Back to Atlanta, 1 year later. Just in time to watch the superbowl, to lose all my Hooters hopes, and to save the day with my driving skills.
It would be boring talking about what I did and that I didn't in the new imedia8 office, located within the Championship Group office next to a private airport. I've finally met DelBoy, a.k.a. Derrick, a jolly good american fellow whom before then was only a nice icon on my messaging software. Everything went ok, even if the idea of spending some of my time in cubicles or in offices with a/c and without the chance of opening windows made me a little uncomfortable.
Fortunately the friday night started with a massive drinking session among the many bars of Downtown Atlanta. Still dressed with my Miami Vice suit, we hit the roads and the bars and the drinks and the creatures of the american nightlife guided by Jonny, the partymaster. The start was great. I have no memory of the end, though. I fell asleep in a classy sushi restaurant and I woke up on a Satuday morning, ready to roll for another intense weekend.
Let's start with the first one.
Obviously trying to find a location to watch a sport that many americans don't like it was tricky, but the Fado Irish Pub, located in the cool Buckhead area was just perfect. One big screen, a lot of Guinness and a good crowd could do the trick for Guy, the Welsh supporter, and Rob, the "we're world champions" England supporter. I didn't give a damn about the score, cause Italy was playing the day after, so I could enjoy the experience even more.
After the friday session, I decided to stay light and drink just lemonade (and the lemonade in the South East is much better than in London), while around me everyone started to get back to their London's drinking standard very soon, around 12.
Originally we planned to see the match, and then to visit Atlanta and, thanks to the weak dollar, to buy stuff.
I'm the only one who made it.
Soon after the match ended, with an incredible victory for Wales and a humiliating defeat for England, few girls joined the imedia8 crew and started chatting around, probably charmed by the nice english accent, especially Guy's, a good Alan Partridge impersonification. One girl was studying italian, so I had to speak italian for a while to keep her trained.
Drinking were flowing, and the flow or intelligent thoughts was soon lost in drinks.
Simon was soon sick (didn't I tell you that he can't drink too much of the juice?), Michael was drinking pitches of vodka with a nonchalance quite incredible, Rob was drinking away his sorrow about rugby and Guy was drinking more because of the rugby match.
I said goodbye to walk to the closest mall and to find the local apple store (yeah, I know, I've been there last year but hey, my sister needed an Ipod mini, and how could I say no to her, now that the next time I'm going to see her will be in 2006?).
Back after few hours, everyone was still in the same position, on the same chair, drinking probably more on the same.
Simon found a connection with Ereen, one of the girl, and, even in the void of his drunken eyes, you could see that the get-the-chick-drunk technique was working incredibly well. Well done mate!
Then, for some reason, the group splitted to get some food in the darkness of Atlanta at 8.00pm. While Simon + Ereen went to some italian restaurant, I saw (ehi, remember, I was the only one not drinking!) that Rob had some real issues standing up. I took him to a nice wing place, the same place were 11 months ago we won the lobster (now replaced with furry toys) and we ordered 24 wings.
5 minutes after sitting down, he got up to make a phone call and disappeared.
After realizing he was gone, maybe abducted by some local anal aliens, I finished the wings (all 24!) and spent a good hour looking for him. I didn't know what happened to him till the next morning. He phoned his wife, walked 3 miles down the road, has some burgers somewhere and waited to be collected. Still today he doesn't remember anything that happened after the end of the rugby match.
We found the rest of the group and, with everyone too drunk or too pissed off with certain events, I was the only one sober enough to drink the huge wagon back home. Somehow I managed it, and I must say my driving skills are getting better and better with difficult circumstances. In less than a month I've driven in South Africa on the english side of the road and now I was driving with an automatic gearbox (easy peasy, by the way).
Olaf saved the day. Such a f. hero.