Dear So-and-So, Stuttgart Airport Edition

Dear Stuttgart Airport PA system,

Could you please stop reinforcing my view of Germany as a place where 80s music still rules?

“Wouldn’t it be good to be in your shoes, even if it was for just one day” (especially because then I could change the radio station), NFAH

Dear Small town German gas station lady,

Thank you so much for just opening the bathroom door with a key when I could not understand your German instructions for using the coin operated toilet system. And sorry about the totally not understanding German thing.

Monolingual (mostly), NFAH

Dear Miss Bossy Pants (Sat Nav System in German Rental Car),

I really missed your voice as I was driving back to the car rental place today. Your live route maps were still delightful, but I don’t know how I managed to disable the voice instructions and I could not figure out how to get them back. But that thing where you took me on a wild goose chase trying to get back onto the motorway after I stopped for petrol, that was not cool. I did not know your program would allow you to direct me to a place where there WAS NO ROAD–had I blindly followed your directions I would have ended up in a creek.

Still loving how easy it was to navigate western Germany thanks to Miss Bossy Pants, talking or no talking,

Dear Extremely senior colleague,

Thank you so much for sending your employee to pluck me out of the symposium, away from the sandwich lunch, and taking me to lunch today. I’m not exactly sure what you, the head of the institute, was doing making small talk about your town with lowly me over lunch (I had thought maybe there was some business to transact, but none came up) but I did enjoy the conversation. And I hope you realize that my not eating all of my food was not a personal affront, German vegetarian cuisine is a bit random and this was no exception.

Honored, NFAH

Dear eating place in random German town,

Seriously, the vegetarian lunch of the day was elbow noodles with dry spinach and chopped up hard boiled eggs? No sauce, no flavor, nothing?

I mostly starve in Germany (except the bread/pretzels), NFAH

Dear young colleagues,

I adore the fact that you put in lots of effort when I ask you to make me a few powerpoint slides for a presentation I have to give. But there is a new rule from now on: no fancy sh*t. No animations, no flying things, nothing appearing after a sequence of clicks. Nothing that requires any interaction except a movie and provide that as a separate file for me to test myself.

Flustered after having to improvise when two slides in my presentation just didn’t show up during the live slideshow (and yes they are still there in the slide sorter when I’m not in slideshow mode–they just won’t display in full screen mode), NFAH

Dear World,

That does it, officially I’m exhausted. After taking the Eurostar to Paris a week ago this morning, back late Sunday night, missing my flight Wed. morning, recovering and flying to Germany Wed. afternoon, driving through the “Naturpark” twice and now sitting in the Stuttgart airport waiting to fly back to London, I am officially done traveling. For. Um. 15 days. At which point I fly to the eastern coast of the US, connect to the UP in Michigan, work, return to the east coast, work, fly back to the UK, attend a conference for two days, speak at said conference jet-lagged, turn around and get on a plane for China less than 60 hours after landing back from the US, travel all around China for 12 days, come back, be at home for about a week before I leave for a workshop in Switzerland for two days…. SH*T. I’ve don’t it again, haven’t I. Let’s just see how tired I can get by the middle of April when all of this is over… I hope no one had anything urgent they wanted me to do between now and the last part of April, because I’m just not seeing it…

CLEARLY I never learn, NFAH


8 responses to “Dear So-and-So, Stuttgart Airport Edition

  1. CLEARLY you never learn!

  2. My husband and I were once walking around in a local furniture store (here in Germany) and between the furniture being sold and the music playing…well, we thought we’d somehow been sucked back into 1976. lol

    And I fully blame German bread for at least 20 of the extra lbs I am carrying. Yes, really.

  3. Wow! You were definitely not kidding when you said this was a travel-heavy time for you! You’re so…um…lucky(?) No, really, I’m a bit envious. It’s too bad you have to work so much, though. On the bright side, you’ve got a job!

  4. I have a Sunshine Award for you. Pick it up on my blog.

  5. Ahhh…the magical “hidden” powerpoint slide! It has been the bain of my exisitance when on the road! Sounds like you had a full trip!

  6. Oh, it is very difficult to be in Germany and eat out when you don’t eat meat. Thank heaven for Italian restaurants! 🙂 I’m not a fan of German food anyway (except for kartofelpuffers-potato pancakes), so it’s no big loss to me.
    My GPS tries to send me off the roads all the time. I don’t fault the GPS, but the crazy middle of nowhere places so abundant in Germany.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog. If you ever get sent to Heidelberg for business, I’ll throw you a “divorced childless working women for no apparent reason shower.” Okay?

  7. Haha! Funny post. I love pretzels. Very. Much. I am not a vegetarian but felt like becoming one after a holiday in southern France (lots of bright red slabs of meat on our plates)–oh, but I couldn’t because there were never any vegetarian options! Not even weird spinach/pasta creations…

    Also, my dad always handed out a single sheet of ‘power point tips’ to his students before he assigned them a presentation to help them learn efficient power point skills (and save his sanity). Perhaps something like that would work for your jr colleagues??

    Get rested and lets all get together again.

  8. For some reason, I’m not sure if I find it weird beyond words, or just a bit amusing, that you can be going from jet setting across Europe to the UP. If you’re flying into Marquette, I can assure you it’s actually a nice little airport – in a former Air Force base – and just down the road from my aunt and uncle’s, oddly enough. Good luck with your travels.

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