E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

From the blog

Arriving in Charming Budapest

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As you may recall from last week, this week and till next Monday, I am actually in Budapest, Hungary, attending the University event with the European team from IBM‘s Global Business Services Learning and Knowledge, getting to know face to face a whole bunch of the folks I have been interacting with virtually for a number of months. Yes, I know, an interesting event to say the least as I will be able to place some faces behind the voices, IM conversations and e-mails I have been having for quite some time now.

The event is supposed to get started tomorrow afternoon although registrations are starting in the morning. Then over the next couple of days, it is going to be a pretty packed agenda with very little time for anything else, including some team building activities in the evening, so I am not sure I would be able to create any other weblog entries at least till I am done on Thursday afternoon. Thus I have decided to venture now and share a few thoughts on my first experiences coming to Budapest for the first time and share some of the pictures I have already taken about this incredibly fascinating city. Here it goes:

1. Too much of a long trip!: Yes, indeed, having to take three planes in the same day to get over here is just way too much. My ears are still buzzing and pretty much stuck, despite all my efforts to get over it!!

2. Quite disappointed with Wi-Fi networks at airports in general: As I have been mentioning in my twitterings, I guess the world is way far far away from offering competitive (Not even free options) prices for making use of Wi-Fi networks while waiting on connecting flights. Not a chance that I would pay for two or three hours worth of broadband what I nearly pay on a monthly basis. *That* is just out of the question. Period. So much for making broadband widely available to everyone… Sigh

3. Taxi drivers need to understand that when they are told that the suitcase they try to grab is rather heavy they should be paying attention. We know better. We packed those suitcases, you know!?!?! Now I have got a broken suitcase ! Double sigh

4. Second major disappointment: This time with the hotel broadband services. Not only are they rather expensive (25 Euros for 24 hour connection! Yes, you are reading it right, 25 Euros per day!), but the actual broadband connection is as flaky as I never thought it would be for the price I am paying! I haven’t been able to access most Web sites I normally get to access, Twitter included, GMail, a whole bunch of behind the firewall Web sites through VPN, or even my weblog! (Where there are a whole bunch of comments and trackbacks I need to get to, but can’t! So bear with me while I try to get that sorted out). I hope I am able to post this one entry, but so far I must say that it is far from ideal !

And all this in an era where most knowledge workers are mobile, travelling all over the place, and need to have that pervasiveness to stay in touch with their peers, friends and family than otherwise is going to make things rather difficult. Already got several thousand RSS feeds to catch up just because the broadband connection has been rather unstable all along. Sigh. I guess I was just asking for too much this time around. Yes, indeed, there is nothing like one’s own home wireless connection that you know it just *works*.

5. Lovely beer: Yes, indeed, I just had my first couple of pints and although I do not remember the name of the lager, it surely was nice! I need to pay much better attention next time, but if all beers are just like the one I just had, I think am going to have some good fun from here till next week! 🙂 heh

6. Sex offerings: After a lovely light dinner with a pint or two of that nice lager, I decided to go for a walk in the surroundings of the hotel, voted as “best view” hotel in Budapest, and while I am walking alongside the river in a rather cold evening the first thing I get offered is just that: sex. Yeah, like you are reading it right there. I got here less than 3 hours ago and I am already being offered some sex… Hummm, no hard feelings to anyone of my friends out there, but that scene reminded me very closely of Amsterdam.

I decided to walk further and continue enjoying the scenery, in case you are wondering. See above for a whole bunch of reasons why 😛

7. First glance of what promises to be a wonderful place to enjoy for the remaining of the week: As I was taking that walk in this cold evening, I got to enjoy some of the different ancient buildings (Still need to learn the names and all as well -Reading some books about them at the moment…) and the spectacular lighting effects that have been put together. They have clearly reminded me that I need to buy a much better digital camera if  I would want to do them justice ! And big time!

You will have to get over here to judge for yourselves, but I have taken the liberty of taking some photos of some of the stunning places I have been checking out thus far so that you can get an idea of what is awaiting you over here, in case you may have never visited Budapest.

8. I am tired: I guess that is a no brainer since I have been up this morning since 4am GMT and it is pass midnight, local time, so instead of sharing with you some further details, I am actually going to leave it over here and share with you below some of those, above mentioned, pictures I mentioned of some of the stuff I have seen tonight. Hopefully, there would be a couple more weblog posts about my experiences over here, but there is a good chance that I may just be able to share some of my twitterings all along, specially if the broadband connection is good. We shall see.

Have a good one everyone! And hope to be able to weblog some more soon! (If you do not see me weblogging away, not to worry, you know where I will be. Yeah, not there actually either! You bad bad bad folks!! :-D)


(More to be uploaded over here)

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  1. Welcome to Budapest… have a good time in this great city. I enjoy reading your blog, and I’m happy to welcome you here.
    Greetings from a fellow IBMer in Hungary 🙂

  2. Hi folks! Thanks a bunch for dropping by and for the feedback comments ! Welcome to elsua!

    Thanks, Maureen, for the kind comments! Yes, indeed, they are gorgeous and I just feel sorry that I do not have a much better digital camera to take some more stunning shots to make this city justice for how beautiful and charming it is. Hopefully, during the course of the week I would be able to share some more!

    Zsolt, excellent stuff ! Thanks much for dropping by and for reading further! If you are going to be around in the next 30 minutes where I will be speaking at the event around KM, Collaboration, Community Building and Social Networking, please do drop by and say “Hi!”. Would love the chance to meet up with you and have a nice chat along the way! Hope to see you there!

    Thanks again for the feedback and will be back later!

  3. Unfortunately I didn’t have a chance to be at the meeting and meet you in person… in fact, I’m living in a different city (Szekesfehervar – don’t even try to say it 🙂 )… Nevertheless, great to have you here, and enjoy the rest of your stay

  4. Hola Luis, muy buenos recuerdos me trae esta ciudad.
    Estuve hace bastantes años, venia de la ex-Yugoeslavia cuando todavia no se habian peleado entre ellos, pase la frontera, todo esto tirando de una carabana con un Golf GTI, me quede sin gasolina, etc, etc, en fin, cuando uno es joven se hacen cosas asi.
    Un saludo y pasatelo bien por ahi

  5. Thanks again, Zsolt, for the feedback comments! Sorry that you couldn’t make it over here for the event. It would have been terrific to be able to meet up with you while attending this event. I guess it will have to be at some other time, but we will eventually meet up, I am sure! Thanks again for dropping by and for the feedback!

    Hola Martin! Gracias por los comentarios y por dejarte caer por aquí. Desde luego que aquellos eran otros tiempos y el espíritu de aventura te hacía llegar a sitios insospechados. No me imagino a mi mismo pasando por la misma experience que comentas arriba. Pero desde luego que de momento estoy disfrutando como un enano, aunque una pena que la conexión a Internet sea tan erática y demás porque todos los comentarios que quería compartir tanto aquí como a través de mi cuenta en Twitter (httpp://www.twitter.com/elsua1) no han pasado de esa idea: compartirlos con la gente que me lee aquí. Tendrá que ser más tarde cuando pueda recuperar un poco de la “normalidad”. Veremos a very qué pasa. De momento a seguir disfrutando de un muy buen evento donde el *networking* sigue siendo la estrella del show.

    ¡Un saludo y nos vemos pronto!

  6. Hi Jeremy, thanks a bunch for dropping by and for the hat-tip! I must admit that that was also one of the first must-do-things that I came up with when I knew I was coming over here. When everyone keeps telling you to check out the Gellert Hotel and get one of those massages it must have been for something, so I am not planning on leaving Budapest without trying it out. And I will probably get to do it after the conference event finishes. I guess it will be the perfect way of finishing off a superb week we have been having thus far. (Shame about the Internet connection, but I guess you cannot have everything…)

    Thanks again for the feedback!

  7. I’ve had pretty good experience with Blackberry’s when I travel and need internet. It isn’t fast, but normally it is pretty reliable. I don’t know how well it would work in Budabest.

  8. Hi Mark! Thanks a lot for dropping by and for the hat-tip! I must say that while I have been over here this whole week I have actually been thinking very much about such devices like Blackberry. And not just because of the handy Internet connection to check out e-mail and whatever else, but more than anything else because I have been facing a number of situations where I certainly needed to have some additional “advice” or tips on getting around and check out different places and, certainly, having devices like a BB would become very handy! Perhaps it is now time to add it on to my wish list for the not so distant future… Either way, appreciated the tip and the information! Thanks for the feedback!

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