Tag Archives: Germany

Surviving – Notes on Leading an Ordinary Life III

We lost :(( all the heavy work in the last two weeks in vain. That’s life, you can’t win them all. But at least I know that I still can work and can add value. And I was reminded that there are a lot of capable and friendly colleagues around, who can make even long hours of work a rewarding experience. Although I have to watch out that I don’t loose the work-life- balance. It might sound improbable to many non-consultants, but I consider it an achievement not to boot up the company’s laptop, not to check company email during the entire weekend during such a highly important phase like a proposal is. I even missed the message about us having lost the deal for a full day as I had not checked my mail until the previously announced deadline. Continue reading Surviving – Notes on Leading an Ordinary Life III

Surviving – Notes on Leading an Ordinary Life II

I’ve recently seen a note of some insane workaholic, who transported the impression that he loved returning to work after some months of vacation. How crazy can people become to replace vacation with tough work through long hours??? Hello, nock, nock, anyone at home? Drinking beer and going out for lunch with colleagues isn’t exactly the definition of “work”, is it?

I tell you a secret from this week’s experience: It is absolutely no fun to work an estimated 60 hours between Monday morning and Friday noon and produce about 80 pages of five times reviewed output in our Kronberg office far away from any bar, which would offer a nightly beer. None! Instead delivered pizza in carton boxes…oh, I hadn’t really missed that. Worth noting: Sleeping in trains while commuting doesn’t seem to be as effective as sleeping in your own bed.

I’m sitting here now at home at 7pm, my kitchen looks like hit by a bomb, and I can’t even enjoy any feeling of a great achievement because I simply have difficulties looking straight ahead, so tired am I. This afternoon I had to ask a friend who I met for a coffee to pay for me…how embarassing…I simply ran out of cash, no time fetching new cash.

Fun working…what a bullshit! These guys should be prosecuted!

The most fun we had was about spelling mistakes (sorry, that’s mostly for Germans with English slang knowledge…) like

  • Fackonzept
  • Schittstelle
  • Projektleier

I will now try to find something to eat in the left-overs of the kitchen and then have a good night’s rest. And if tomorrow I find this mad guy I gonna have a serious talk with him!

Updates 9:30pm:

  1. In the battlefield formerly known as my kitchen the Parmesan cheese had gone mouldy. Shit happens. Tough luck only if you note that only after spreading it over all your pasta. Hope I won’t be sick tomorrow, couldn’t throw away all the pasta, just tried to remove as much as possible of the cheese.
  2. When removing my brand-new shirts from the washing machine I had to note that something was still in the white-with-black-stripes shirt’s breast pocket. Damn, I though, used once only and already useless due to coloring from a forgotten note. But wrong: It turned out to be a 20 Euro bill, which I had pocketed before lunch in case I would need to load the cantina debit card with money. But I need not and forgot to return the money into my wallet. That left me without cash in the cafe and the knowledge that real European money is indeed extremely colorfast: The bill is clean, but no color rubbed off to the shirt. Washing money might be illegal, but doesn’t harm you shirts 😉

Today’s Lesson: European money is colorfast.

Categories: AsiaFrankfurt

Originally Created: 12/14/2007 07:12:28 PM

Last Edited: 12/14/2007

Surviving – Notes on Leading an Ordinary Life

I work again. Quite suddenly. 10 days ago I received a call of a colleague and couldn’t say “No”. Proposal, tough work usually. But honestly…it started to be a bit boring just to sit there all day and sort photos. About the only thing I got done was uploading a number of best-of series to Flickr. No appointments, no deadlines. I became very inefficient. One day I wanted to send a letter with registered post, so I had to get to the post office. I messed around all day until I noticed that the post office would close soon…at 6:30pm. I hurried there just to note that by now all ordinary people had returned from work and queued up in long lines in front of the post office to deal with their post chores. I had to wait in line for about 20 minutes. Continue reading Surviving – Notes on Leading an Ordinary Life


I’m back home in Frankfurt after five months of travelling. The flight was eventless, but the welcome in Germany everything but warm. Literally and metaphorically. Long queues in front of immigration, which was a rare thing to see, especially as here I can go through the supposingly quick “EU Residents” channel. The immigration officers were even a bit more friendly than usual, joking a bit, though they sent the Japanese off to the right queue with bad English and again a bit harsh. Why do immigration officers need to be so harsh all around the world? Mostly at least… I remember one poster I believe in the Malaysian landborder checkpoint reminding the officers to offer a smile. It didn’t help much. But in general I keep thinking that the German officers are the most blunt. It isn’t a great job to look at a passport and put it into a computer reader, I agree. But they have chosen that job, haven’t they? And immigration officers are the first people to be seen by visitors to the country. As we all know: It’s the first impression for which you don’t have a second chance… Continue reading Epilogue

IAA – International Motor Show Cars

IAA…that’s not really about Asia, but I have been to two Motor Shows in Shanghai, so I thought I simply have to take the chance to go to the IAA (“Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung” or International Motor Show Cars) right here in Frankfurt and see what’s the difference. The difference is clear right from the very beginning: In Frankfurt (nearly) all is about ecological locomotion. In Shanghai it was a mere display of car makers’ abilities: “We are here, we sell these cars.” Continue reading IAA – International Motor Show Cars

Germany Interlude

The fly-back started off so great…but continued quite disappointing. I had my last project fly-back, paid by my company, thus, Business Class, on 27-APR. The first time with China Eastern, which I in the beginning had some concerns with. But a word of a colleague proved true: They aren’t so long in the long haul business, their planes are brand-new. And so it was: Very comfortable and relaxing.

Arrived in Germany an hour late, but no issue, was still 6am. The sun started to raise into a cloud-less sky, the weather promised to become as great and hot as reported over weeks in the news. I made a very very good decision: I threw my suitcases into a corner of the room, briefly checked my racing bike, which I had not moved for 2.5 years, filled up some air into the tires, loaded 2 bottles with water, changed into some biking wear and off I went: At 7:30 I was cycling out of Frankfurt. Not much traffic yet, fairly chilly. But fresh clear air you never get in Shanghai. As soon as I left Frankfurt behind me I enjoyed nature pure, even saw rare birds (I believe one was a buzzard, another right beside the street was definitely a pheasant). I was pleased to note that my bike ran as smooth as ever and that I was still able to do 50km in a good 2 hours. 😉 Continue reading Germany Interlude

Germany III (Placeholder to be filled)

It is embarassing but true: I need to insert yet another placeholder to keep room for our second visit to Germany, during which we had the pleasure to attend two weddings of friends of mine, combined with a sightseeing tour to southern Germany. Yet again…time to sort out picture is rare… Continue reading Germany III (Placeholder to be filled)


About every 4 months I get a flyback, means: I return to Germany for something, which supposingly is vacation. Didn’t fully work out as vacation this time. Those, who know me, can imagine why. I had just one week in Germany. And nearly no entirely ‘free’ day… I wanted to see people, and there are even some people who wanted to see me 😉 Makes in total a pretty packed week. Continue reading Flyback