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Posts from the ‘Travel Preparation’ Category

Fixing my Notebook and Dinner with Michael

I woke up from my phone ringing around 9am. It was the technical support of my company offering help to fix my notebook. I don’t know what happened to it since I haven’t used it during the last 3.5 months. But for some reason it’s not booting anymore and I hope the data on my hard drive aren’t lost. In order to go to the office I needed to dress up. The issue was I have thrown all my business clothes away after my last working day since I thought I won’t wear these clothes when I will re-start working one and a half year later and rather buy new ones. However, I was able to find a smart looking skirt, a white blouse and some high heels which I consider a sufficient outfit to see technical support in the office.

What I expected to be a short visit to the office turned out to be a full day activity. The support guy removed the hard drive from my notebook and inserted it into another one. Luckily the hard drive was booting now as there was no issue with the hard drive itself but probably an issue with a part of the notebook responsible for booting. The problem seemed to be solved within five minutes but unfortunately this wasn’t the case. I wanted to stay in the office for a few more minutes to read my emails and to allow my notebook to update its virus protection files and the Microsoft Windows system. While doing so the screen was freezing and when re-booting the notebook an installation of Windows updates was running. For whatever reason the Windows updates couldn’t be installed successfully. This resulted in the operating system on the hard drive screwing up completely. The only solution was to manually transfer the data of my old hard drive to a completely new one which kept me busy until 4pm.

In the late afternoon my friend Michael finally had time to see me. He had worked until 8am this morning, slept over lunch and is now going for an early dinner with me. We went to one of the restaurants in the neighborhood and had some traditional German food. I had potato soup with truffles as a starter and calf’s liver with mashed potatoes as a main. It was very delicious. I also really much enjoyed the conversation with Michael since he’s one of my closest friends and the both of us know each other so well that we really understand each other. Unfortunately, Michael needed to leave after a couple of hours since he was very tired and exhausted from the heavy work and nearly no sleep during the last days.

I spent the later evening to wash my clothes and getting stuff arranged for my next trip to Central Asia. It felt good to have a washing machine and dryer available for washing my clothes. It’s so convenient and quick compared to the hand washing I usually do when travelling. Only after having experienced how things are done in a basic manner you really appreciate the comfort and luxury you have in the western civilization.

Back Home

My plane from São Paulo to Frankfurt landed around 11am. It took a while until I picked up my backpack from the baggage carousel but everything else went pretty quickly. I walked over to the train station for long distance trains and while buying a ticket to go to my home town Duesseldorf I noticed the next train will be leaving in 5min and jumped onto it. I really like the train system in Germany since you can easily travel from one big city to another one. Especially the connection between Frankfurt Airport and Duesseldorf is excellent since you have a high speed track covering the distance of approx. 250km in only 1h and 15min or so. Also the ICE (intercity-express) trains run very frequent which make them convenient and the preferred type of travel compared to flying or going by car.

I arrived at home no later than 2pm. On the table in my living room was my second passport with all the Central Asia visas which I will need for my next trip. My friend Michael did me the favor and got them for me while I was travelling in South America. Right next to it was a piece of paper saying “Welcome Home!”. One of my first actions was to call my friend Michael and my parents but I couldn’t reach both of them and left a message.

When you travel for a long time there are a few things you miss after a while since you cannot easily buy them abroad. In my case these were gummy bears and other types of fruit gum. So I went to the supermarket around the corner to buy some of them. When I checked out there were some thin healthy looking ladies behind me buying all sorts of vegetables and fruits. When they saw me buying all this junk food they might have thought I’m only living on this stuff.

In the late afternoon my friend Michael called me back apologizing he won’t be able to meet me for dinner since he was assigned to a time critical deal and will need to continue working all night. This is how crazy his job is and how crazy my job was. Even when your best friend is only in town for two days you have rarely time seeing her because your job is demanding it. With time I have understood no job and no money you making with it are actually more worth than the close relationships you have with certain people.

I spent the evening talking to my parents. Since they live 500km away from my house I have no time to see them within two days but I at least try to stay in touch with them via phone and email. I also looked into the visa situation for my upcoming trips and prepared the necessary visa applications. Lastly, I discovered my business notebook back home isn’t booting anymore and I called the technical support in India. Unfortunately they couldn’t help me but promised the local support in our Duesseldorf office will call me back tomorrow.

Back Home in Duesseldorf – Day 8

Back Home in Duesseldorf – Day 7

Back Home in Duesseldorf – Day 6

Back Home in Duesseldorf – Day 5

Back Home in Duesseldorf – Day 4

Back Home in Duesseldorf – Day 3

Back Home in Duesseldorf – Day 2

Back Home in Duesseldorf – Day 1