Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires...courage.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Sunday Afternoon in Reading

One of the first things that strikes me when I travel to a new area is the difference in architecture from what I am used to. Cobblestone and brick paver streets found in the world's older cities always add a charm that isn’t found in more “modern” locales. Often, as a city is modernized, a few streets will not be paved with asphalt and older buildings are retained and refurbished turning the area in to a small shopping district that is unique to the area. The city of Reading (pronounced red-ing) is interesting in that these old buildings are merged with new to create a bit of a hodge-podge of contrasting architecture all tied together with large stones and brick pavers. It seems to give the area a high-end flea market appearance, if you can imagine such a thing.

Sprinkled throughout are various pubs and clubs that attract new college students (they’re called “First Years” here) and high schoolers trying to pass for First Years.

Lesson 2: I can’t afford anything in the UK.
Because my luggage was delayed from arriving in London, I contemplated buying at least a collared shirt for the meeting on Monday. I step into a store in which is displayed a huge sign which reads “SUPER BLOWOUT SALE” 80 pounds for a shirt. I don’t know what you all think, but that doesn’t sound like a super blowout anything. It is pricey, but if my bags don’t arrive by Monday morning (which they didn’t) I will be presenting our corporate overview in clothes that traveled with me across the Atlantic and that I will have been wearing for 3 days. I quickly realize that with the current weakness of the USD, this shirt will cost me over $170. I’m sorry, but the customers will just have to deal. So now I'm curious and I begin to look at tags. I found regular screen printed T-shirt. 25 pounds. For you doing the math at home that’s over $50 – for a shirt that I would pay maybe $8 for at home. $3 if it’s on super blowout. Maybe we should save shopping for another day.

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