Friday, April 28, 2006

It's 2:30 in the morning

Well it's that early in Germany as I start this update. But I'm home now so it's only 8:30 in the evening. That means I've been up for hmm, my brain's not working, wait, 20 hours except for a one hour nap on the plane. And what did I do late this afternoon when I got home? Went for an hour and a half ride on a SS.

The workshop I had helped prepare went well and I may have to go back a few more times this year as we work on developing a new position within ITM, a full time business consultant. My current assignment will probably change to work in this capacity on a permanent basis. For now I will continue to do what I have been doing as well as helping to develop the training portion of the new roles.

I got spoiled flying on the corporate shuttle, a big plane but only 12 rows and 48 seats total. The seats almost totally reclined, when sitting up right I could stick my legs straight out and not touch the seat in front of me. Full service for the entire flight of 8.5 hours including the bar. Plus we have our own terminal at each end so it was quick in and out.

Since we left Mnday afternoon that meant we arrived early Tuesday morning German time (12:30 am Detroit) and a few hours sleep was necessary before we started the day. Fortunately I had a few hours sleep on the plane as well. In the afternoon we visited one of the large Mercedes factories where they employ 40,000. Later we stopped at the new Mercedes museum across from the soccer stadium that will be hosting world cup games this summer.

After we headed to the Springfest, a temporary carnival that included beer tents. The rides looked like they were permanent but they are all put up just for this event. We spent several hours in the beer tent where they had a live band and ended up sampling some of the favorite beverages. The entire place would be singing and dancing to the music and we obliged on several of the songs as well, standing on the benches with everyone else.

The next two days were pretty busy with actual work but when it was finally over Thursday night those of us from the US went to the downtown area but were only able to shop for about 15 minutes before the shops were required to close at 8:00. All of the stores are along a pedestrian only avenue and up until closing time it was crowded. Very nice and different from what we have here.
I'm not sure what this shop sold but I can guess their clientele.
After shopping we went to a Mexican restaurant to celebrate a successful conference. We were also able to continue celebrating at another bar and tried one more after that but they were getting ready to close.

I hope to be able to get back and spend more time so that I can get a better sample of the German culture other than the limited view I had. Maybe time it in September for the UCI Road World Championships.

I did use the Compex unit on the flight home, I had a seat near the back so I didn't have to walk too far down the aisle after changing into my shorts. I also had warned my seating companion what I was doing and kept a blanket over my legs. Going through the baggage check-in in Pontiac they took a hard look at the unit and asked me a lot of questions about it but in Germany they didn't say a word. Instead they asked me to open my suitcase to see my can of shaving cream.

Now it's time to catch up on sleep and try to get ready for the race next weekend at Fort Custer.

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