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Arjun in Germany - Part 1

MEDICA - the worlds largest medical exhibition. Our Company is an exhibitor here.....

Our story begins a day before!!!

Monday, November 17 – VISA TIME
08:30 AM
The entire family has been granted visas for the visit. Arjun is the odd one out since it’s his first trip to the EU. The visa fellas at the German embassy had graciously granted an interview date for 2nd December 2008 against a scheduled visit from 18-23rd November. How perfectly bureaucractic!!
The fates have intervened and repeated requests have shifted the date to the day before the travel. Interview time is 45 minutes away.
09:45 AM
One look, one puppy face,a play of a smile and the visa is granted. Though he will have to return in person to collect it at 2PM. Methinks it was the glasses and his Mohandas Karamchand gandhi look that finally clinched it!!
05:00 PM
Arjun quits work to finish that last minute shopping. It’s funny how all the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle come together when ONE key piece falls into place. Suddenly all those plans switching between limbo and reality are in motion.
Onward to the land of BEER!!

Tuesday, November 18 – The longest day
07:00 AM (IST)
The longest day has begun... literally!! Arjun & Co. are gonna be up for the duration - working both India Standard time and Central European time!!
The day begins with the regular airport hustle bustle and looking at the way things were streamlined - Delhi airport has finally got things right. They did have to pay an excess baggage charge of Rs.25000 (Twenty five thousand) though!
 
 

09:50 AM (IST)
The flight is off - on time and Arjun has managed to sweet talk one of the cute flight stewardesses to shift him to an extremely comfy seat (it’s still in economy class). His partner is a long haired beauty from the land of Singh..... It’s MR.SINGH himself!!
09:02 AM (CET) (GMT+1)
Breakfast is done and the details are getting hazy. Drooping eyelids...zzzzzzz
02:30 PM (CET)
Time to board the flight to Dusseldorf. LH863 it is. We’ve gone through the customs formalities and the security check... ironically they didn’t even check me - just waved me through.
04:30 PM (CET)
The flight has a touchy landing just about missing a filght that was about to take off. The pilot informs us of the same quite matter of factly.
We are leaving the airport when the policeman catches us and asks to inspect the posters. He claims we should have declared them... duhhhh.... paper posters!!!

05:30 PM (CET)
We reach our hotel, the Quadenhof after a long traffic snarled drive. It is a nice and homely place, quite different from the regular CHAIN hotels that we’ve become accustomed too. It’s run by Willi and Rosie an elderly couple who’ve been running the show for over 25 years, There are no bellhops and the like so we tote our luggage to the second floor by ourselves. The bathrooms are tiny (miniscule actually) and the place hasn't been aired in years!! The soaps need to be changed and there's no water jug!! Time to get out.. and start things rolling!!
06:30 PM (CET)
We’ve to get to the MESSE area where the exhibition is to be held tomorrow. The stall must be completed and our Indian contact Mr.Jignesh Patel awaits us. However the rain and cold weather had other ideas as we braved them (for over 35 minutes) waiting or a taxi. We will not be using the taxi service after this, It is far to burdensome on the pocket...25 euros form the hotel to the airport - gives a man a good heart attack!!
07:30 PM (CET)
The stall is done and now the tired foursome is looking for a way home (hotel) with some food on the way. So we take a train from the LTU ARENA to HEINREICH HEINE ALLEE (ALSTADT) and voila - there is an alley filled with PUBs and each advertising a dirrent ALT (Beer). Keeping in mind the dietary requirements of most people concerned, PIZZA HUT is chosen as the venue ... along with the a Half litre of beer!!!
 
Getting the stall ready for the big day
  
Nitin Bhai is really chilled!!
 
 Jatin & Shivy - fagged out but smiling!!
09:30 PM (CET)
The end of a tiring day... and lots more to come!!
 Waiting for a train at the NORTHERN ARENA station to take us back to the hotel!!
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