Monday, November 18, 2013

Miscellaneous living

Sometimes I look back over a week and think I was pretty busy but really don’t have much to show for myself.  This was one of those weeks. 

I did go to Agribition on Friday.  I haven’t been there for a long time.  In fact I may have taken father with me the last time I went which would make it a really long time since I’ve been there.  It hasn’t changed all that much.  I tracked down Lane & Paula and their girls in the Charolais barn where they were fitting cattle for their show.  They were pretty busy so I had a quick visit and tried to stay out of the way. 

The main purpose of my Agribition visit was to meet a guy from Uruguay.  I’ve got a trip to Uruguay in my future.  I traded a few emails with my contact down there early last week and then he suggested that we should meet in Regina.  It seemed like too good an opportunity to miss so I agreed. 

Agribition bills itself as an international meeting place but I was frankly distressed to see the condition of the show facilities.  Agribition brings 10’s if not 100’s of millions of dollars into Regina every year but their facilities are a disgrace.  I met the Uruguayans in the “International Business Lounge” which would more aptly be named the “dinghy attic over the old show ring.”

Quite aside from the crappy facilities the staff seemed totally unaware of any international aspect to the show.  I started out asking at one of their so-called “visitor information booths.”  It was manned by some old goof wearing Lions regalia.  He wanted to be helpful but clearly didn’t have a clue and he was more or less deaf.  He did offer to find the answer but that involved using his radio and he clearly didn’t do that very often.  Once he finally figured out how to turn it on he couldn’t actually understand what the person on the other end was saying.  Fortunately I could understand what they were saying which was essentially that the place I wanted to be was about as far away from where I was as it could be without actually being off the show grounds. 

So I traipsed through all the barns and finally got close to where I needed to be but still couldn’t find the “lounge”.  At that point I remembered that the Agribition office used to be fairly close to where I was so I found it and asked the receptionist where the International Business Lounge was.  Incredibly she didn’t have a clue either.  She did wander back into the bowels of the office to ask someone and finally came back with relatively good directions.  When I eventually found the lounge I couldn’t help thinking that perhaps the place is such a disgrace that it is best nobody knows where it is anyway.  I could go on about how clueless the attendant at the door to the lounge was but I think I’ve gone on long enough already.

My long search notwithstanding I had a good visit with the Uruguayans who spoke remarkably good English.  Fortunately their national language is Spanish so I won’t feel so completely isolated as I did in Finland.  I’ll be there are the hottest time of their summer so that may be a little unpleasant but the farm is close to the ocean so that should have a moderating influence on the temperature.  No matter how hot it is it will be an improvement over a Saskatchewan winter but I won’t likely be going from Saskatchewan.  I expect that by the time I leave for Uruguay we’ll have moved back onto the boat.

Tonight I’m getting organized for a trip to Calgary.  There’s something called the North American Consulting School there Wednesday and Thursday.  Its not so much a school as a networking opportunity for unemployed fools such as myself. 

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