Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires...courage.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Touchdown in London

Touchdown in London, 9:15 local time. I remember interviewing for my first job out of college, one of which was with Kimberly-Clark in Neenah, WI. When I flew into town on that December night it had just started snowing before I arrived. I picked up a rental car, and on the way to the hotel I had to stop for a minute in a local department store parking lot to get out and just let the snow fall on me for a minute or two. At the time it was the farthest north I had ever been. I kind of just stood there for a minute and simply thought, “wow, I’m in Wisconsin.” Not that there was anything particularly special about the town, It was just very cool to be so far away from home, in and environment that was so foreign to me. I got that feeling again this morning.

The Romanians arrived about an hour after us, giving us time to pick up a coffee and croissant for breakfast while we waited. First lesson: coffee is quite a bit stronger in the UK than what I’m used to. After introductions the driver ushered us to a small passenger van that we arranged to take us to the hotel in Reading. During the drive there was constant chatter in Romanian interrupted briefly by our dealer Gelu, who translated the high points of what had just been said. Most of the people speak at least a little bit of English, but it is of course easier for them to communicate with each other in their native tongue, so Gelu did an admirable job of keeping Pete and I included in the conversation.
We just checked in and let everyone go their separate ways with the intent of meeting up again this evening for dinner. I think I’ll head out and walk the street for the afternoon and see what I can find. I popped the TV on when I got here, and as I type this, there have already been 2 Spice Girls videos on. I think that’s my cue to go

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