Monday, September 24, 2007
wrapping up heidelberg
For the past week, Jim and I have been in Heidelberg, Germany, where his MySQL Developer's Conference is being held. We flew from Heathrow to Stuttgart, then took the train to Heidelberg. Tomorrow, Jim wraps up his conference, I finish the rewrite on my screenplay, and we take a train to Munich for Oktoberfest.
The crowd at this developer's conference is a very international one. Except for an unlucky few, employees of Jim's company have the freedom to work from home, from anywhere in the world that has Internet access. While they all speak geek fluently, the languages and accents represented here include Russian, Ukrainian, Swedish, Finnish, British, Australian, Austrian, Chinese, Croatian, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, German, Canadian, and Southern accents from the United States. It's a hard-drinking company, and already my liver has taken a pounding from all the beer, wine and black vodka I've consumed. We've taken several boat rides down the Neckar River in addition to the river cruise we took yesterday, toured castles, rode a funicular, been treated to demonstrations from falcons and other birds of prey, and dined on copious amounts of German delicacies (liver dumpling soup, anyone?) beyond schnitzel and sauerkraut.
I had very few expectations going in, but quite a few things have impressed me greatly - for one, Jim's company really is a wonderful employer and they throw one hell of an organized and well-executed conference. That, and damn, this part of Germany is absolutely stunning. I don't think my photographs will do the place justice, and I'm blown away by how clean, green and picturesque the city is, and how easily navigable it is, either by walking or public transport. Parks line the banks of the Neckar River and I see people playing soccer, lounging, dining, biking, sunning themselves, hiking, and walking their dogs - all within a few blocks of train, subway and bus stops, shops, restaurants, and cafes.
I'm really looking forward to seeing Munich and Stuttgart (again), and going to Oktoberfest for the first time. But I do miss my puppy Wonton and my heart aches to see that he misses me and Jim, too. I will post more pictures as time and Internet access will allow, but chances are I won't be able to do that until our return to Los Angeles.