Tradeshows exhaust me, every single time. Even if it's just a day or two, all that standing around smiling at people gets to you in the end. So imagine how I feel after a week of all that. Plus, I caught some kind of a tradeshow virus, which is now going to force me to mostly stay home and rest for the rest of the week.
Random thoughts from this past week:
Random thoughts from this past week:
- Train travel (including subways) for some reason makes me feel all grown up and European. Even when the trains are crowded and I end up sitting next to some guy apparently running a company off his phones - who needs an iPhone and a Blackberry? Though not so much when the train just doesn't show up and the announcement about it doesn't come on until after I called the German Rail hotline and told them their train didn't show up. And they wonder why nobody wants to pay their ridiculous prices for traveling.
- Germans seem to love complaining. Either because they don't feel like actually finding out what the problem is, like the couple at the station who whined about missing their flight because the train didn't show up instead of calling the hotline on the poster behind them. Or the guy who said all of the horses on the paintings I was selling looked sad - "don't you see it too?" Well, sorry dude, but even if I did, I wouldn't tell you. And no, I won't give you a discount for dissing the goods. Please go away.
- You see the funniest people at tradeshows. The guy with the United Federation of Planets jacket. The (possibly Italian) guy wearing a black suit and bright purple patent leather dress shoes. Or the people wearing cowboy hats, cowboy boots, giant belt buckles and "USA" jackets with not only the Stars & Stripes, but also a Confederate flag... who did not speak a word of English. Of course, there were crazy outfits that also made sense: a complete Native American look on a guy from the saloon builder's booth, the ladies in Baroque and Renaissance dress doing riding demos, or the guy in the kilt who ended up being an exhibitor for an English riding vacation place (yeah, I know, technically wrong side of the English-Scottish border - I didn't care).
- On a related "some people are crazy" note... who puts a Confederate flag in a backyard garden in Gelsenkirchen?
- Train stations occasionally have their own kind of random. The lady at the paper shop where I wanted to buy a notebook was too stupid to put a sale sign on the right stack of notebooks, apparently. And the "snack box" at the Asian place turned out to be a large-sized takeout container filled to the brim with fried noodles, then topped to the edges of the foldy lid with fried chicken. Needless to say, the snack lasted for two full meals :-)
- I hate getting up early, but I do not hate being up early once I've had some coffee and gone outside for whatever reason. Sunrise over foggy fields, early morning dogwalkers and random geese raising a racket because I said good morning while walking past their pasture were just a few reminders of that fact this time around.
- I prefer tradeshow prep to actual tradeshows. It must be all that potential - you tell yourself it'll be a good show, the booth is all clean and organized, and your feet don't feel like you're standing directly on your bones yet. Then the first day rolls around, and reality hits :-P Also, German tradeshows have no freebies. I came back with one free pen and a couple of bags of hoof care oil for the horses. Ok, and some moor earth horse treats. But dudes. One pen. And no sticky notes.
- We did, however, drink sparkling wine with a very drunk winemaker dude (what's the word for people who make wine? I don't think I ever knew that), as well as very good white wine we bought some bottles of. Boy was he drunk... apparently he'd been sharing the sparkling wine with all of the exhibitors, starting around 9am each morning. In his favor, he was rather entertaining :-)