Thursday, December 14, 2006

When a herb is a hat...

And I don't mean when you take palm leaves or whatever and make a lovely Tom Hanks Castaway style hat out of them.

So, I have managed to come down with a cold in the days leading up to coming home for Xmas. It is always the way, that you become sick just before going on holidays, as the stress is finally gone, and your body relaxes it's defence mechinisms, and then the nasties take hold. Little bastards.

Anyway, I am "working" from home today, and B and I had agreed to have lunch together. After lunch we went to the Chemist to try and get Echinacea tablets, so that I can try and get a little better before flying tomorrow.

B, being the intelligent one of the two of us, had already looked up what the german word for Echinacea was, so we were well prepared. We walk into the Chemist, and it goes something like this (roughly translated).

Them: Can we help you?
Us: Do you have "Sonnenhüte"?
Them: No, we don't.
Us: Oh. (I start thinking that we could go to the Naturopath...)
Them: We have a spray that you could use for sun protection, but no sun hats.
Us: *looking confused* Um, we were looking for "Echinacea" in English.
What's that called in German?
Them: Oh, you mean Echinacea (with german pronunciation)
Us: Yes. So, it is the same in German?
Them: No, it is Latin.
Us: Oh.

So, here is the problem broken down for you into detail:
"The Sun" is "die Sonne" in German.
"Hat" is "der Hut", and "hats" is "die Hüte".
Put the two of them together, and you get "Sonnenhüte", or "Sun hats".
But, "Echinacea", or should I say the plant that it comes from is also called "Sonnenhut" or in plural "Sonnenhüte", as described in Wikipedia.

Na ja, what can you do? You do the right thing, and prepare yourselves ahead of time, and then you still screw it up. :) Either way, we scored a free calendar detailing herbs that you can used to keep healthy and stuff. :)

PS: Flying home tomorrow! See you all soon!!!!!


Saturday, December 02, 2006

The week from hell...

So, the work week started this week (and next) for me on Sunday, as I had a meeting first thing on Monday morning in Munich. And, of course, the weather in Munich was pretty darn foggy, so we were delayed by about 1/2hr.

Monday I had 2 meetings at Siemens in Munich, which were fairly uneventful, and then I piled back into a plane and flew to Amsterdam for a meeting on Tuesday.

Amsterdam was also fairly uneventful, except for us getting told by a Customer that if we don't fix a problem they have before March, then we may as well not come back. Gotta love situations like that.

From Amsterdam, I poured myself into another plane, and flew out to Berlin. I landed in Berlin around 19:30, and poured myself into a hire car with a colleague, and we drove 2.5hrs north east to Greifswald on the coast.

Wednesday morning we had our meeting in Greifswald, and finished up around 12:00. Again, back into the car, and 2.5hrs back to Berlin...and this is where the fun begins.

Ok, so I originally thought that our meeting would finish around 1pm, and that we would require 3hrs to get back to Berlin, and hence I hadn't booked on the 15:45 plane from Berlin to Denmark. The next flight after that, from Berlin to Copenhagen direct, was at 20:55, and I had booked on that.
Right, so we left Greifswald at 12:00, and arrived about 2.5hrs later at the Tegel airport in Berlin. I went to the ticketing counter, and asked if I could change onto the earlier flight at 15:45. The lady told me that, due to the class of my ticket, I couldn't change, and would have to take the 20:55 flight. Stoked.
So, I cruise on to the Gold Class / First Class check-in area, check-in, and check my suitcase (carry-on size, but it is just easier to check them, with the new security regulations). This guy tries again to change my flight, but it was a no-go. So it is now 15:00, and I have around 6hrs to wait. I cruise into the Gold lounge and do a bit of work, and then decide to go into Berlin to have a look around.
In Berlin I bought a copy of "The Never-ending Story" book in German to have a bit of a read, and picked up a "Hazelnut Great One" coffee (500ml) from Dunkin' Donuts (I love this shit!).
Anyway, I eventually take the train back to the airport, waste a bit more time in the Lounge, realise that I left my paper tickets at the Check-in counter and cruise back and pick them up (the check-in guy was at fault here) ,and after a 20min delay, I board the Turbo-Prop plane to Denmark.

The flight to Denmark wasn't anything special (except for loud, and vibratey (??)). I came into the baggage hall, and waited...and waited...and waited...and eventually the baggage thing stopped turning...without my bad. Turns out that checking in 6 hours early for the flight mustn't be enough, and therefore they left my bag in Berlin. Stoked x 2.
Cutting it short - they said my bag would arrive at 11am the next day, but I would have already checked out of my hotel by then, so I told them to keep it, and send it to Frankfurt for me. They also gave me some toiletries and it wasn't too bad.

Meeting in Denmark was good, and then I rocked up to the airport to fly home. I tried to check-in and told the chick that they had my bag, and I wanted it sent to Frankfurt with me. She told me that I had to go and call some number, and check that it was there first.
After I did that, I went back to her and checked-in again. She asked me "did they use the same baggage tag for your bag to Frankfurt?" How the hell should I know?!?! I told her I didn't know, and she said "Ok, I will call them." Why didn't she just call them in the first place, instead of sending me away???
Ok, now I am checked in, and I go to security, and stand in a Fast-Track queue for 1hr, waiting to clear security. I realise as I reach the front of the queue, that I don't have my gold card anymore! F§"$" IT!
Leave the line, head back to the check-in counter. "Do you have my gold card?" "No, I gave it back to you with your passport! You can look for yourself if you want." "If you say so, then you must have" "Oh, wait! Here it is, under my keyboard!" "Thanks" (with sarcasm).
Back to the queue, and luckily I can skip through to the front, as the guys who were behind me still hadn't gone through, so they let me back in.

Anyway, eventually get on the plane and get back home...glad that my shitty week was over. But next week doesn't look much better either.