If I roll my ankle in the cobble stone one more time….

There’s a chill in the air that reminds me of east coast fall.  People have just started to bundle up in preparation for winter’s chill, but are still able to enjoy a beer garden in the sun.

Overall, the conference was a great experience.  It was a great opportunity to engage with people from across the globe – learn about where they’re from, what they’re working on, and share what I’m working on.

The conference didn’t provide a shuttle for those of us staying at the conference recommended hotel (interestingly enough, they did provide one back to the city….).  So a small group of us decided to walk back to the hotels, which was nice after sitting pretty much all day.  We ended up meeting later for dinner, same restaurant I was at the night I arrived, which I usually try to avoid, but was worth a second visit for some good dinner time conversation.  Very interesting to dine with: a new professor, raised in Kenya, but teaching in England, and a seasoned professor, currently teaching in Brussels, but has taught all over the world.  It was cool to discuss our countries and backgrounds with respect to university systems. politics, and cultures.

And the train…oh the train.  It continues to be an adventure, although today I did go the correct direction the first time.  And, I’ve mastered the ticket machine.  Having either the right amount of change, or small bills would have been even more helpful, however.  Not to worry, the convenience store at the train station was open (surprising, since it seems like nothing is ever open in Vegesack), and I am now the proud owner of a plastic bottle of gum and a bunch of change.  In time to board the train too!

And then there’s the entertainment factor – there’s a lady in the seat across from me drinking a bottle of either white wine or hard liquor.  I’m not sure.  But she’s quiet and clean and chugging away at 8:30 in the morning.  And apparently someone else felt the need to bring their breakfast on the train…thank you, but I could do without the smell of whatever that is…

We took the train to Hamburg for the day for some post-conference sightseeing.  It was cool to see another city – bigger and with more people.  We took one of those hop on hop off tour busses, and spent most of the day at the port.  Had lunch at a restaurant that brewed its own beer, and toured a Brazilian Navy ship.  Pretty cool.  Wandered the largest mall in Hamburg….Germany….I can’t remember.  It was big, but not that big…

It was also great to spend the day chatting with my professor.  We discussed next steps on the paper, as well as ways to get more students involved in research and potential benefits available to them.  Who knew a quick hallway conversation would take me to Germany?!  She asked if I would come talk to a few of her classes, and try to organize a way for them to meet other MBA’s/International Business people through Gap.  We also talked about ways these types of conferences could apply to my work and how I could continue to be part of them and projects going forward.  There were a lot of practitioners there, so there is the possibility.

Once I got back to Vegesack (Veggie World ;)), I tried my hardest to find a store with a wine opener.  I found one on my way to the hotel from the train station – a convenience store, surely they had one.  Of course they did….but only one.  To open bottles someone happened to buy on the way to a party…their hotel….who knows.  I thanked them, and continued up the street to the restaurant I planned on going to.  I had run down said street earlier in the week and it was the most bustling place in veggie world….however, 8:30 on a Saturday night, and….everything was closed.  Awesome.

After giving up on the wine opener, I decided to try the restaurant I thought looked cool while I was running the other day.  The menu was half in english…and they had wine…and it was this small, really cool Italian/German atmosphere.  Pretty quiet – there were only two groups of us in there, and the waitress, who couldnt have been more than 18, was very friendly.  And well…while the food was fine, I was attacked by flies…fruit flies, real flies….good times.  I think I am going to have nightmares about flies for weeks.  I had a fruit fly swimming in my wine…a real fly drinking olive oil like a lush….I either picked the wrong seat or the wrong restaurant…or both.  Not much I could do since they don’t speak English…and I dont speak German.  Minor details…

After dinner, I crossed my fingers (and a couple of toes), that the little store by the hotel, the only one open in veggie world, was still open and I could get a bottle of wine.  And thankfully it was…wine is a definite necessity when dealing with facebook’s picture uploader.  I remember it being easier in the past…

Oh Germany….I feel like I’ve seen a lot, but not nearly enough.  I wish I had one more day.  Or Brian and I were going to stay a week and tour.  So much I want to see and do…but, I guess that’s what next time is for.  Until then, I will miss bringing up google and getting google Deutschland, and wishing I’d had the time to go to Berlin or one of the WWII museums.

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