|The media circus in full swing outside the Cleveland County Courthouse.|
It was a United flight and the air hostess was a little grating. She wasn't your usual 'trolley dolly' glamourpuss and I guessed her name was Martha and that she made a good apple pie. But that wasn't my problem; it was the way she talked to the passengers. Not unfriendly, just a little too homely and mildly condescending. I'm not sure if I could convey it using the written word, but she treated the us like a bunch of unruly kids who needed talking to in a specific kind of way to keep them quiet and well-behaved.
|Real flying! It took around 40 minutes to reach Pittsburgh in this plane.|
|Cleveland County Courthouse|
Mention must be made of my taxi driver from Pittsburgh airport to the hotel: he was friendly and helpful too, pointing out various landmarks once we arrived in the city.
As I say, the Quality Inn has nothing on the Marriott in terms of quality and I wish I'd been put in a better hotel. I knew that Quality Inn, as a brand, was very much at the budget end of the market, but after the Marriott which, don't get me wrong, is nowhere near as good as the Hyatt brand, I was kind of expecting more – my self-perceived status went from 'international businessman' to 'encyclopaedia salesman' and now I'm wondering whether the latter still exists. Still, it's a bed for the night and if I don't like it here, how the hell can I talk about wanting to spend the night in The Joyce hote in Portland, Oregon (more of a hostel for drug addicts and down and outs, according to on-line reviews and, let's not forget the roaches and the fights in the corridors of an evening). Sounds kind of fun!
|Coming into Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.|
I discovered that none of my lights were working so I called the front desk and they told to check the plugs and to ensure they were switched on and then try the switch by the door; this I did and, sure enough, the lights worked (except for the bedside lamps, which, as I remarked earlier, needed bulbs).
It was getting dark outside when I considered taking a stroll down the road to the nearest restaurants. Being out alone after dark didn't really appeal as I wasn't 100% sure of the area I was in, but nevertheless I went out and when I reached the local downtown (I'm in the Oakland region of town) I found a neon oasis of coffee shops and mid-spend restaurants, none of which appealed. When you're on your own, you want a restaurant where you can merge into the walls and not be spotted as the loner with a book, but none of the restaurants here fitted the bill so I strolled back to the hotel, mindful of who was behind me. I never encountered any trouble and when I got back to the hotel I switched on the TV and jumped from channel-to-channel – all very boring so I switched off the lights and went to bed.