105 days and counting down
Trip Start Dec 11, 2010
62Trip End Mar 13, 2011
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A couple of weeks filled with some more planning, booking, and two teambuilding events (a sleepover in Eindhoven and a guided EPO tour) have passed rather peacefully. So where do I start? I know where: meet Barney!
Barney is our American Airlines contact person. Extremely polite, well educated, pedantic, yet the ultimate senile one-step-at-a-time type of guy. A number in Amsterdam, but from strong Indian accents of everybody I spoke to, it might as well be one of those customer services you might remember from "Slumdog Millionaire". When I first called, we talked for 50 minutes
- the new keyboard they gave him is way too small,
- he is very much looking forward to his upcoming retirement,
- there are three persons called Bernard where he works (one Irish, one Dutch, and him), but he insists on using the name his grandfather called him,
- only the French have the ideal word which the English term "to terminate" merely attempts to immitate (unfortunately, I can't remember THE one word to rule them all),
- his sister has quite a medical record,
- last but not least, it is extremely important to eat regularly...
...at which point I lied and said that I had to leave. And then I did something worse actually: I asked Ada to call him back. Needless to say, they spent a record time of 1h50 on the phone, plus Ada and Barney are real good friends by now ;-P
But hey, at least I got my e-ticket after all that talking, while my fellow crew members still can't get theirs, although they're probably coming any day now!
In other news, I received 5 vaccinations within 10 minutes. The half-flu/half-wasted Molotov cocktail inside my body for the next couple of days? Priceless
Still, that's nothing compared to John's preparations. First he decided to take two weeks off before we leave, and two weeks off after we come back, in order to make sure he's well rested. So now you're thinking he'd wisely spend the aforementioned two weeks on preparing the trip, right? Wrong! John is basically packed already. He has a full list of things he's taking, including the number of socks of each type. That's what I call well prepared! Respect man!
Take it from here, Sean!