According to the back of the seat in front of me, today I write you from right about here:
I’m about an hour and a half into our eight-hour flight from Chicago to Frankfurt. Again. But Brett, didn’t you just get back from Germany? Why yes, yes I did. Ten short days ago. The job I just completed was install 1 out of 16 we’ll be doing out here in the next year or so. This trip is for number two. So I’m afraid these trips to Germany are about to become pretty common-place.
I’m not a huge fan of only having a week and a half back in America between trips. As soon as I boarded my flight to Frankfurt I started hearing German again, and I was struck with an intense feeling of deja vu. For a split second I thought I was in a dream. But, unfortunately, I was wide awake, and fully cognizant of what lies ahead. I have to do more work on this trip than the last one, and it’s scheduled to take a full week longer than my last sojourn into Bavaria. I’m already struggling to fight back the negative anticipation, trying to ignore the little voice in my head telling me that it’s gonna be a lonely few weeks, and who incessantly reminds me that I’ll be spending both Halloween (which is hardly recognized out here) and my 27th birthday in power plants and hotels. It’s also not much help that I still have a pretty bitter taste in my mouth from a couple of weeks ago. But, these sort of thoughts tend to be self-fulfilling, so I’ll repress them the best I can, and try to focus on whatever silver lining I can find.
This trip I’ll be travelling with my co-worker Kevin, and we’ll be installing another one of our lasery-measurey thingies in Bergheim, a little town about 15 miles away from Grevenbroich, my temporary home last trip out. We arrive in Frankfurt at around 5:30 AM tomorrow, which is pretty early for my taste, but that should give us the whole day Sunday to mess around. Monday we have to take some German government-mandated safety course so we can legally work in these plants (funny, I’ve been working in them for better than a year without this certification, I guess the wrong dude finally caught on). Our class is in Erlangen, Germany. I don’t really know where that is. I do know that it’s less than ten miles from Nuremburg, which I hear is a pretty cool place, but I don’t really know where Nuremberg is either. I know the Nuremburg Ring is a race track that was once the bane of my existence back in the day playing Gran Turismo on the Playstation. But that’s about it.
Beyond that I know we’ll be heading two hours south-ish from the Frankfurt airport upon our arrival tomorrow morning. We’re planning on spending the morning and afternoon strolling around our destination, as like I said, I’ve heard the Nuremburg area has some shit worth seeing. I guess it’s a pretty cool city, and has some famous castle nearby, so we’ll do what we can to see it in a few short hours.
Then, fun time is over… We have the all-day safety certification until 5:00 PM on Monday and then a five-hour drive northwest-ish from Erlangen to our hotel in Leverkusen, a northern suburb of Cologne. On Tuesday, starting so bright and early that it’ll most likely still be dark out, we have something like twelve days to get our system installed (the last one took sixteen days, so that shouldn’t be a problem…). Once we’re done there we return to the plant I just left in Grevenbroich for three days to fix a handful of funky fiber optic lines that were screwed up by our supplier.
All in all it’s slated to be a twenty day trip, with eighteen or nineteen of those days spent working. I’m looking forward to the overtime, and to the fact for the first time since I started getting sent to Germany I’ll be spending some time in some new places. I’ll still be close enough to Grevenborich that hopefully I’ll get a chance to hang out with my German and Turkish homies there, and being in a new town should break up the monotony a bit.
So, wish me luck, and check back soon for pictures.