Berlin 1

Brussels – 20:30 – 13/01/08

I don’t know why I get so jittery, but as soon as I have to prepare something on which I’m going to be assessed, I become a bag of nerves.  Late Friday night I learnt I had to prepare a five minute presentation on a business subject of my choice, to be delivered on Wednesday at the Microsoft Certified Trainers Summit in Berlin.  The assessor was to be Richard Klees.  He teaches presentation skills to people like Bill Gates.  He is, apparently, da bomb.  By one that morning I had the bones of it.  Sunday it was polish, polish, polish, but it’s still dull.  I hate these things, but it’ll help me grow (I keep telling myself).

After lunch I was a bag of nerves, the panic combining with the excitement of meeting people I’ve only known over the Internet and the thrill I still get with international travel.

Despite Ebbsfleet International being less than 10 miles away, The Missus was unwilling to drive somewhere new like that, so it’s public transport for me.  The good thing is that with my Eurostar ticket, travel on the trains and busses is free.  She dropped me off at Chatham station in time for the 15:22.  As I waited for the train I realised I had no idea where I was going in Berlin.  All my carefully researched printouts were still sitting at home.

Ebbsfleet was virtually deserted, and so the staff were plentiful and helpful, even smiling indulgently at my jokes.  While waiting for the train (as usual, I was an hour early) I phoned Er Indoors and got Her to read out my Berlin travel plans.  Sorted.

It was only when I was comfortably ensconced in my Eurostar seat I realised I had left all my toiletries ready in the bathroom.  Not much help Her reading those out to me.  Oh well.  At least I remembered my medication (excuse me while I make a panicky check).   Yep, all okay.

I arrived at Brussels about 20:00.  My train leaves for Berlin at 23:41.  I had a brief look outside the station.  It looks to be all concrete and drunks.  What on earth am I going to do for three hours?  I found a burger bar for a cheap dinner.  It’s always odd on the continent to find burger bars serve beer.

My chilli burger (in a baguette) and chips (the Belgians claim to have invented them, but we all know they’re as English as St George) (Yes, I know technically St George was Turkish, but he was English at heart) (Look, stop picking holes.  Whose blog is it anyway?) are gone, it’s only 21:00 and it’s pigging cold outside.  Maybe I could have just one more polish ….


About snodlander
Snodlander is the nom de plume of Bob Simms. He is an IT trainer, but it's not as glamourous as it sounds. When he's not enthralling classes with adventures through SQL Server, he writes, draws and drinks his own home-brew. Buy his novel on Amazon Kindle at The Young Demon Keeper, It's 74p, for crying out loud!

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