February 21st, 2013

travel-airplane

SLEEPLESS IN SOUTHERN EUROPE

What a crazy week. Do you know what word I realized this week I over-use? Crazy. Reflection on my life much? Heh. Landed in Madrid on Sunday night and had no problems getting to the hotel or the office and the trainings went really well, but the flight plan didn't. Iberia Airlines went on strike and our flight from Madrid (actually we were in Tres Cantos which is on the outskirts of the city) to Turin on Tuesday was cancelled. We ended up having to stay an extra night and take the red-eye Wednesday morning to Italy via Munich instead. And the hotel didn't have a room for me on Tuesday night so the Spanish office manager had to move me to a different one.

Beware, she told me, it's ...different. Coralie put it more succinctly, "It's a PALACE! An experience! You will love it!"

I don't know about love, but it was certainly impressive: huge lobby with the biggest crystal chandelier I have ever seen, marble everything everywhere and loads and loads of red, gold and black lacquer Chinese decorations.

Foxa room.

That photo gives no proportion on how big the room actually was. That wasn't even HALF of it. I opted out of a second super late night out with the Southern European team since the first night hadn't ended before 12 and I had to get up at 5:20 am Wednesday morning to meet the taxi with my colleagues to the airport.

What is UP with the Spanish schedule? I do not get how they can eat so very very late, stay up so very very late and make it to work in the mornings at the same time as the rest of us. I made some joke about siestas and was told they were a myth...but honestly, I NEEDED one after just 2 days!

But I didn't wake up at 5:20 am...I woke up at 3:30 am and couldn't get back to sleep. Alas, alack. So all of Wednesday morning passed in a blur of travel. I called my brother, who works in Munich, and told him where I was and that I would be back the next day for longer and expected him to try to take time out of his equally crazy work life to come meet me for lunch and then we boarded the next plane for Turin.

We got to the Italian office just after 2 pm and they were JUST finishing up lunch, so we shoveled down salad and roast beef and then I jumped right into the trainings, which again went really well (I think I'm getting the hang of it now) and had a couple of hours after 5 to check in at the hotel and rest...crazily enough, I used most of that time to...you guessed it, work.

Then we went out to dinner & entertainment (sadly, the food was not very good (O! Italy! What a disappointment!) and the entertainment was all in Italian, though my entertainment was mostly meeting, talking to, and enjoying the company of my colleagues. But again, not home before midnight, and my wake-up call this morning was 6:10 am. I am not made for early mornings. At ALL.

Taxi, airport bus, plane, airport bus, airport bus, plane, train, taxi and finally home at 4 pm today: muddy and exhausted. Biggest bummer: my brother couldn't get away from work. I know the feeling, but DISAPPOINTED. :(

Back to the grind tomorrow and then it's Anders' turn to leave for a work trip. 2 weeks single-parenting: UGH.