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Written by Aaron Brigatti  
Sunday, 13 September 2009

One of the benefits in the division that I work in is that business travel is still possible (when justified).  Good and bad, I guess (well in the context of my sanity, that is!)

I managed to get another trip sorted to Armenia.  Manic times, as the flight is crazily long and tiring.  Leaving at 4pm, lasting 5hrs and arriving at 1.30pm - Armenia is GMT+4.  Ouch indeed! 

Anyway, this time around I managed to stay clear of a trip leaving on a Sunday, and instead took the trip between Tuesday and returned on Thursday afternoon.  Challenge was that it was a very "busy" trip, which unfortunately meant that I didn't get to sleep at all upon my arrivial on Wednesday morning.  The day was basically 37hs long without sleep - ouch (again!).

My biggest annoyance was that the Marriott Yerevan hotel did not consider my arrivial time correctly (even though I told them the details explicitely and accurately!)...meaning that that arranged a taxi pick-up for the Thursday early-morning, instead of Wednesday early-morning.  That's a bit of a difference!  So having given them a piece of my mind on the phone, they managed to sort it out and arrange a pick-up upon my arrivial - albeit meaning I had to wait about 45 mins at the airport arrivials!  Grrr!! 

They also told me that to check-in this early, meant that I had to register for "another night" at the hotel.  Awful!  I knew that they were fully booked, but methinks the Corporate Travel system would have registered that I arrived at a really-awful hour, and would therefore register the room accordingly.  What did they want me to do, stay in the lobby for 5-6 hours - ridiculous! 

I managed to get the room sorted, having waited another hour in the lobby doing some of my work, and then managed to relax and finish my presentation deck for the meeting.  Nothing like last minute tweaks :) 

The day was long, but we did manage to acquaint ourselves with Dr Alban - very weird experience indeed.  His entourage party was quite intriguing though...a nice Scandavian (Swedish) backing singer and a nice "management agent".  We managed to meet up with them at the hotel after our busy day, and they invited us to tag along to the VIP party at a new Casino - called Sun Palace, that just opened up in Yerevan.  Quite a poxy place though, and after about 30mins we were sooo bored, we ended up taking a taxi back to the hotel.  Not only was the place boring and the casino pretty shoddy at best, but we were shattered.  Anyway, least my return flight had a nice sight to keep my amused for the 5 hours or so.  Yep, the Irish purser was back - looking amazing as ever!  Hey-ho...wonder if she will make me friends again on Facebook :)

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