Friday, August 28, 2015

Aug 25-28: First Week of Work & a Few Thoughts

View down the street from outside our apartment one night.
Work

I had a great first week of work. And yes, only 4 days :) It was a very busy week helping the team here with issues they had that I provide help on, as well as we had several events:
  • Tuesday: team lunch, including two HT employees visiting from our London office.
  • Tuesday: team dinner to celebrate the Berlin supply team winning a big sales challenge. Went out to a fancy nightclub/restaurant place on the water, Spindler & Klatt.  Food was quite good, and it was a really fun time with the team. Lots of good joking around and interesting stories.
  • Wed: I did a Q&A to explain more about why I am in Berlin, and cover various tech and product things.
  • Thurs: my family came to see the office and have lunch. Kids got to play ping-pong and check out the HT neon light.
  • Thurs: went to the Elixir meetup here in Berlin. This was at a fun bar down in Kreuzberg, called Room 77 - love the web site ;-). No relation to the travel company, but the owner is an ex-software guy. And, it is one of the few bars in the world that takes Bitcoin for payment (we did not pay in Bitcoin though). Enjoyed talking to folks, even if we didn't talk too much about Elixir. Oh, the beer here was great - it was from RollBerg, a brewery on the next street over. Lastly, the quesadilla I had there was truly damn tasty! 
  • Fri: weekly team lunch. This was at a place just a short walk away and was buffet style. 
Overall I was really happy with how the week went work wise too. I felt like I was able to solve a whole slew of things for the team and make them really happy. Plus, I felt like I got along with everyone well too, and have just really enjoyed hanging out with them so far. Everyone is really nice, and I love how comfortable folks are, with lots of joking around. About my only complaint so far is that the chairs we have suck. I am spoiled from sitting in an Aeron for the last 15+ years!

The funny menu at Room 77.

Non-Work

A few random things that I've noticed or have been on my mind...

I am not used to the graffiti yet. In the US, if you saw such graffiti as you see here, you'd think you were in a pretty bad neighborhood, yet it's just all over and normal here. Not sure how long it'll take for me to get used to it.

Driving: our experience is primarily based being in taxis, and then somewhat from watching. They drive a bit more aggressively, and seem to drive a lot closer - stopping and trailing at distances we'd consider tailgating in the US. However, they also seem more efficient AND courteous! Drivers always stop for pedestrians, and they also don't cut each other off, even at times when I'd think they'd just jet around or whatever.

We're pretty used to carrying cash (geldbar) all the time. Credit cards can be used some places, but for example, not even IKEA took them! (Good thing I had over 200€ on me when we went!) Further though, they like exact change. So, anytime you are pulling out just a bill they may look at you expecting change, or at least getting as close as you can to the exact amount. It's funny as it takes me a bit longer to make change here still.

Lastly, it has already occurred to me that I'm sad we'll leave "soon." Ok, so we've only been here a couple weeks, but knowing it's really about 2 months left, and there still SO many things I want to see and explore, as well as learn more language and talk to more people, it's hard thinking we'll have to go. I feel like we're just settling in. And, every time I walk around, or go for a run, I see all these shops or parks or sights I want to explore. It'll be a good reason to come back, but it's crazy to think I already wish we had more time. I'll be curious to see how I feel in another month or so.



1 comment:

  1. I love this review of your week, the funny menu is .....funny.

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