Nothing left but the crying

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This concludes our ASTA programming. The show's over, folks, and it appears that a good time was had by all. From what I could gather, most attendees seemed glad to have been a part of the 1999 congress.

I know that we here in the press room had a great time -- hectic, but great. We logged a lot of hours, booting up our computers by 8 a.m. and often burning up the keyboards well into the evening.

But once we shut down for the day, we were able to enjoy this extraordinary city. I met many, many interesting people, ASTA delegates as well as locals (Strasbourgers?).

At one Brasserie I found myself flanked by a group of Australian travel agents on one side (and what a lively bunch they were) and a contingent of ASTA show producers on the other. We shared war stories over the largest steins of beer I have ever seen.

Another night I found myself talking to a group of Strasbourg university students who were eager to hear anything about life in Les Etats Unis. Between my execrable French and their halting English, we somehow managed to communicate. Apparently there's something in the beer here that breaks down language barriers. I know we all laughed a lot.

Today I'm riding the rails to Amsterdam. Stay tuned.

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