Sunday, June 12, 2005

Welcome to Karachi, Steve

Today, we go to see Stephen Forte at 5 pm, I called him at 10 am to let him know that we will meet him at 5 pm instead of 10 am because we were going to set up the PDC 2005 community lounge at 5 pm and it would be better for us if we made only one trip. He agreed. So, in the evening, I put the gifts for six speakers in my car and drove to Hotel Pearl Continental. Once there, I called Adnan to discover that they would be late. I sat down in the lobby, opened up my laptop and started working on my demo for Indigo, which I was supposed to give on the third day. I immediately spotted Alexander Diacre and Stephen Forte, both of whom I had met at Istanbul earlier this year. I said hi to them and discovered that they had gone out for some shopping already, bought a rug and had a swim at the pool. They confessed that they liked the pool at this hotel. Steve showed me a paper on which he had written "Chowkandi Tombs." He wanted to visit it. He had done some research on the

Internet and already knew the driving time etc. I advised that they take the radio cab. They talked to the hotel reception, set everything up. Steve was not happy that Microsoft Pakistan wanted him to stay inside the hotel because of security. Steve was of the opinion that he had survived in the middle of the civil war in Khatmandu, so he was sure he could survive anything. As Vaqar Khamisani arrived and discovered his plans, he immediately disagreed strictly and asked them to stay in. The two speakers said OK, and decided they would want to go swim or work out. I dont know if they actually did end up going out. Check out their blogs to see, if you are interested.
Adnan and Hammad arrived and I took them to see Steve and Alex. Steve wanted to talk to us about outsourcing and other opprotunities for the Pakistani IT scene. We decided we would talk over dinner and Steve requested us to convince Vaqar to eat outside, which made sense.
Vaqar took Jawwad's consent and the dinner was set up for the Chinese restaurant at Hotel Pearl Continental. We were to meet at 8:45 pm in the lobby for that.
It turned out that the community lounge wouldnt be ours till 1 am, so we were disappointed that Vaqas of BBCL had us drive out all the way for nothing. We dropped off the collateral for the INETA booth which was some flyers and old magazines. We also had a couple of banners, which we did not end up using, after all. We also discovered that there was no projector and no computers in the community lounge unlike what was decided earlier on. That was very disappointing. Anyway, we killed time working on our demos and stuff in the lobby and then went out to dinner. The food was great.

Hammad had a dinner planned at home, so he returned and me and Adnan had a very good conversation with Steve. Then we went back home. Late arrival home and after working on my demo for some more time, I went to sleep late at night and set the alarm clock for 5 am.

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