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Sep 11 2010

Staggering up to Stockholm

I’m tapping out this entry in the Awesome Note application on my iPhone because the WiFi access included in my 1st Class ticket aboard the X2000 “fast train” is not working in this particular car. And it also appears that Skånetrafiken does not have a corner on the “late train” market because we are currently running at least 40 minutes behind schedule for an 8:39 p.m. arrival in Sweden’s capital.

I’m making this trek on a Sunday night in order to join the communications team at my company’s corporate headquarters for a few days. HQ is hosting a global management meeting Monday through Wednesday, and I will be part of the crew that gets the word out to the rest of the company via our corporate intranet site.

I always think business trips sound so glamorous until I actually have to go on one. I opted to take the train rather than fly because it was only going to be an hour more of travel time and I would actually be able to get some work done on the way. So much for the best-laid plans…the delay is going to add yet another hour to the journey and the missing WiFi has screwed up my work plans a bit.

Then there was a person behind me using a very strong-smelling snus (a popular smokeless tobacco product) that was almost as annoying as a smoker would have been. Worse yet, someone sitting in front of me came down with a bad case of gas about halfway through the journey…which, when combined with the scent of the wintergreen snus, smelled like someone had taken a dump in a field of mint. Lovely.

LATER THAT SAME NIGHT

So when I finally arrived in Stockholm it was quite a bit later than originally planned and I was no longer comfortable with the idea of walking to the hotel. This was a major disappointment to my cab driver, who made a point of telling me he had been waiting 30 minutes for a fare. I tried to make up for it by giving him a decent tip.

Dr. Darling called just before I got here and sounded a little too relieved when I answered the phone. Turns out a northbound X2000 hit a large truck somewhere between Linköping and Nörrkoping about 8 p.m. and about a dozen passengers had to be taken to the hospital. The Swede hates it when I fly and was looking forward to an anxiety free evening until she read about that. We watched the 10 o’clock news together by phone.

Then  I got unpacked and did a little more work before trying to finish up this entry. My hotel room is very comfortable…made even more so by the ice dispenser down the hall (a rarity in European hotels in my experience). But I’m still completely wired and rarely sleep well anywhere the first night away from home.

Wish me luck.

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Feed my ego!

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