I left for Athens on Tuesday evening and got here on Wednesday morning. It was a nine-hour flight, but fortunately I was able to fly directly and on business class. I was still a bit cranky after we landed. My coworker Geoff and I flew on the same flight. He took a photo of me on the bus from the airport. I am on the left; Geoff is on the right.
Business class on the airplane was great. I was able to get in some sleep; the seats reclined quite a bit. The food was also edible, and that was a real change for me. For an appetizer, I had gravlox and shrimp. I choose steak for the main course, and I realized too late that it would be cooked well-done. The airline also gave me a nearly-full bottle of Chianti when I got off the plane. They were going to throw it out if I didn’t take it.
I wonder a bit about some of the airline restrictions on flatware. What is the point of banning metal knives if you are going to hand out metal forks? Are forks somehow less dangerous than knives?
I am working on various computer systems in preparations for the Olympics. We estimate that we will shoot around 500,000 images at this games. The infrastructure required for the games is fairly significant. We have around ten Windows 2000 servers, ten networking devices, four printers, and about a billion desktop and laptop machines. Phil Jache, myself and half-a-dozen other people are doing a lot of work to make sure everything gets working in time for the games.
The weather in Greece reminds me a bit of the weather in Southern California. It is fairly dry and hot, but it can still get a little chilly in the evenings. The ground is arid, but it is still quite lovely.
The people here are very nice and friendly. I tried to learn some Greek, but I just ran out of time. Regardless, everyone goes out of their way in order to communicate.
The first night I was here, we all went out to a fantastic restaurant called Ithaki in a neighborhood called Vouliagmeni. Our table overlooked the sea. We had quite a few small dishes, followed by a whole sea breem baked in a salt crust. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.
Only seven more days to go. The sign in the photo below reads, “If you can read Greek, then you don’t need a translator.”
Actually, it really says, “Our celebration has come.”