Wednesday, November 14, 2007

French poodles

Faces of France - quatre, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

Taking a break from a snooze here on the plane back from Lyon to Amsterdam... There is something about planes, even more than trains which make me want to sleep as soon as I get into them, which is good. The problem this time is that I have been given a B seat, stuck between the window A and the aisle C, so I cannot rest my head against the window. In the meantime, someone keeps pushing his knees into the back of my seat, so not the most comfortable flight. Air France and all I got was a Perrier and a bag of dried pretzels… and I was thinking just how well KLM have improved the quality of their food offerings since they were sold to Air France. Oh well, it probably didn’t have too much to do with the French, in that case.

Last night was spent out in the sticks at a hotel stuck between a motorway and an industrial estate, outside the town centre. No internet connection either. What do people do in such situations? Well, I had a clue about that when my colleague handed over a dvd to another colleague in the office this morning. I suppose I could have spent my time writing a blog for later publication, but I went out for a walk instead and didn’t get much further than the other side of the industrial estate before it was time to return for dinner at the hotel.

It was a buffet offering and we were expected to choose from the € 14 a meal menu, rather than the more expensive ones on offer. The starters (hors d’oeuvres) and desserts were all available from the buffet whilst the main course could be ordered. No haut cuisine, but I did manage to get a lovely slice of potatoes dauphinoise (a local speciality) with my chewy steak and haricots verts. My colleague would not drink red wine so we went for a nice light white Burgundy, a whole bottle which was quite a relief. I had been down in this part of France once before with my previous company. It was one of my first truips abroad with that company and I was shocked (putting it mildly) to realize that we were only allowed one half of a bottle of (red) Burgundy between the three of us!!!

So after finishing most of the bottle between the two of us it was time to turn in and I had no problem sleeping although I am sure I dreamed about work. Woke up in the morning to a beautiful view of the sun shining on the snow on top of the mountains which surround the valley. It was cold but not exactly frosty, just crisp. A morning of light work was followed by a lift into town from where I could catch my bus to the airport, after first having wandered around town with my camera. I might not have achieved (or even done) too much, but I came up with one or two bright ideas, and these are things which a company can often benefit bmore by than plodding hard work... at least that is how I tend to justify my salary.

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