There’s a new sheriff in town, well not really a new one, but one one a mission……….new business (oh, how we love the months of January and February) As we all have a responsibility to let those interested know how well our (lovely) little company is doing, I suppose I should reveal how things went on my recent trip to Poznan, Poland, to oversee the installation of the Formica exhibit at Budma.
As it’s still relatively early in the year and also due to the fact that I hadn’t visited Poland before I found myself getting quite excited at the prospect of the trip. Adding to the above the fact that the project was with one of our longstanding clients @ Formica Group Scandinavia and also the fact that I had been booked into a 5 star hotel (more about this later) it looked as though it had the makings of a really good trip.
Poland in january, would it be cold? After the final piece of project management had finished I decided to have a quick look at the weather forecast to see what I could expect. Oh, it will be cold, -10 to -15 on a good day! Time to get down to Marks and purchase some heavyweight thermals (at my time of life comfort always wins over fashion)
After waging a war against the demons of drink at Munich Airport for 5 hours (what do you do with such a large connection time?) I arrived at Poznan Lawica Airport ready for what would be sent my way over the next few days. The first thing to consider on entering a new country is how much money should I have, what will things cost? I withdrew what I thought would suffice for the immediate future and headed off to the information desk to enquire about my bus ticket into the city. How much for a ticket to my destination I asked, 240 came the reply. I reached for the first hundred Zlotty note ready to take a couple more, but was asked if I had any change. 240 was actually 2.40, which equates to around 48 pence. I could get to like it here.
After a very short time the bus arrived at my stop so I grabbed my case and headed off in the direction of the hotel. The snow was crisp and the air was dry, -15 didn’t feel that cold (not for the first minute or two that is) Arriving at the hotel I walked up the steps and opened the door to the lobby. What was that smell? This was a thought that would often enter my mind as I would enter/exit the ground floor over the next few days (more of this to follow)
After checking in and being shown to my large but rather sparse and cold room on the top/2nd floor I decided to forget my disappointment and go for a walk to see what the neighbourhood had to offer. I remember being told about a good bar just a few streets away so I set off in that direction. As luck would have it there was a really nice collection of independent shops, restaurants and bars set within some old industrial units virtually behind my smelly 5 star hotel.
It was still early at about 6 o’clock, but I had been up since 4 so I was feeling a little jaded. A nice glass of Rioja and a few nibbles would set things straight so I entered what would be a good second home for me over the coming days. What would you like sir? A good Rioja please………a few moments later the waiter (Polish but with the looks of a Spaniard and the accent of an Italian. This would be an interesting place) returned with a rather nice looking bottle of Rioja. How much is that I asked, about €5 came the reply. Wow, Poland is really cheap I thought.
I managed to shrug aside my tiredness and around 4 hours later after some olives, bread, sausage, more bread, and cheese (plus the remainder of the yummy Rioja) I asked for the bill. It turned out that €5 was for each glass. Doh! A schoolboy error! Never be lulled into a false sense of security by the currency of a country if the place you are in looks a little on the posh side (note to self)
I suppose as the aim of this article was initially to highlight the brilliance of the company I should relay a little bit about the outcome of the stand. After three days of installation I’m happy to say that the stand looked exactly as planned and we received very positive comments from both Polish and Scandinavian clients. Whilst the concept of the design was well received it was felt that the reality exceeded the expectations.
After many months of planning we can now place a tick against Budma and start to plan the next project for Formica in Kortrijk, Belgium in April.
More tales of a traveller to come.