After a morning on the booth telling people they were now embedded developers as well (most people with C# and Visual Studio 2005 are, thanks to the .NET Micro Framework) it was time to head out for some shopping. I quite like strange watches, and I knew that at the Prime outlet there was a Fossil watch outlet store.
My plan was to catch a bus up to the top of International Drive, have a wander round and then catch another back. As I was leaving the conference hall I heard a strange sound, like a very long round of applause. It was the rain on the roof. Lots of rain. I carefully charted my route back to the hotel so that I was under cover for most of the way, except for the last 50 yards.
I got soaked. In Florida, when it rains it rains. Muchly. After a complete change of clothes I ventured out again, but standing at a bus stop was not a plan. So I was forced to spend a goodly chunk of cash on a taxi ride instead.
I much prefer buses to taxis. In a bus I reckon you have safety in numbers. Being alone in a taxi cab with a person I've never met always makes me nervous. In a bus, even if the driver does turn out to be an axe wielding maniac with a passion for driving off cliffs you have a few people with you to help take him on. In a taxi it is strictly one on one. Also, with a bus when it stops at the lights or in traffic there is no worry about the price going up. In a taxi I can always see that number steadily rising, and making me poorer. And I always think that the taxi driver will spot that I'm from out of town and take me to my destination via Brazil or something. Having said all this the taxi drive was, like just about every one I've ever had, smooth and uneventful and within around 15 minutes I was at the Prime discount mall.
Which was a dump. I'd taken a camera so that I could snag some pictures, but there was nothing worth photographing. Everywhere had an air of decay and moving on, I suspect there must be other discount malls in Florida doing well, because this one was more than a bit quiet. Anyhoo, I found the watch shop and after a long and happy search through the display (I like looking at watches, OK?) I selected one for me and one for number one wife.
On the way back I was lucky to walk straight onto a bus which took me right back to the hotel.