An Acer visit, Sussex stylePosted: July 13, 2009
Yeah, some people might say I’m stupid. It’s just gone half-past one in the morning, and I’ve pretty much just returned from a trip to Hove, as part of my work for Acer. There was a ‘Comet Roadshow’ going on; essentially, it was a training day for Comet staff, where various promo reps would set up shop around a store, and groups of employees would mill around and listen to whatever we had to say. Despite leaving late, thanks to a late-running squash game with my sister, I managed to get there and set up in the nick of time. Work have even loaned me a snazzy Timeline 5810 for the next week, as I’m meant to be at another of these ‘roadshows’ in Portsmouth next Sunday. Huzzah for responsibility!
Hove is a really nice place. I’d never been there before, and I’d never really given the place much thought, to be honest. On my way to the Comet store, I got lost, and found myself at a beach. It was wonderful. It has the lovely beach-town feel of Brighton, while being a lot smaller. I’d love to return there.
I just so happened to run into a friend of mine at the Roadshow, who was representing Samsung, although he works for the same agency I do. The agency had agreed to put him up for the night, and also to pay for his dinner. As we finished the Roadshow quite late, we resolved to go for a meal. My friend convinced me that work would pay for my dinner, too, since I’d travelled outside of London. We drove to his hotel, dropped off our cars, checked in, and then went for a walk on the beach, before finding a nice looking Indian half-bar, half-restaurant. What surprised me, in a good way, was that they had a karaoke night going on in the bar. We hung around and watched this for a bit, before trying to summon a waiter. Instead, my friend got talking to a stocky Middle Eastern man by the name of Amir, who turned out to be a drunk man who was wasting time. We invited him over, and he began telling us about his life. I joke not. He told us everything about his life. About his partner, and his son, Zachariah, about his friends, about his work, about his birthplace, Morocco, about his religion. He was some kind of contractor, a foreman or something. He was there waiting for his employee, Ray, to sing karaoke. Apparently he sings to himself while he works, and Amir would always hear complaints about it. We spent hours listening to this barely comprehensible man. I don’t know what compelled us to stay, but we did, despite his somewhat brash demeanour at times; his constant high-fives and handshakes, the need for a continual slapping of meat to confirm his manliness, or something like that. He sounded like he led quite an interesting life, and invited us both to a barbecue, if we ever were in Hove again. Time passed, and Ray had come and gone. He was quite good, actually. My friend then insisted that we had to leave. We had made the waiter go to the trouble of sorting out individual bills, so we could send our receipts to work and claim the price of our meals back individually. Amir, instead, grabbed the bill, and threw his credit card at the waiter. The meal was on him, he insisted, and he eventually paid, despite our nagging and our refusals. Suffice to say, the waiter got a very generous tip that night.
When we got up to leave, he looked heartbroken, until my friend said we’d look him up if we ever returned to Hove. He wouldn’t let us leave before giving us both a (literally) crushing embrace. Myself and my collegue walked out, clueless as to what had just happened. We weren’t sure whether Amir was completely legitimate, but we both agreed that he was very lonely. I felt sad for him, as he clearly had a good heart.
Today’s events are still spinning around my head. I’m not entirely sure what my encounter with Amir meant, if anything, or what it was meant to show me. I’m not yet sure what the moral of the story is, but I hope that things are clearer in the morning.