These are blog notes that I made while attending the conference but couldn't post... Also, I lost all the photographs I took till Wednesday, so apologies.
It has been an extraordinary trip, I have to admit. The level of customer service, the warmth, the arrangements are just great. The Malaysian Airlines lounge in Heathrow is very nicely laid out, with tinkling fountains and a real life banana tree. The bright tropical air, compared to the dim, cloudy, gray London skies was utterly incongruous. But the flight was good, the plane was very old but hey, the service was brilliant. Why can't BA people do a bit of smiling instead of going around po faced?
But managed to finish reading the economist, CIO connect, and few other industry mags that I have been humping around, and then watched the Jumper. How cool is that kind of transportation, eh? I want some of that specially when I am forced with the alternative of having to use the London tube. Also saw part of clear and present danger. Tried to watch Cloverfield but it gave me a bad headache so went off to sleep.
The amazement coefficient increased when we landed. Two hosts from the conference were there to pick me up, Shelly took my passport and baggage tag and disappeared off into the inter terminal train while I, after some fumbling with the door, managed to get to another train with Mahmud and then I was taken to a lounge. After an excellent cuppa tea and some conversation with some other guests, I was taken down an elevator and out of the door. No immigration, no passport control, no nothing. Holy Moly, now one can get used to this, but it got better and better.
Was taken to a stonkingly big limo by Mahmud and driven to the hotel where I checked in. Nice room, nice view. And then was given perhaps the best conference bag I have ever received, a huge strolly of a bag. But crashed out for a bit of a nap, then Then I interviewed a lady for a potential job over lunch, crashed out again for a bit, and then got dressed for dinner.
Mahmud was there to collect me and after some tooing and froing, I was asked to get inside this bus to go to Independence Square for dinner. And there was nobody else other than Mahmud and I on the bus. What completely blew me was the fact that we ended up having special motorcycle policemen escorting us on the bus. It was simply amazing, huge bus, nobody else on it, with 3 policemen on fast motorcycles, sirens blaring, going around KL....
Still, ended up in Independence Square, lovely setup, welcoming people, they have obviously pulled out all the stops to impress people and actually, i am impressed by what they have done. The food was delicious and such a wide choice.., I did not eat that much, pecked at various dishes, met with some very interesting people and started to feel the tiredness again. So went off to the hotel and back to bed.