Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Seattle's great, but the hotel...

I'm staying at the Sixth Avenue Inn...and it's comical. They advertise free internet in every room, but that don't mean WiFi; it means an internet hookup. WiFi's just in designated areas. My room's just over the entrance to the lobby, so people were coming and going till 2am, local time (4 am body clock time). The's too funny. No bar soap, just a liquid soap if this was a health club. It has a tub, but if you want to do a soak you can't reach the soap. No refrigerator for drinks. The coffee maker works but they provide neither sugar nor stirrers. The bed is nice but it has a pad on it that shifts under the sheets and bunches up. And the AC/heating unit is at LEAST 30 years old, probably 40. All in all, not really worth the price, since I can get better from a Motel 6 along with free parking. Next year if I come, I may do that.

Seattle's great, though. A civilized city that believes in human beings instead of just mechanics and money. Case in point -- you cannot walk to San Antonio's airport...not unless you're willing to walk out on the street or in the mud. There are no sidewalks leading up to the terminals. Period. Lots of nice beautiful roadway with pristine curbs and crabgrass growing now that the rains have come...but you take your life in your hands if you're dumb enough not to drive yourself or have a friend or taxi drop you off. As for the terminals...those are next to inhuman.

Contrast it to Seattle's airport, where everything is geared to people. The big beautiful atrium with food and seating and huge windows looking out over the runways and distant mountains. A train will take you downtown (after a short shuttle ride) and will actually have a station AT THE AIRPORT ITSELF beginning in December. People are willing to help you instead of conspire to make your life miserable (don't even get me started on the ludicrous trouble I had getting through San Antonio's security because I was wearing a shirt over a t-shirt).

Point being -- I'd leave San Antonio in a heartbeat. It's a third world village masquerading as an international city...and it's so obviously a false concept, it's laughable.

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