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Written by Aaron Brigatti  
Thursday, 29 March 2007

Thursday, 29th March:

Having pretty much climatised now, I took the opportunity to discuss some of the new projects in more detail, and also take forward some of the existing activities that I have been project managing.  Nothing majorily difficult, luckily!


We ate at TGI Friday’s, okay not really a classy place, but it was a quick lunch meeting with just the GSS motley crew.  For some reason, they weren’t able to process a non-chip AXP Corp Card, so I had to put my one down to pay (mine is one of the newly issued Chip cards).  However, it was recognised as a Chip and PIN card, and I was asked to ‘go round the back’ to enter the PIN (they didn’t have a portable Chip reader!).  Even though I was attempting to be discrete with entering my PIN, the manager and the waitress were actually standing guard just behind me, and I couldn’t turn around.  Soooo, I am slightly concerned that they saw my PIN and might be in a “shopping spree” with my Card.  My plan is to change my PIN as soon as I get back to the UK before anything out of the ordinary [Fraud activity] occurs with my card.  Maybe I should have told them to bugger off?


Actually, on the subject of Fraud, I was advised that there is a lot of “ATM Fraud” in Greece at the moment, and Darran was actually blocked from getting cash out using his HSBC Debit Card.  He then received a call advising whether he was attempting to make cash withdrawals (he probably triggered the counter-measures, as he made about 3-4 attempts in various ATMs).


Anyway, a pleasant evening on my own, as the other two GSS folks left.  I had to transfer to another hotel as the Hilton was full for the 29th and 30th March, for some strange reason.  I believe it must have a conference happening in the City, as a number of the other hotels in the area (around the Hilton) were also fully booked. 


I managed to get a room in the Grande Bretagne Hotel (yes means "Great Britain"!), in Syntagma (Constitution) Square, in Plaka, got a room on the 'Butler Floor' (6th Flr) which was an interesting experience.  Not really sure why a hotel prides itself in having a Butler service, as everything normally undertaken by a butler would be undertaken by Room Service, surely?  Strange, but quite surreal all the same. 


For dinner, I went to the Top Floor restaurant (known as the "GB Roof Garden").  The restaurant offers breathtaking views of the Acropolis and surrounding area – and served by some very attractive waitresses!  Hmmm, just what I needed after a hard few days of work...especially after missing regularly seeing that special lady at home!  (No not my mother!)


Going back to the hotel, Grande Bretagne is a VERY different place than I would have expected.  It is a very...well...'Classic' place, elegant, well furnished, and very much attention to detail in every degree, sure worth the experience at least.  I took the opportunity to get my shoes shined and make use of the service, at least :)



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