Monday, July 22, 2013

tSH goes back to Berlin

And before I knew it it was time for me to fly off for another business trip. It had seemed like forever. In reality it had probably only been a month or two (maybe two), but really, it felt like forever.

I did a little math and though I had thought it had been the longest period I'd been in the UK since I had moved, I think that might actually have been a slight exaggeration. Yes, longest time I'd been in one place for the past 9 months or so (or longer, most likely), but really...not that much longer than any other time I'd been in the UK really. We're talking 5-6 weeks. I was looking back in my planner (where I log all of my travels for tax purposes and really just for personal recording purposes) and um...yeah, despite my whining and complaining...I've actually still managed to travel basically every month since I've moved.

...I'm not sure why I feel like I haven't been. Maybe Don has felt particularly lonely. Or difficult. The transition has certainly not been easy. Maybe Finn was just wonderful like that in a way that Don hasn't. I think this to be true.

Whatever the case is, this business trip felt like relief after a desert of nontravel. A glorious oasis of freedom after being trapped in a city that, although I don't dislike...I haven't learned to love.

I was flying to Berlin for a little under 24 hours to give a presentation, meet some important people, and immediately fly back. I would be staying only one night, and due to the restrictions on budget, not even at the normal fancy hotel that my team and I had grown to love (think: million gallon aquarium in the lobby and glorious breakfast buffet). Whatever, I'll take what I can get. I love travel in all its forms - doesn't need to be luxury by any means. I love the road and the air.

And budget travel is actually quite hilarious. Adventure always happens when you're making plans. And yes it did.

The hotel, for example:

This is what I would like to describe as simple, functional, and extremely hilarious. This was more utilitarian than my Finnish apartment, and that was pretty straight forward. Please note that I have absolutely no issue with this hotel at all - it was located close to my office and served its purpose perfectly. I just thought its basic approach was hilarious.

Color scheme: what I would like to call...varied. Everything was clean, worked, and definitely got the job done. There were little details that tried to make it more comfortable, such as the painted fake fireplace below the TV, and for me at least, this just made things a little more charming and funny.

Overall I rather enjoyed my stay here, though I would not describe it as luxurious. Definitely what I needed for the 8 hours that I spent there (only a few of them were for sleep) before checking out, spending a full day at the office, then flying home at the end of the work day. We're talking in and out of Germany in less than 24 hours. That kind of budgetary travel. Definitely not my travel type of choice, but well, you do what you gotta do. And I love what I do. Sacrifices will be made.

Btw this was all during the horrible flooding that Germany has been suffering through for the past month or so. Berlin was luckily one of the drier places (central Germany has been having huge flood problems and was likely not even allowing planes to fly in). But I did still get soaked trying to find a cab to the airport after finishing my full day at work later on. Despite the Germans having a reputation for efficiency and process (something that I would debate from real life experience), the admins at my office still couldn't get me a cab, so I had to go out into the pouring rain to find one myself. After about 25 minutes of walking around, I was able to hail one.

Good trip though, all around successful. And started me off on another round of whirlwind travel, because within 2 days of landing back in London, I was off to Croatia with my besties: German K and Hong Kong P.

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