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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hamburg

The plane touched down Hamburg Airport at 9.30 pm. When I turned on my mobile phone later on, I get to know the local time is 1 hour preceding UK time. That means I have sort of loss 1 hour.


Despite of the late hour, my distributor in Hamburg is kind enough to pick me up from the airport though. I have said many thanks to him because he really had saved me a great deal of effort. For the next 2 days, I was very relied on him in transporting me to meet his end customers.



Frank had booked this hotel for me. He picked this hotel simply because it is located near to his house, so picking me up is convenient for him.



The hotel room is an old fashion kind but very big though. Anyway, all this doesn't matter for all I need is just need a quiet place and a clean-soft bed in order to sleep well.




Despite I slept quite late at that night, I woke up at 4 am the next morning (perhaps I should call it midnight). Guess I was having jet lag LoL.


I have tried to sleep further but failed. So, I think might as well I get up and check my emails. Then I find out Wi-Fi is not available and I need to plug in with cable. But there isn't a cable in my room. I waited patiently till 5 am before I rang up the receptionist to request for the cable. Thought I can kill the time from here, but too bad, I couldn't log in to internet though many tries...Sigh.


I switched on the TV and watched the only English channel available, i.e. CNN news. The hot news for the day and the consecutive week is about Dominique Strauss-Kahn. This Managing Director of IMF has shocked the whole world with his alleged sex scandal. Well well, anything can happen, right.




At 7 am, I went down to the restaurant to take my breakfast...





The breakfast is buffet style, majority cold foods. That's basically is my breakfast for the consecutive 3 morning.


The 1st meeting didn't go on well, cause we really are not in the good position to deliver what the customer has expected from us. Not just the customer felt lousy about it, I felt lousy about it too. But I guess we just have to accept it and move on.


Before the 2nd meeting started at 2 pm, we stopped by a small fishing town which I had forgotten its name.




My strategic partner in Germany, Frank has taken very good care of me during my visitation over there. I owe him a big one this time and I will re-pay for his kindness one day, when he visit HKG or China one day in the future.



Nice to get to know a new person too.




Frank told me this town is famous for their sea catching and thus, seafood delicacy is a must-try when one visit this place.




I would love to try one of these smoke fish-fillet, but Frank warned me of their very salty taste. Guess they are good to be served with lots of plain potato or noodle or rice only. So I gave up the idea.



Instead, I followed the gentlemen suit and ordered the sandwich stuffed with lots of onion & thick fish slices. The sandwich is very delicious, could be better if less salty though.


We sat on the bench facing the sea, and enjoyed our food while feeling the gentle cool breeze all around us. That's the most relaxing moment for the day.




Since the customer's office is very nearby, the gentlemen had taken me for a quick walk in town after the sandwich break.



Everywhere in the town is quite. I wonder where have the local people gone?



The church in town. It looks very old to me.



The place has nothing special to view, so we walked away very fast.


The 2nd meeting went on smoothly, we have got some positive feedback from the customer. Just that I felt damn exhausted and sleepy and sore throat after this. I wanted to go back to my hotel room, take a simple dinner and go to sleep straight away.


But Frank invited me to go dinner with him. Well, I take this as part of my job. So, I accepted. One thing I like Frank is because he is a very sensitive & considerate guy. He sensed that I haven't had enough good sleep, so he suggested to take me back to my hotel and let me have some refreshing moment on my own before he came to pick me again at 7.30 pm for dinner. That's really very thoughtful of him.




The scene as viewed from my hotel room.


I have about 1.5 hour for my own before dinner time. So, I called the hotel guy to help me fix the internet problem. Too bad, he couldn't fix it for me. He said only Internet Explorer is allowed to log in but not Google Chrome, the one I use. For this reason, I couldn't access to my mailbox for 2 full days, WTH !




At 7.30 pm sharp, I came down and waited for Frank at the hotel's lobby.



The indoor garden outside the lobby.



Frank drove me to a nearby 5-star hotel for dining. The ambiance in its 5-star restaurant is good, the food is 5-star standard as well. Frank had recommended the white asparagus to me. He said this month is the only month in a year that white asparagus is available in Germany.


The texture of the white asparagus is quite different from the usual green asparagus we get from our place. The white asparagus is much softer and tender, with a unique aroma as well. This is the best asparagus I have eaten so far. So do the fish fillet, so fresh, so juicy.


Although I was full after taking 70% of the foods, I manage to finish up them up without anything left on the plate. This is because the foods are simply too good to waste them. Frank obviously is very satisfied with my 'performance', he then suggested some desserts to me. Frankly speaking, I really would love to order one for myself. But looking at the high price of every dish, I feel it's not good if I couldn't finish it afterwards. So, I told him I'm too full for any dessert but a cup of flower tea would be just nice for me.


We chatted casually sipping our tea. Frank is a good chatter, he told me lots about himself, his family, his wife and 2 sons. I'm glad we get to know each other better since that night.


I didn't sleep well for that night neither, woke up around 5 am. Sigh.

I dragged a tired mind and body to meet another new customer in the next morning. Luckily the customer is a very chatty person that he leaded the meeting all the way. We just responded to his questions at right timing. That's a hell lot easier for me to handle.



Frank drove me to his office to meet the rest of his people at the noon time. The big boss, Andrea is very kind to buy us a good lunch before the meeting was started. Finally I get to meet Christina, the purchasing manager. Besides Frank, she is the person I get to deal with very frequently.




The main course is very good. I was so full again. However, the big boss insisted I should try the home made dessert, said they are very very good. Just when I was hesitated, Christina offered her help, she said she can share the dessert with me. Whew, that's solved my problem. Indeed, the dessert comes with good taste, and good garnish too. Absolutely perfect !


Throughout the conversation in lunch time, I feel that they are more decent people if compare to other business people I know. They are more caring, open, honest & fair. I feel comfortable hanging around with them.


Afternoon session is more relax. I did my presentation and we discussed about the general issues & our potential projects together. As said, they are good people. I had decided to give them my best support from now on.




After the office hour, they took me out for a walk in the port of Hamburg. It is named Germany's "Gateway to the World" and is the largest port in Germany. It's also the 2nd busiest port in Europe, and 11th largest worldwide.



The natural deep water over there was parked with big cargo ships.








The gang for that evening.



They told me they haven't been to Hamburg Harbor for a very long time themselves. Usually, they will go there when they have visitors with them.


I chuckled to hear that. I told them that I haven't been to HK Victoria Harbor for a very long time myself too. And I will only go there when I have visitors with me. We all laughed for our similar take-it-for-granted attitude towards the local tourist attraction in our place.



Christina told me this boat is used to transfer the visitors to the theater, across this harbor. The show is forever "The Lion King".



There is a similar boat sailing regularly on HK Victoria Harbor as well, just that without the propeller at the back.






We turned back at this point and walked back to the car park area.



Passed by the entrance to an undersea pedestrian tunnel. They said we can walk across the sea in about 20 min. Cool.


Dinner was at a Italian Restaurant somewhere the harbor front. The food is good and the company is good as well. That marks the end of my business trip in Hamburg.



Another airport...



Another plane that fly me to the south...



2 comments:

My Family's Memoir said...

What a very hectic schedule.. Phew...

jessylee said...

well, this consider not so hectic lo...the most hectic one yet to come.

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