My Time in Europe and Back

After about two years in Quincy, I accepted a gig on a major Oracle project with MT, Inc., most of this was based in France, but some inter-european travel gave me a more wide ranging perspective into European thinking. Half my time was spent in Bracknell, near London. I stayed at the upscale Coppid Beech Hotel and learned to drive on the ‘other’ side of the road thanks to Nicole from Wales who, with eyes clenched, held out her personal car keys, relying on some measure of my character as proof that I would return her carriage without scratching her boot. (me too, I did, btw) Then there was the rest of my team, (I sadly can only remember Glenn & Jerrys’ first names, but I can picture them with their idiosyncracies as though they were right here with me now. I’m sure their names will invade my thoughts when least expected, later tonight. I’d even say their full names will arrive with questions as to their validity.

I could write a book reminiscing about my Europe engagement. I will say I loved my time in Europe and the people were, for the most part, personable and engaging. I must say that after finding out I was American, I was given plenty of rope with which to either hang myself or create Rope Art.

Just to share one encounter: M. DontRecall, the Belgian responsible for the Belgian Marketing Office of MT, Inc. was on the phone discussing some issue with Stoke-on-Trent. They told him to discuss the details with me. After hanging up, he told us that he did not speak English. Afraid that I was working against his interest, his initial impulse was to obstruct. We soon became friends however and all worked out. When working together we crushed it.

And also, we were limited to reporting 50 billable hours per week although most work weeks were closer to between 80 and 100 hours.

Also my arrival in France was special. I missed my morning flight from England, so my only connection was to Lyon. Lyon Hertz had no rental cars available and my destination, Clermont was close to a 4 hour drive.

Luckily, I must have shown my confusion, because a local had pity on me. First, he directed me, in English, to take a bus to the train station. Not only did he direct me, he joined me for the trip. When we arrived at the train station, he brought me to the ticket counter, arranged my purchase, then directed me to the train car. I think I still have his card somewhere.

I arrived in Clermont after about 6 hours of local, non-air conditioned carriage. Since I knew no one and it was late (10pm,around dinnertime in France), my travel reservations from Oracle Denver were not kept. I told the cab driver to bring me to St. Nectaire, an area known for their blue cheese. I did not realize that it was about 2 hours by car. We negotiated for a local hotel. My first trip to France.

Here are some remembered highlites.

DayTrips from Bracknell

Stonehenge

London

Denver Broncos late night in England on Tellie

Bracknell,UK team

Glenn and wife, met up with in France

Jerry M.

Code head – Clint?

William/Bill

Nicole

Ed?-Short stocky team leader- had a share of a Johnnie Walker Cask

Casino on Mountaintop

Slot Jackpot

Clapton in Paris

Buy Guitar

Many Dinners

Mexican Restaurant

Expensive 10 course

Expensive Sausage

Haircut in Clermont

World Cup

Taxi ride in Belgium

Hotel in Belgium

FrontDesk Girls at Holiday Inn

Holiday Inn bar and petit dejuener (breakfast)

Mercure v. Holiday Inn

Paris Casino

Champs Eylsees, Arc de Triomphe, and Paris old neighborhood

Dublin, Guiness, River walk

Amsterdam New Years guys didn’t show

Paris

Hungary

Basement casino in Budapest

Museum in Budapest

Paris museum visits

Notre Dame and the Seine

Walk through Muslim neighborhood in Paris

French chapel

Parc de Volcans

Amsterdam

Clermont Bar Exotic Dancers

Hashish before Iron Maiden concert

Trips from Stoke-on-Trent

Saint Andrews

Ireland

Car Accident – rear ended parking post in Manchester

Phillipe lent me vacation condo in S. France where I recorded my album “Ready, Aim, Fire”

Airport excursions

Snow Storm in Paris

Concord Crash while at Heathrow, long delay

Arrival in France

Thanksgiving Feast Hall

Phillipe and Guy

The Old French warehousing Site

Michael M.

Iron Maiden Concert in Clermont

Bowling with Anita and crew

Bar in dive hotel in Stoke

Crappy Hotel with loud disco

M. Alain DC.

Canadian Jeannie W. and French Interns (Stephon,cute French Intern, Maggie)

Dutch, Jan had Ntl Gas Vehicle

Had to speak English for me in meetings

Holland, Pietr Z.

UK expat to Switz., Allen

Brazilian Chick

Volker, Offensive German

Spanish dude w/ rolex

Barbara, German GL

Anita S., English-Indian GL Cons.

Stella, English Blonde from Stoke and husband

Wayne-Australian Bloke, kinda annoying

Anglo Girl from Rutgers spoke Chinese

Sandro, mostly Italian Inventory guy

French Inventory Girl was Stephon’s mother

Italiano, very involved ?Franco

Greek, Nilo P.

Project Leader, Mr Roll… only met once

Chunnel

Interviewed to stay in France

Drive to Stoke, through industrial estates

Shakespeare Home, Butterfly Conservatory

London walking, museums, Picadilly Circus, Buckingham Palace

Edinburgh haggis for lunch, castle

Walk Paris

Golf at first Brit Open Course

Golf at St Andrews

Golf in thunderstorm at Rider Cup Venue – British National Course in a town E/SE of Manchester

1997 Started Indicor

Jim B.

Fiona

Jim & Fiona wedding

Then, I moved to Greenville, South Carolina.

Greenville SC: People

Frank Indian DBAs Dave M. Scott and Lauren Chris and Cathy Ross and AnnMarie Zoraida Kent Indian developers

S.Carolina Places:

HQ Building Dothan, AL Marc-Research Lab Anderson Atlanta Bread Company

France: Places

Project HQ In Clermont Bracknell HQ Stoke Mfg. Belgium Mkt HQ North of Paris, offices Philippe’s Apt Bulldog Cafe, Amsterdam

Airports

Charles Degaulle Clermont-Ferrand Orly Brussels Heathrow Gatwick Manchester Lyon

Train Stations

England/Chunnel Amsterdam Gare de Nord Gare de l’Est Lyon Clermont-Ferrand

Hotels

Park, Clermont Holiday Inn, Clermont Mercure, Clermont George IV, Paris Holiday Inn, Paris Republic