Saturday, November 20, 2010

Europe Biz Trip - 3

In the train, going from Liverpool to London, Alone.

It is half past noon and the sun is dimly penetrating through the clouds. It is grey.

I made it alright to France. Got to Charles de Gaulle. Flew to Bordeaux where I had a couple good and quick appointments. Had a good French food with colleagues and tried the yummy foie gras for the first time. Made it to the airport just to run to the gate and fly back to Charles de Gaulle. The wait was supposed to be short but there was delay which made it possible for me to call home. Boarded eventually and sat in plane, on the ground, for another two hours until they decided the fog in Dusseldorf wont interfere with landing.

I was listening to “The New Earth” audio book in the plane. Got me intrigued by talking about the depth of the reality in human, and how I am not the feeling, but I feel the feeling. And how Krishna Murthy said once that “I don’t mind what happens”. I felt like smiling at this :)

So. I got to Dusseldorf after two hours delay. So I contemplated staying in Dusseldorf rather than traveling to Essen by taxi in such a fog that prevented the plane from taking off at Paris. But decided I would think about it later. At Dusseldorf, my bag did not arrive. It was still in Paris. And I thought “I don’t mind what happens” :) Filled in the paper work, decided to take the chance and go to Essen, got to my hotel safely. And on such a nice that I had no bag with me, no toiletries or nothing, the hotel was not a nice one. It had a single bed, tiny. There was hardly any thing in the bathroom and I had no new cloth. Washed every thing I could to reuse tomorrow. And finally got to bed. After 4 hours I opened my eyes to find myself unmoved. Checked on the wet cloths and got back to bed, thinking “I don’t mind what happens” :)

Met my dear colleague in the morning who had brought me some cosmetics kindly. I decided I could survive without. Made it through the day with a very interesting and strong minded customer. But a fruitful meeting still. He offered me and my colleague a very yummy cake one of his patients had brought him. My colleague was very attentive and smart and I enjoyed spending the day with her.

To Dusseldorf again, collected my bag, and rode the plane to Manchester. In all Italy, France, and Germany I found it not difficult at all for people to think I was from North America. I felt my accent was perfect. ;) Unlike in US where occasionally I would be asked “where are you from originally” implying they could detect my non-American English accent. A chatty and polite British business man was sitting by me in the plane to Manchester. We talked about work and MBA and traveling by different airlines. He saw my passport when I was filling in the custom checking card. He thought I was Canadian. Later, he asked what kind of accent I had. Well yes, back to an English speaking country and I was caught ;) He claimed he could be George Clooney in the Up in the Air because he had already travelled more than 1.5 million miles. He had interesting wisdom to share for an occasion when your bag does not arrive at 9:30 PM local time and you have a meeting right the next day.

Made it to Liverpool from Manchester AND, my room got upgraded to Executive! I though there was justice in the world! :) Later, with the room service I ordered came the desert with a note “compliment from Nemo” and I thought that should have been my project manager whom I wrote to about my not so smoothly taken trip last night. It was a charming surprise. I had a very unusually nice falling to sleep experience. Slept very well, albeit short, thanks to the nicer room and fresh clothing and nice shower and sweet dessert and nice chats I had with my dear Sh. K. and my M. I was collected again by another kind and charming colleague and she took me to my next meeting. I had a nice appointment with more confirming points for my project. I am in train to London. Excited to be in one room for two nights in a row. And so very sleepy.

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