Michael's Happenings

Review of Four Days in Poland

My time in Poland has come to an end. A few comments after leaving:

1. It was a privilege to visit Poland, and I was very grateful for the opportunity. While I only went outside on two of the four days I was there, and only spent one day doing sightseeing, I’m glad I visited. One of the surprising things I have mentioned to a number of people is how inexpensive everything was. A taxi ride that would be $50 in New Zealand was only $20 in Poland. A suitcase (I didn’t buy it!) that is $700 in New Zealand was less than $400 in Poland.

2. I stayed at the Hilton Warsaw Hotel and Convention Centre. The hotel was beautiful, and was very busy with a weekend conference when I first came. One of the most awesome things for me about the hotel is that it had both a gym with treadmills and a four lane 25-metre swimming pool. On two days I ran 5km on a treadmill, had a shower, and then swam 40 lengths in the pool. It was fantastic. I would be so quick to go back and stay at that hotel.

(I started bringing my running gear on these long trips to help me adjust to the time zone faster and not be awake so much during the early hours of the morning. It. Hasn’t. Worked. Yet.)

3. While the gym at the Hilton was very well supplied, because it was a corporate gym it had opening hours. So when I was awake in the small hours of the morning, I was not able to go and run on a treadmill. It wasn’t a showstopper – I just stayed in my room and worked – but it is a consequence of having a corporate gym with a pool at a hotel. Many of the other hotels I stay at have gyms open 24 hours a day, but then the implication of that is that most don’t have a swimming pool. Pros and cons either way.

4. On Tuesday I presented the Doing Business with IBM Connections 5.0 workshop in Poland, hosted by Epacta, an IBM business partner. Epacta had assembled a great group of customers currently using or looking to use IBM Connections. We had a day filled with exploring how business users can make use of IBM Connections in their work. My favorite comment after the workshop was from the delegate who said, “If I had known the business focus of today’s workshop, I would have brought ten of my colleagues.”

5. I ate pretty standard food while in Poland, and didn’t try anything to exotic. I did have a particular soup at the Hilton a couple of times though, which was apparently a “Polish” dish. It had sausage and a small egg in it. I’m going on the record here – it was fantastic.

6. On Wednesday night I flew from Poland to Netherlands. KLM had very prominent signs that passengers were only allowed one carry-on item (plus a smaller item) with a combined weight of 12kg. As a long haul international traveler (although not on this sector) I had “a bit more” than that. It did all actually work out (nothing was said), but I did think how wonderful it would be if there was a consistent approach to this issue across many airlines. Perhaps I want too much, and of course, I should buy lighter equipment and carry less. Point noted.

7. If you haven’t visited Poland yet (and I only visited a small part of Warsaw), you have my recommendation to do so.

Categories: Michael's Happenings