More intercontinental travel fun :)

Yeah, another 48 hours travel. I’m in the middle right now :); sitting
in my “hotel room” and I’m proud that I was able to defend my power
outlet tonight. It’s 7am in the morning … my travel started yesterday
9:30am. The flight in Dresden began adventurous, the plane had some
“technical problems”. I saw a dozen technicians fixing the an engine in
front of our window. It was unclear if we can fly at all … and I was
the only passenger with a connection flight. So they offered me to
re-book me over Munich to Paris. But I decided to wait (mainly to
prevent a luggage loss!). Anyway, the flight was not cancelled and the
airplane worked (I mean I’m still alive but ask me for funny details ;).

I arrived on time in Paris … but … but … it turned out that my
luggage was still in Dresden *argh*. Yeah, I suspect the intelligent
Lufthansa personnel did not load my luggage in case that I get
re-booked. But ok, they told me that it would arrive 9pm … that’s
actually the best that could happen because I planned to stay and work
at the airport anyway. So I did not have to watch my luggage *AND*
Lufthansa gave me a dinner voucher to make up for my inconvenience ;-).
I had a great dinner (20 EUR) in the noblest restaurant that I could
find (it took me 30 minutes to find it in this freaking airport). But I
have to say that this whole thing seemed rather unorganized because I
had to leave the security area to get the dinner and there was no real
way to get in again to pick up my luggage because I had no boarding
card. And the Lufthansa folks did not really know what to do :). But
this was also resolved after several trials …

I picked up my luggage and a trolley and occupied the only power outlet in the
whole terminal. It was the only one I could find after a 45 minute
search :-/. And it was in the security zone … so that some guy tried
to throw me out. But I was fighting hard … and won :). The first guy
left pretty frustrated after I told him my “je ne parlez pas francais”
:). The second one knew (some) English … I kept telling him that I’ll
leave later, several times. He told me that he will call the police … but it was
the only power outlet!!!! I waited for the police and nobody came. I’m
still here and it’s 7:15am :o). I guess I won …

That’s my sleeping space for the night *ugh*.

Ah, now I’m finally in Bloomington – without my luggage :-/. They lost it again, isn’t that great! Two flights, luggage lost twice. I guess it was because my flight in Newark was delayed by three hours. It was even worse, we were standing “in line” in the airplane for 45 minutes on the runway. I hate Newark …. the funny thing is that this also happened the last time I was flying through that airport. Reminder to self: avoid this airport, it sucks!!!! I hope they’ll at least deliver my luggage to my home as I was told earlier.


Some pictures from the conference …

I am talking about non-blocking collectives here – we had an interesting question/discussion session afterwards :).

  The reception in the French Senate – pretty classy ;).

Not too much more going on so far (besides some “pub-events” :-))

Hotel Doisy Etoile, Paris

Only four words: “do not go there”. It’s bad, it’s worse, it’s terrible! Actually the terriblest hotel I’ve been in.

The bathroom had no curtain … so people on the street were perfectly able to watch us on the toilet *and* in the shower.

The toilet reminded me of 70’s GDR design … I thought we’re over this …

Yeah, no shower curtain … but moldy walls :-/.

Other things:

– it’s expensive (165 EUR, I guess we get 10 EUR rebate)

– the rooms are extra tiny

– there isn’t even real soap or something …

– there is a scaffolding in front of the window

– of course, construction noises (drilling, hammering) starting 8am

– we have only one key-card (oh, and it began to stop working every evening … and the clerk was making fun of us *grrrr*)
– the key card is needed to have electricity in the room
– there are no spare outlets … wanna connect a laptop – disconnect a lamp, wanna connect two laptops – sit in the dark

– the automatic door is blocked with a piece of wood in the early morning (so you can’t get in even if you have a card)

– the breakfast is ok … but expensive (10 EUR)

– the shower (or what looks like a shower) is amazingly bad!!!! There is no water pressure at all, it feels like a very light rain :-(.

Houston …

For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been at the HPCC07 conference on Houston. I gave a talk and chaired a session there … and was hanging out a lot (of course :)). I’ll just post some commented pictures as I know that you’re all tired of reading:

I lived in the Texas Medical Center (apparently the biggest Medical Center worldwide) … look at those hospitals!!!

Just some of them actually …. there were dozens of those hospital skyscrapers!

and full of puddles like in Bloomington. I felt like home!

but then a policeman with a cowboy-hat … not home anymore. Certainly not!

more indications of being in Texas … they served Mexican food (here Taco chips and Guacamole) at the conference …

Oh yes … the tour guide was standing in front of this picture named “Flowers” and discussed for about 10 minutes that this is her favorite picture. So guys, does this remind you of some earlier talk of some talks given in Chemnitz. I guess somebody has something in common with Texans ;).

More Texas oddities at the sidewalk …. weird people!

Yes, I did really chair a session … was pretty nice :)!

Oh, this was the only techno club in Houston … apparently closed since a while :-(.

That’s all folks!