Sunday, 12 November 2006

Business Travel is so excitng!! (not)

So, with all my international travel, it must be great - seeing interesting places, meeting interesting people, enjoying the leisure of air travel....

Unfortunately, this is nothing like reality!

Take my last trip, to Kuala Lumpur, for example:
I had to leave on Saturday morning, which meant I had no weekend time with Nicole and the boys.
My plane out of Frankfurt was delayed. We then boarded and took off - we were somewhere over Eastern Europe when we turned back to Frankfurt for repairs.
We then waited, and took off just after midnight. Changed connections in Bangkok and finally arrival in KL early in the morning.
Waiting at the baggage claim.... No bags. So, off to the office to make a claim. Finally reach the hotel at 2 am local time. I had been travelling for 32 hours and been in the same clothes for 36 hours.
But - no change of clothes - so, at 2 am in the morning, I am washing my jocks and socks in the basin in the bathroom. Couldn't stand the thought of wearing these again unwashed the next morning!
The doorbell goes - the hotel offer me a present - a new, clean polo shirt to get me through the next day (fabulous service!)
Up the next morning at 7:00 for work.
Dinner appointment and I must buy new clothes - no shoes to fit (obviously Malaysian men have small feet and small...)but buy jocks, socks, shirt, slacks and a belt. After dinner my bags have finally arrived. It is amazing at how excitied you can get over seeing you own toothbrush and undies again!
I speak to the airline - not too willing to refund the price of the clothes, or offer decent compensation. Make an appointment and go downtown to visit the manager. Finally resolve to pay exactly what I spent on the clothes and not a Ringgit more!
Meetings all week. Finally I get to go home and realise that I had left my MP3 player and headphones on the plane on the way in (I was so damned tired, it was not surprising!). Emailed them from Bangkok to see if there was any hope of getting them back.
Worked and slept on the plane - only to find that when I got home, I had no feeling in my left hand and massive pains in my right arm. 2 days later when I had the pinched nerve in my neck released, the arm / hand is coming back to normal.

Back in the right timezone. Sleeping in my bed. Home with my family. Who wouldn't want to travel on business???

Afternote 1: Some colleagues also attending the meetings in KL had to fly back to their starting point in Sweden after an engine dropped off (no joke!) their plane. Turning back is not so bad...

Afternote 2: With some incredible luck, the MP3 and the headphones have been located and are on route to Frankfurt as we speak. I had given them up as lost so this is a wonderful surprise!

Afternote 3: Time to pack the bags for the next trip!

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