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8:48am on Friday, 20th May, 2005:

Away for a Workshop


I'm away tomorrow for a workshop in Germany, so may or may not be able to update QBlog. As usual, I'll write the stuff, it just might not make it online the date it was written.

My schedule is strangely precise. My flight touches down in Frankfurt at 18:10, then I catch a train at 18:54 to Mannheim, arriving 19:24. From Mannheim, I catch the 19:37 which takes me to Karlsruhe, arriving 19:59. There, I'll be met my some poor soul holding a placard with my name on it.

This would never work in England. The flight might touch down at 18:10, but it would be another 15 minutes before it arrived at the terminal. There would be a 10-minute walk to passport control, followed by a (let's be generous) 10-minute wait in a queue, then another 15 minutes while your baggage arrived. 10 minutes after that, you could be at the station. The train might well leave on time, but then again it might be cancelled entirely. It would crawl to the intermediate station, and, this being Friday evening, would have no free seats. It would arrive at the intermediate station only after the connecting train had left.

Let's hope Germany is as efficient as its reputation suggests.

The worst of it is that I have to buy a ticket on the train, and I speak no German. The odds that a German ticket-inspector will speak English are only slightly better than the odds that an English ticket-inspector will speak German, which is to say very slim indeed. I can see myself being hauled up for fare evasion and not having the faintest clue what's going on until the police arrive with a translator. If this does happen, expect QBlog to be updated somewhat later than my scheduled return on Sunday...

Referenced by Doomed from the Start.

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Copyright © 2005 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).