Monday, May 12, 2008

In Amsterdam on Business

I flew out on Mother's Day to a week-long business trip to Amsterdam. I was last in Amsterdam in June of 2007, on my way back from my pre-housing visit to Switzerland. I got to the hotel room at around 10 PM.

My company has a corporate maximum rate of charge for a hotel room. But unfortunately and evidently, the people who came up with this rate have never set foot outside of the United States during the "George W Bush" regime, with the depressed value of the dollar. What I used to be able to afford was the Marriott hotel next door, that is where I stayed in June. Now all I can afford with the VeriSign corporate maximum hotel rates is the Amsterdam Eden Hotel. Now the name might not have much meaning to you, and it sure didn't to me, either. It appears to be a regular hotel that I would pay for if I was stuck someplace overnight on my own dime.

My opinion was starting to be formed when I got into the elevator. There was nigh enough room to fit me and my rolling luggage (one piece). When I stepped into the hotel room my opinion was fully-formed! I have never seen such a small hotel room! The only point where I could easily roll my luggage was down the initial foyer from the hotel hallway. After that, there was not enough room for both me and my luggage. The wardrobe was close enough to the bed, the desk was close enough to the wardrobe, and there wasn't enough room for all of us.

My flight out last night took the plane right over our house in Rüfenacht. I wish I had my camera out. I had spent the whole day in the airport -- the gliding part of the airport -- acting as "Barakenchef". In that club, just like any flying club, you spend cash to do the flying, but the stuff that needs to be done around the club is all volunteer work. So I get volunteered approximately once a month to act as the chef for the day. I show up in the morning to cook the "Nüssengipfeli" (croissants that have this nutty nougat inside), I take sandwich orders in the morning meeting, and cook the sandwich baguette bread so that it is ready for the noon flying break.

Only problem is there wasn't much flying going on. The only flights that were allowed out of the airport for that day were flights that were 100km or more in distance. The instructors didn't show up, as they couldn't do any training flights in the area around the airport. There was one student who showed up, hoping to bum a flight with somebody who was going on a cross-country flight. And there were the airport bums who showed up on a nice sunny day to enjoy a picnic.

I got one sandwich order, and did the dishes, and that was about it. I spent the whole day waiting for something to do. I couldn't easily go home (I didn't have the car). Yesterday was a boring, long, frustrating wait. The passed by less slowly when I found that the flying club had a local wireless network that I made use of. Web-Surfing really does help the time go by.

My co-workers flying in from American were due to show up this morning. Their flight was canceled. I do not know when they will arrive. I may have to spend the whole day here in the hotel lobby doing computer work. Maybe I will go out and see if there is anything to do in this town. ;)

1 comment:

William said...

I wouldn't feel too bad about the elevator situation. Ben and I stayed at a hotel prior to the new rules being implemented and had a similar situation.

The panel on the elevator was clear
"Maximum # Of Passengers = 8"

The two of us barely fit in the vertical coffin with our backpacks on. So I'm not terribly sure the nightly cost impacts the comfort of the elevator.