Insider attended the World Travel Market as usual. This year, we attended a unique ceremony on the 21st anniversary of the London event, at which 21 industry leaders from around the world were honored for their contributions to the industry.

We arrived early, selected a choice seat and soon were joined by a distinguished older gentleman who seemed to have the same idea.

So when Insider had to stand up for a spell to greet friends we had not seen for a while, we asked our seatmate to please save our carefully selected position. He was very obliging.

Only after returning to our seat did we make the acquaintance of the person who had held the chair even as crowds began to descend.

He was British aviation legend Sir Freddie Laker.

Sensible breakfasts?

Insider's hotel at the World Travel Market was on Fulham Road. Across the street was a small sandwich shop whose proprietor decided to use the location as inspiration for naming the establishment.

Thus the Full Ham restaurant on Fulham Road.

Across from the Fulham Broadway tube station a few streets away is the American Cafe, but the owners haven't adopted the American style of pricing.

The breakfast menu reads "breakfast (juice, eggs, toast, coffee) for five pounds, fifty pence" and "large breakfast (all of the above plus choice of ham, bacon or sausage) at the same price."

Only in Europe

Sitting at a restaurant that fronts one of Antwerp, Belgium's fashionable streets, Insider noticed that the staff was preparing trays of wine glasses.

"And who would those be for?" Insider queried, always on the alert for a spontaneous fete.

"Watch," said the restaurant manager, as several young waitresses strolled out into rush-hour traffic with trays in hand.

The waitresses flagged down every car they could with an offer of an in-vehicle wine tasting.

Drivers were encouraged to drink the wine in their cars -- hopefully while stopped in traffic -- as a means of making the citizens of Antwerp aware of the restaurant's wine list.

"How is this legal?" Insider wanted to know.

"What's the big deal?" the manager replied. "A little wine never killed anyone."

No worries

Marilyn Carlson Nelson, chairman and chief executive officer of the Carlson Companies, likes to go in-line skating. She tells the following story on herself:

She typically goes out for a spin in a park near her home in the Minneapolis area. Also, she protects herself with elbow and knee pads as well as a helmet.

At one point, as reported in the local newspapers, there had been a few problems in the park with a flasher.

So, one day, as Marilyn was all decked out for a regular turn on the blades, she encountered her daughter in the hallway.

The Carlson chief had expected her daughter to express dismay about the planned trip to the now-notorious park.

However, her cheeky daughter took one look and said, "You don't need Mace, Mom."

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