shinytoaster: (Pint of Guinness)
Ze Germans may well disagree with me, but it occurred to me when we were sitting on the tarmac at Heathrow yesterday afternoon, waiting for the BAA crew to be bothered to show up at our gate to operate the jetty, part, I think, of why I like Germany quite so much. So, there we were sitting in the plane, impotent thanks to the usual British inefficiency, and people were muttering darkly. After twenty minutes of waiting someone showed up and we were able to disembark, and it occurred to me how it had been the other end, arriving in Munich. There was a bus waiting, and we were at the terminal building in two minutes. We were through passport control in five, and had our bags in ten. I was on the shuttle bus on the way to the conference centre maybe fifteen minutes after landing. After the same length of time on the tarmac at Heathrow, we weren't even on the stand.

I like it when things just work and go the way they're supposed to, and in Germany they do it in spades. I was sitting on the train on the way back out to the airport yesterday morning, and, okay, so the Bavarians are pushy when it comes to making sure they get a seat before you do, but apart from that there was no noise, no shoving, no "gangsta" chav scum in ridiculous tracksuits playing music out of their mobile phones. I waited on the S-Bahn platform at the Hauptbahnhof for fifteen minutes, and I swear, a train came every minute. The destination boards weren't constantly correcting for delays like they do on the Tube, there was no graffitti, and the trains were so quiet that I realised I was playing my iPod far too loud - about as loud as I have to play it to be able to hear the music over the rattling of the Metropolitan Line. I had to turn it down by at least half. It was a vaguely surreal experience.

Nablopomo seems to have fallen by the wayside. Oh well, I still think it was a noble idea but I probably can't lay claim to any sort of title now that I've missed two days. Still, I'll try and keep my obligation for the rest of the month. Also, I had a photo I took of Bill Gates delivering his keynote, but I'm not going to post it because - while it looked great on my digital camera's tiny screen - it is in fact all blurry when it transfers onto the computer. I'll try and take a picture of something tomorrow.
shinytoaster: (Chocolate)
For a shot of pure sophistication, there is little to compare with zipping across the fields of northern France at 300kph while a selection of rather pleasant wines and a filet de saumon sauvage are served at your seat by a ravishingly pretty trilingual Belgian boy.

Corporate hospitality. Who can odds it, eh?

La de dum...

December 2011

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