Tags: Budapest, Hungary, IBM, Global Business Services, GBS, Learning and Knowledge, L&K, Travelling, Trip, Wi-Fi, Twitter, Taxi Drivers, Broadband Connections, Hotels, Airports, Beer, Life, Ancient Buildings
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)