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NORTH AMERICA - THE “BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITIES” TOUR

San Antonio Postcard

SAN ANTONIA

"DEFEND THE ALAMO”

I arrived in San Antonia in the early afternoon. I found a hostel with a pool and spent the rest of the day relaxing under the clear blue Texan sky. I needed to chill out.

Since St Louis life had gone downhill at a rapid pace. I needed to apply the brakes. I needed safety and security. But I was on the other side of the world from my family. I was in a world which wasn’t familiar. I could have been standing at the end of the world before an abyss. But I knew I had many miles still to travel. Hopefully these miles would take me in the right direction, away from my current schedule of chaos and disorder.

The next day I decided to play it safe and simply see a few of the city’s sites. For my research I had read San Antonio had a very pleasant River Walk so I visited that first. The River Walk was a place for people to relax at a restaurant or a café, under shaded overhanging trees, watching the calm waters of the river flow away with the day.

Tower of Americas

I had already had my brunch, consisting of toast and raspberry jam with an instant coffee. I did not need to partake in the San Antonio café scene.

I was on the outside looking in.

My days consisted of wandering around the various North American cities observing the everyday lives of people from a short, untouchable distance. I did not feel the fabric of their lives. I was always on the move, with the wheels of the various trains carrying me from one big city to the next.

From the River Walk it was a short stroll to the Alamo where a small number of American defenders had held off the Mexican army for 12 days before been ruthlessly slaughtered. Today tourists descended on the fortress with their white legs, big bellies and loud voices, slaughtering the ear drums of innocent bystanders along the way.

The Alamo offered the tourist a few preserved Spanish mission buildings and a short historical insight into the relationship between Mexico and the United States. I discovered that Texas was annexed from Mexico and that it was possible for the average United States citizen to consume four chilli sauce hot dogs in the one sitting. Believe me this is true. I have seen it with my own eyes.

The Alamo and the topic of defending or attacking ones territory has much to do with business. In my third year university marketing class the first third of the course was based around strategy. We learned all about the strategies of full frontal attack, flank attack, retreat, defend, hide, run, call in a white knight and take a poison pill, among others. As is usual with theoretical university study they forgot to tell you the most practical strategy of all when it comes to working in a corporate firm. The most important strategy is of course, cover your ass.

River Walk

The River Walk and the Alamo could have made for a good tourist day but to be complete I still had to walk to the HemisFair Plaza, site of the 1968 World’s Fair.

The Plaza housed the Tower of Americas, San Antonio’s version of what every western city in the world seemed to have, a viewing tower. To enter these viewing towers cost money so my routine would usually be to look up at the viewing tower from the city’s ground level for free rather than look down at the city from the height of the tower. I think it is a good business strategy to look at things from another perspective.

The Alamo and the topic of defending or attacking ones territory has much to do with business. In my third year university marketing class the first third of the course was based around strategy. We learned all about the strategies of full frontal attack, flank attack, retreat, defend, hide, run, call in a white knight and take a poison pill, among others. As is usual with theoretical university study they forgot to tell you the most practical strategy of all when it comes to working in a corporate firm. The most important strategy is of course, cover your ass.

The Alamo

The River Walk and the Alamo could have made for a good tourist day but to be complete I still had to walk to the HemisFair Plaza, site of the 1968 World’s Fair.

The Plaza housed the Tower of Americas, San Antonio’s version of what every western city in the world seemed to have, a viewing tower. To enter these viewing towers cost money so my routine would usually be to look up at the viewing tower from the city’s ground level for free rather than look down at the city from the height of the tower. I think it is a good business strategy to look at things from another perspective.

Well that was San Antonio for me. I went back to the hostel and made good use of the pool. That is another business strategy of mine. If anything is free then try to make the best possible use of it.