October 1 2004
Today has been quite the blur, let's see how I do on the memory recall test:
- I don't think 770 showed up, but we definitely had several hundred partners and customers at today's Lotus Forum. It felt to me like a very good event, and I was pleased to meet several new people this year. The local team was great and supported the event well, definitely a first class operation.
- I attended a press conference and also did a 1-on-1 press interview. The reporter noted at the beginning of the interview that he was aware of my blog -- from that, and his questions, it was clear he had done a lot of homework to prepare for the interview. Some excellent, thought-provoking questions, and a good chance to learn more about the local market. The Domino Express offerings are especially important and useful in a country like this.
- I managed to change my flight to St. Petersburg. My colleague Igor was a savior -- took me to Pulkovo's offices to exchange the ticket. While I understood little of the discussion, I was intrigued by the interaction between Igor and the airline ticket agent. It seemed to be a much more involved transaction than I expected. Igor told me later that the ticket agents liked my US passport -- said it was "colorful". I guess they don't see many of us in that office.
- We had dinner down near Red Square and the Metropol hotel tonight. In a quick post-dinner walkaround (to let the vodka settle, of course) I noticed one major change from the 2002 trip -- The Hotel Moskva is gone! Lenin must be rolling over in his grave.
- Once again, somehow we managed to pay US$20 for a five minute cab ride. Don't get me started...