Business travel

I got home last night from 4 days in Düsseldorf. We hit the ground running with the new company and after 1 day of getting set up, we were on the road and travelling again away from the familiarity of my own bed.

I always thought it would be so cool to travel on business. Even though Felicity sometimes said she was too busy to see the sights, it sounded awesome anyway that you could go to France or Germany or even Japan and have somebody else foot the bill… but now I see that it isn’t actually all that cool after all.

Don’t get me wrong: it wasn’t a bad experience in terms of work or meeting colleagues. Rather, it wasn’t anything like travelling for fun. The transportation and accommodations are out of your control and are only made to facilitate the business to be conducted: you drive straight to the company, work, and go to your place to sleep. Meals were eaten at local hang-outs, which can be a mixed blessing. It was essentially a normal work week but in a different office, where I slept in a bed that wasn’t mine.

It’d probably be a little different to have business in a really cool city or country but unless you have a weekend in there somewhere, it’s probably going to always be strictly business. Again, it was a great experience from a work perspective – we got a lot done, learned many things, and made great contacts – but it does make me realise that a job involving travel probably wouldn’t be something to dream about.

Instead, it reinforces my current choice: live somewhere you enjoy, where you can work to afford travelling to the cool places you want to go to on your own terms!


Calling Canadians

I just got off the phone with Mountain Equipment Co-op. I was inquiring about renting cross country skis at some point during the Christmas break.

Every time I call some store or support line in Canada, I am always happy to hear the friendly Canadian on the other end. It’s like a breath of fresh air in the cold German social world. It’s not that Germans aren’t friendly, it’s just that Canadians are a million times friendlier. I get the same feeling when I step onto an Air Canada plane in Frankfurt airport. Incidentally, the girl I met on the train home through Germany actually asked me if we take special classes as children to learn how to engage in small-talk, so foreign was the concept to her German psyche.

I was just telling (Jewish) Mike (sorry, Mike, that’s how you’re identified) that I should call up random stores and support lines each day to boost my mood. I could call up Futureshop and ask if they have some obscure electronic device that doesn’t even exist or maybe call CIBC and tell them I’m interested in opening a savings account and would like to know my options.

Oh, yes, I am interested in hearing more aboot a Rogers cable subscription. Do tell.