic devices below 10,000 feet”, no “captain has turned on the fasten seat belts sign.”  No video or other direction about how to proceed through either customs or change planes.  No one even said what belt to claim bags on!  Sometimes I have been known to mutter “SHUT UP” during a flight attendant announcement in the States, but good grief, I am all for happy mediums. 

I landed in Rome at about 7am.  That was little over an hour late.   I joined the unorganized pack of people comprising 3 flights that had just landed (from Qatar, Chicago and NY) trying to squeeze through customs.  I’m guessing Romans aren’t so hot when it comes to lines.  Anyhow, after claiming my luggage, I stumbled through the airport looking for somewhere to wait out my 6 hours until my flight to Malta.  I had no boarding pass, and wasn’t due to get one until 2 hours before the Malta flight was due to leave.  I found a quiet spot and had a cappuccino and read a paper.  Then, I joined the line to check in for Malta.  It was Fellini-eqse, populated by a pack of nuns, 5 Italian boys who could have doubled for the Jonus Brothers, and their beleaguered moms.  Air Malta ended up taking off an hour late, but that’s the only sleep I got that way, so the delay was fine.

The hotel is quite lovely.  Even though I will not see much of it, the beach is right outside the hotel.  Rocky, but picturesque.  Tonight we had dinner outdoors in a fortress in Valetta.  It was fun – fun to be outside, fun to be with good people, and fun to be somewhere other than my little silo in Hoboken.  Looking forward to more of the same over the next few days. 

Here’s a shot of @chriswebb, me, and my boss at the dinner.  When we arrived (20 minutes by bus from the hotel) we were greeted with a glass of the sweetest champagne I have ever tasted.  Still trying to get it out of my palate. 










More photos going up on Facebook later.  TTFN, I’m off to sleep!

*fooled you.  boss-man was sitting right next to me at the pool.  I’m not that bold!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 30, 2008 9:04 pm

    Have a wonderful trip. Sorry about the bad travel but the rest sounds glorious.

  2. Shauna permalink
    July 1, 2008 8:19 am

    I’m so glad for an update and especially love your tales of Italian travel. Fantastic.

  3. October 31, 2008 3:36 pm

    Wow, what an interesting place for a sales meeting.

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