Tuesday, October 02, 2007

24 hours from Tampa

It's funny how strange coincidences happen wherever you are, utterly at random of course, but perplexing nonetheless. I'm in unlovely Tampa, Florida. The day started unsuccessfully - after a 24 hour journey to get here from Hong Kong, and a restless sleep on the wrong side of the world (12 hours behind) - with a visit to an area of Tampa called Ybor City, which held out the promise of "boutique shopping", but actually resembled a ghost town so closely you could almost see the tumbleweed in Urban Outfitters. Everywhere I asked for what I needed (amongst other things, an iPod nano, as a prize draw gift for the stand at the exhibition we're here for, and a place to have a manicure), I was told to go to a mall. So I finally ended up at a faceless place called the International Mall, and walked in to Neiman Marcus only to hear Annie Lennox singing a song written by my sister's ex-boyfriend, the (infinitely better) original of which I first heard on the M8 between Glasgow and Edinburgh, while being driven, in his old black Mercedes, by the guy who'd co-written the music.

Then I went to have my nails done in a huge, but hitherto completely empty nail bar, which smelled strongly of air freshener and whose walls were adorned with slightly suspect plastic flowers. Five disconsolate Vietnamese girls sat waiting for customers. As "Tina" scrubbed my nails and painted them neutral pink, on a huge screen over her shoulder I was lucky enough to be able to watch a completely preposterous film, entitled "DOA" and purportedly set in Hong Kong.

3 comments:

Grande Poobah said...

it sounds utterly ghastly. is there at least a decent gym in your hotel??

HK is ready to welcome you back to the fold :-)

LottieP said...

I don't want to sound churlish (or do I?) - so yes, there is a good gym, and a pool besides. And the bed is damn comfortable (it's a Westin, where they boast that their beds are Heavenly). Tampa is, though, not particularly distinguished.

Grande Poobah said...

sounds it. i love the irony that, most likely, the malls are full off tat made in china, flogged to the us so that china can mimic its economic growth and, er, build more shopping malls......