WSC/WPC Impressions – August 9-10 (To London)

I woke up at ~7:30am, thanks to the demolition workers destroying a nearby residence. Given that my flight was 8:50pm, this was not a good thing. Anyways, I packed my stuff, then waited for the airport shuttle service to pick me up on the afternoon.

Dumb mistake #1: Forgetting to pack the British pounds I exchanged 3 days earlier.

As a result, I had to get some pounds at the ATM, which cost me some money. I arrived at the airport at 6, checked in, and got something to eat. I hanged around a bit, then boarded the aircraft.

Dumb mistake #2: Sitting in the wrong seat, twice.

First time around, I did not notice that there is no E column in the aircraft, so I ended up sitting in the wrong aisle. Then, when I was asked to move, I somehow sat at 38G instead of 37G. Somewhere during this series of exchange, I dropped my change wallet. Once I got my seat correct, it turned out that I sat right behind David Jones.

Dumb mistake #3: Buying the “sleeping package” on the aircraft.

The package was a total rip-off. Not only was it very expensive at 9 bucks, it also did not function as advertized. The “pillow” was little more than an inflatable balloon, and would would provide little comfort. Worst still, the blasted thing did not even fit my neck properly. It was simply way too large, and I ended up getting almost no sleep on the airplane. This lead to:

Dumb mistake #4: Playing excessively on the 3DS.

Turns out, the 3DS is the only one device I have whose charger does not take 240V. I drained most of the battery down during the flight and my wait in the hotel. I hope there’s still enough battery to turn it on when UK customs demands it.

The flight, to my standards, were reasonably smooth. (David disagrees, but I have had worse) The service and everything else on the other hand, was anything but. There was no individual TV or entertainment system, and just about everything cost money. The meals was rather meh, and the scheduling made it very difficult to get more than a hour or 2 of sleep even under ideal condition.

Anyways, late in the flight, the little girl next to me started getting very sick and wanted to vomit. It might have been something she ate, the flu, or even motion sickness. After landing, I waited everybody got off to search for my change wallet, and luckily I did found it. That however made me one of the last people to enter customs, and there was a huge line when I got there.

After exiting custom, David and I met with Tom Collyer and boarded the train to East Croydon station. This began a series of long waits. First, there was the wait in the station for our ride to the hotel. Then, the wait for lunch. After that, the wait for registration. Still after that, the wait for check in. Finally, the wait for dinner, during which I am drafting this post now.

The hotel clearly is not prepared to handle such large number of people checking in at once. The wait at check in was very long. Not wanting to line up with a heavy bag, I sat out and further drained my 3DS’s battery. Because they start check in at 3pm, but people start arriving from 11am, there was a massive line when check in finally starts. Furthermore, they had forms to fill and pre-authorizations to do, wasting even more time. A much better way to handle it is to perform as much of the check in procedure as possible before 3pm, and then simply hand out the keys at 3pm at a separate line for people whose rooms are ready.

The Q&A session was kind of fun, with the WPC flag, mike feedback, and (occasionally) silly questions. Somehow, we all managed to missed an important question in the team round, and only found out about it from our team discussion afterwards. I am going to go to bed now so I can be at least somewhat awake tomorrow morning.

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