Monday

Monday morning began ridiculously early, so I could catch a morning flight to Hannover. My weekends are more precious than ever now that I’m home less, so there was no way I was going to agree to flying out on Sunday night. Thankfully the company paid for cabs for everyone, which was a relief as it meant I wouldn’t have to try and negotiate public transport at stupid-o’clock.

Upon arrival, work began in earnest with a couple of workshops to run. The destination at the end of the day? The hotel bar of course!

Tuesday

Take away the travel, Tuesday was identical to Monday. Workshop, after workshop, hour after hour. By now though a pattern is emerging in the meals. Every single lunchtime and every single evening meal there is some variant of having a choice of either pork, fish and/or vegetables. There had been some cost-saving going on and we had a restricted menu, differing each mealtime only the cut of pork and the type of fish. Every single meal except breakfast. Blegh. Only one thing for it… Off to the hotel bar!

Wednesday

Ah, more workshops. More pork. More fish. But at least the evening was different this time and some entertainment was arranged. In the hotel of course, which I still hadn’t left by this point. It was starting to feel like Hotel California. “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.”

The bowling, for such was the entertainment, ended up being an adequate diversion, but not the main one of the night. That coveted title went to a somewhat inebriated manager who began his somewhat drunken escapades by getting much drunker by doing a couple of tequila slammers. Not in the usual fashion though. His particular technique was to snort the salt and pour the lemon in his eye before downing his (generous) shots. It still wasn’t over though. Not content with pawing and, in some cases literally, chasing some of the women from the project team around the bar he decided it was time do his part of international relations. He put his left hand on his top lip (so as to impersonate a moustache) and began goose-stepping up and down the bar, bellowing “Eins, zwei, drei, bier!”. In a German bar. In Germany. In front of a room full of Germans.

Oops!

The company at has a cafeteria for breakfast and lunch. I generally breakfast en route, so that doesn’t affect me, but I do eat lunch there. And every single lunchtime I’ve gone for the vegetarian option. Not because Penny has brainwashed me to hate meat, but because the cafeteria actually puts some effort into putting flavour and variety into the vegetarian dishes. The alternative is usually some variety of generic meat with mushy vegetables. An example: Today’s options were a very dry-looking, over-cooked toad-in-the-hole or a Thai vegetable stir fry with lime and ginger. Unless you have a complete and irrational aversion to vegetables (perhaps due to some childhood trauma), it’s a real no-brainer.

Just like the bacon sandwich I often get in the morning… Mmmm… bacon!