Tuesday, June 27, 2006


After I got back to the room Monday night, I tried to stay awake to see the end of the Ukraine v. Switzerland match but as the match looked likely to head to extra time, 36 hours of being awake got the better of me and no matter how hard I fought, sleep came.

I'm feeling a lot better this morning after 8 hours sleep and a huge European breakfast. The meeting has kicked off and you know I must be in the midst of a global conference representing 34 countries because the first 5 minutes were spent lamenting the World Cup results from yesterday. (What do you get when you cross the Italian Olympic Diving team with...I digress)

As I settle in for the week, I'm having fun observing, comparing, and contrasting some cultural items. One thing that is fun is to see which things are the same here, for example, there is "TigerWash" at the Esso (Exxon/Mobil in the States, I guess "TigerWash" doesn't translate), the McDonald's has a "McDrive" (instead of a drive-through) and then there's a KFC to satify your fried chicken fix on about every other street corner.

However, there are a few things that you don't find in the States that I've come across already. For instance, the muzak speaker in the hotel room's bathroom incessantly playing elevator music (it took like 5 minutes to figure who to shut it off) or perhaps the "ironing room" -- apparently ironing is a big deal to the Europeans, something you definitely shouldn't do in your own hotel room. The Metro has the fastest escalator's I've ever dared step on to (or maybe it was just the aforementioned Pilsner Urquell) and then of course, there's the Sex Machines Museum.

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