- 23 Sep
Rog Days 7 and 8
Day 7: Wow – my day at the baseball game was a fantastic experience; the Braves won 6 – 3 after Alex Gonzalez hit a three-run homer in the 12th innings. In Baseball they have 9 innings each, but if the scores are level at the end of this they just keep playing until there’s a winner. So, instead of being there for 2 to 3 hours like the Bar Manager said I would, I was there for just over 4 hours!The ‘Scalper’ experience was indeed very interesting! There are basically a number of guys walking around with tickets, and whilst I adopted the tips the Bar Manager gave me, I don’t think my English accent helped! At one point, one very dodgy looking, and very muscular, guy asked me if I was ‘a cop’ e.g. a policeman, which made me feel quite uncomfortable! However, my luck soon changed, as a normal looking guy came along with 2 tickets for the field area (low down near the pitch) – face value was $44, but I managed to get one for $30, and the seat was fantastic so all in all a result.Baseball is actually a really good game, and a lot more tactical than I realised. There was also such a diverse range of people watching, from families, to couples (young and old), to groups of friends, and then me, Billy no mates! When my family and I next visit the States, I’ll definitely plan the trip so we can take in a game, as I think my boys would love it, and I even think my wife would it enjoy it too – the atmosphere is just so fun you can’t help but like it.
Day 8: Sometimes I have to question my love of football – 7am this morning when the alarm went off was one such time! I’d agreed to play at a local park, so armed with my Google map, I set off, and within a few minutes I was joined on my walk by an oldish fellow who told me he was an ambassador for the homeless, and that his name was Homeless Joe, which he re-confirmed by pointing to a sticker he had on his t-shirt upon which said words were written!
After a bit of small talk about football, which he knew absolutely nothing about, he asked me if I knew what was the greatest nation in the world, which I thought was a rather odd question?! I told him that naturally I thought the UK, and that I assumed he would disagree and think it was the USA, to which he came out with a complete curve ball and told me that the best nation in the world was a ‘Do-nation’! To his complete dismay I laughed out loud, as I just found it funny as he’d make an absolutely great Salesperson. I then told him that I actually didn’t have any cash on me, which I genuinely didn’t on the basis that I was on my way to play football. Upon hearing this I lost my co-walker and finished my walk in peace!
After arriving at the pitch (in the very, very loosest sense of the word), I said my hello’s and off we went. The skill level of the guys I played with ranged from downright awful to half-decent (very few of those!), so I didn’t struggle in that department, however the thing that got me was the heat and humidity, and that is where everybody else on the pitch had the edge over me! We played for about 2 hours, and I’m not sure how I lasted that length of time, but I did, and I’m really proud of myself for carrying on until the bitter end!
After a quick shower back at the hotel, I travelled north on the MARTA to Buckhead (a very affluent district of Atlanta) to meet up with a business associate, Paul Slater, who has a consultancy company called PSIT Services. I first met Paul just over a year ago when he was managing the tender for Vue Cinemas, and after we successfully won the deal, I worked with him on the contract and SLA, and during this time have got to know him quite well. Paul is over in North Atlanta to attend a conference for a US vendor of cinema related solutions. After having some lunch and a wander around the large shopping mall we were in, we jumped on the MARTA and headed south to downtown Atlanta where we had a wander around the Olympic Park (Atlanta hosted the Olympic Games in 1996), which was pretty impressive. We then jumped back on the MARTA and I said my goodbyes to Paul at North Avenue whilst he headed further North.