Day 2 at the Fair

Trip Start Sep 29, 2007
Trip End Oct 07, 2007

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Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Do you recall what you were doing last night at 3am? Sleeping? Me too. Unfortunately, at 3:01am I was talking to a friend of mine on the phone. He called--just to catch up--but didn't realize that I was in Italy, nine hours ahead of him. He was just getting off work and wondering what I was up to. Sleeping, I said. I'm in Italy--would you mind sending me an email? Needless to say, he got a chuckle out of it, and I fell right back to sleep.

Morning came quickly, however, as we needed to be back at the show bright and early. Our schedule was packed. In fact, today we split up so we could cover more ground. There is no doubt these trips are worth the time and expense. Aside from seeing new tile lines, we also have the opportunity to see nearly all of our vendors in one place. And the dinners seem to be the most important venue. Each night we spend hours sharing great food and stories--and, in the best of cases, we become friends. Paolo and Lorella, who hosted us in their home on Monday, are truly friends--people who you'd love to spend time with even if you didn't work together. And there are many others who I enjoy seeing each year at these events.

One last thought for tonight, before I sign off and crawl into bed. The crowds at the show are truly international. In any snapshot moment at the fair, you'll overhear Chinese, French, Portuguese, Russian and English. At the same time, Italians still make up the majority. Fashion 101 must be a required class, because even the frumpiest Italian puts Tom and me to shame. Just today I saw one guy wearing argyle shoes and matching tie, another guy wearing a bright blue suit, and another one wearing red patent leather shoes! Now I understand why they're all so thin--after spending all their money on clothes, there's nothing left over for food. Just today as we walked through the show, I glanced over and saw this chubby, poorly dressed guy and it took me a couple of seconds before I realized it was my own reflection in the mirror.
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