Today didn’t start out well but it ended well.  First I woke up and was told off by one of the Canadian women I am sharing a room with that my alarm had woken her up and that the phone call I received from Saladin128 was rude because I took the call and didn’t climb out of my top bunk to talk outside the room.  This from a woman who is wearing ear plugs and on the bottom bunk.

Ya Allah give me patience.

So after changing clothes, get a loaner lock from the front desk and stuffing my other bags into a locker and locking it.  I stopped by the front desk to be pointed in the correct direction to the tram and took off at speedy pace to get to Word Camp.

I then encountered ticket kiosks that didn’t want to take my money or dispense a ticket.  Oh joy.  I really didn’t want to attempt to ride the tram without the ticket as I don’t have luck and would be of course have some OTHER fiasco occur involving non payment for a ticket.

I was able to finally find a kiosk that was working and got my ticket however I didn’t take the cue from the locals who weren’t sitting down on the benches – so I sat down and ended up with a wet butt.  I know – Yippie for wet jeans and wet underwear!

I was just having an amazing day so far!  But Allah sent two wonderful people who helped me on the tram platform – getting a ticket, answering questions and making sure I got on the right color tram.  THANK YOU mysterious Portland couple.  You rock.

I also thought I had packed my camera charger – but left that AND the battery of my camera at home- good thing I brought my Flip Camera but I haven’t used it so far on the trip as someone who shall remain unnamed *cough* Saladin128 is the most camera-shy person I have ever met- which after talking to him I can understand but I still managed to snag a shot.

Saladin 128 was a gentleman and brought me water -“untouched by man” and saved me a seat in the packed room.  Poor guy thought I stood him up when I was just having a crazy morning.

After attending two of the workshops one on how to Make Money with your blog – which essentially said to join an ad agency – but also had good points about IDing what you really want to write about and developing your writing skills but didn’t talk specifically to that.  The second workshop entitled ” Are you cheating on your blog?” was an excellent insight filled session about how to effectively use social media to attract and maintain a reader base.  It also asked some really great questions such as, “What is the purpose of your blog?”

By the time session 3 was about to start my pants were still damp and I had eaten a toasted bagel – provided by WCPDX and was not interested in the next session.  So Saladin128 and I made the decision to blow that pop stand and go find the Apple store as well as some where to eat and talk.

So after discovering parts of Downtown Portland we eventually found the Apple store located in a posh mall.  After browsing the offerings – lusting after a few items out of my budget.  I was able to walk out without purchasing anything. Whew.. good will power.

We then decided on Mexican – sat down and eat while I stared awkwardly at him and didn’t say much – well I would have talked about the weather but I already did that.  I guess I win the prize for being the most Victorian out of the two of us.

So instead I decided to let my curiosity run free and ask a bold question, “What do you think of me?”  This led to a great discussion. 🙂

After eating we wandered back to the WCPDX because I really wanted to know about the next workshop because there were no workshop descriptions posted.  So I asked someone and then decided that I was better off going to Powell’s and finding a book on the subject- which hopefully would be more helpful than the workshops so far.  Thank goodness the conference was only $40.

So we went on over to Powell’s.  I was in a bookworm’s paradise.  I wandered around having no idea what to purchase – I think I was in a book daze.  Eventually, I found two discount fiction books and one book on blogging – Blogging for Dummies that I purchased.  I could have maxed out my credit card if you gave me enough time and luggage space- instead I kept it two three books.

We went from there to Starbucks, drank tea, soda and talked more, shared photos.  I bored him with stories about Chicago which I didn’t catch on too.. and then realized but Saladin128 was a sport and gentleman – not interrupting until I noticed my own folly.

After drying out – chit chatting I suggested hunting down dinner – which we did after securing a parking spot at a local Sushi spot called Gaya Gaya which turned out to be really good for looking like a dive – which is usually what happens with the dive places but not always. We talked and ate and talked and talked.  Then we talked some more as Saladin128 returned me to my hostile hostel.

After settling in for the night with a shower etc.. I noticed the time and just about died!  I had forgotten two prayer times. SubhannaAllah.  I really feel bad about that as I have been working so hard to get up for Fajr and be on time for all my prayers.  What a dolt I am. InshaAllah tomorrow is better than the best time and the worse are better than they were today.


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