Monday, September 17, 2007

Day 2 - Back to work

Ow, my feet...

I went to the biggest trade show I've ever experienced today. Not that this was a terrible shock, after all this *was* the reason that I was sent over here to begin with. After waking up this morning, I moseyed down to the Bremen station and caught a 8:18 am train to Hannover. This was my first experience with German trains and it was pretty awesome. The train showed up *right* on time and whisked me away to Hannover, nearly 90 miles away. The trip was incredibly smooth and stunningly quiet. As someone who rides Chicago's commuter rail system every now and then I can now say that I am filled with shame by comparison. Best of all it was ridiculously fast! Wheeee!

By the time I got to Hannover and figured out how to use the subway system, I found myself in a huge campus of exhibition shows that were populated with some very odd examples of architecture (I know, again with the sideways-ness. Blame Apple, I've tried everything I can think of). For example, here's a building on campus that looks remarkably like the Starbases from Star Trek:



After wandering through the first massive exhibition hall, I found one of hte aisles blocked up for a few minutes by very tall and intimidating security men, wearing the ear microphones that secret service agents wear. For a second, I was beside myself thinking that maybe Angele Merkel was going to show up, but instead it was a bunch of guys that I didn't recognize. If you can recognize any of these guys, you're more knowledgeable about German politics than I am:



This picture is for the GF: It's a Japanese rock orchestra that we saw on Public Television during pledge week. They play very pop-sounding music on violins, viola, cello, and yes - keytar. Classic stuff...



By the time I walked through the first two buildings, I had spent nearly Eight hours on my feet walking mile after mile. So when I saw the giant robotic lion swigging a huge mug o'beer, you'll understand why at first I thought it was a hallucination:




So then I made my way back to the train station, because allegedly there was a DB train that went directly from the trade fair area back to Bremen. Better yet, it was an ICE train, so it went even faster than the one I was on this morning. But then something happened that I never thought I'd see in my lifetime. My scheduled 5:27 train didn't show up on time - it was late! When the train finally did show up at around 6:00, the funny thing was that the whole DB system was basically just in denial about the whole thing - referring to the train as "the 5:27" and saying that it was still arriving at 5:27. Oh well, I suppose if a train is late but the entire country still believes it's on time, then the train isn't actually late.

Still, as long as the train gets me back to the hotel, I'll believe whatever they want me to believe.

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