The snow covered ground.... it's my first time
Saturday, November 22 – The finale is near
A low business day as most of the folks prefer to go elsewhere and have some fun. We are at work as usual. However the crowds are low - so I get time to chronicle the last few days. This is the day when most exhibitors visit each others' stands and get to understand the competition!!
Not too many footfalls so I have time for a DONER KEBAB from HALL 2. It’s a long cold walk , filled with the cold wind blowing across the RHINE. Chills a man to the bone... and baldness ain't helping too much here!
It’s close to pack-up time as the show end at 5:00 PM exactly. Many of the exhibitors have already started the task of taking things apart. We’ll wait for a bit since there ain’t too much packing to do.
The DIAGNOSTIC trio - Jatin, Shivy and me!!05:30PM
Pack-up completed. We’re on the way to the hotel to dump the luggage, lighten the load and then head out into the city. I guess we shall have some shopping, some hot wine and a great time for one and all.
I did some of that special shopping which I’d been looking forward too. Stuff that I would not have been able to get my hands on in India. I finally got my Indiana Jones style hat!!! I caught up with Jatin & Shivy at the Galeria Kaufhof. She’s busy shopping for the young ones and is going frantic since she doesn’t have a sure shot estimate on their clothing size. In any case it took us an hour to get things done and J M is now with droopy eyes. SO we part ways and I head out to have a lebanese dinner - sheesha, beer , shwarma et al! They retire to the pleasures of an indian dinner at the Shalimar restaurant and then onwards to the hotel.
I love the hot wine that they serve at the public stalls. There is a life in this place that I have seen in my home country only at times like Ganpati, Durga Pooja. It’s full of mirth and gaiety. Everybody seems to be having fun - old & young. I really liked the scene of 2 couples making out at the tram station - one was sixty plus and the other was under twenty. I return to the hotel all alone and this time there is no Nitin bhai waiting for me - he’s already probably home!!
Sunday, November 23 – Homeward Bound
Yippee - it’s a sunday!! It’s a holiday and we’re also heading home tonight. It’s really chilly today and when i decided to take a walk along the river Rhine... i didn’t jnow what i was putting myself in for. The view was amazing and so was the cold. The wind bit through all that I had on me. The ears turned red and my head began to hurt. I rushed back to find Jatin and Shivy at Starbucks so I could borrow her muffler.
Breakfast at STARBUCKS!!
Chilling at the RHINE!!
Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts are behind us now. We are feeling the extreme chill and there’s nothing really to do here. Everything and I mean - everything is shut in Dusseldorf. So we decide to head to the hotel and prepare for the journey home. Time to checkout - 1:55!!!
Walking tourism2:30 PM
Reached the airport and checkin is a breeze. Clear the security check and I am hauled up by a guard for carryng that bottle of perfume in my hand baggage. Then it’s time for some of that duty free shopping - a bottle of Hennessey and Mint Baileys will do for now for me and chocolates for everyone else. A quick lunch with wine and I’m all ready to go home.
Been sitting in the flight for the last 2 hours. The snow has turned the airport white and the the flight ain’t going anywhere. The laptop is out and I’m trying to get some stuff done. Our connecting flight leaves in 45 minutes from Munich and I doubt if we will be on it.
We’re still on the runway and they’ve given us chocolates and water. I guess that in these extraordinary circumstances - that’s the best that can be done. No one (including the pilot) is sure of when we can leave.
5 hours in the plane and we’re finnaly getting de-iced for the flight to Munich. Nobody nows what’s gonna happen to us there.
Landed in Munich and we’re at the special service desk for the 40 of us going to Delhi. So they’re putting us up at the Kempinski at 7oo Euros per night!! We’ll fly Austrian airlines tomorrow to Vienna and then onwards to Delhi. This is one good adventure. Ok - and I finally get to rollick in the snow. Now that’s a milestone for me.
I love snow!!
I'm not carrying extra clothes... so that's all I get to wear!!
Monday, November 24 – Home at last
Done with the flight to Vienna. We await that last boarding call that will take us home.
01:00 PM (CET)
It’s a long flight and the blonde next to me is more interested in her boyfriend than in baldy!!
11:30 PM (IST)
MERA BHARAT MAHAAN and an hour after landing we walk through the GREEN channel - unchallenged!!
I call Supriya...