There are no Hamburgers in Hamburg

Hello from Hamburg, Germany.

I’m here today for a meeting with a creative director from our Hamburg office to discuss how to better align on a global account. In the morning I leave for another meeting in Basel, Switzerland.

Doesn’t it sound pretty glamorous and exciting?

Well, I have to admit. It is. It’s a lot of fun. It’s a lot of work. I’m physically tired. But it’s also a lot of fun. Don’t let anyone kid you, traveling the world on business is pretty cool.

I’ve already learned two things about Hamburg I didn’t know.  That everything is closed on Sunday. Everything (except restaurants). Want to go to the drug store. Sorry, don’t get sick on a Sunday. Want to shop for the perfect last-minute gift. Not on Sunday. It’s very quiet with all the shops closed. And I have to admit – it’s a little boring.

The second thing I noticed was at lunch – there wasn’t a Hamburger on the menu. Wait – shouldn’t every restaurant have a hamburger on the menu in Hamburg? That’s like not having a hot dog on the menu in Frankfurt. Wasn’t the hamburger invented here? Apparently not. Perhaps I just need to look a little harder.

The other thing I noticed about Hamburg is that people love their cars. I’ve seen more cool cars in the first hour after arriving than you see in a week in New York City. I saw two great cars parked on the street. An Audi A9 in a matte black paint finish and a Weisman sport coupe. I had never heard of the Weisman – but it was cool looking. People were actually taking a photo of the car as they were walking past.

Working in advertising has allowed me to travel to the four corners of the globe. Visit places that I may never had been exposed to without a business trip. I’ve been all over Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, the Caribbean and of course The United States. I’ve been to big cities and small towns. I’ve traveled to towns that were no bigger than four buildings. I’ve traveled to some amazing spots. Tokyo, Singapore, Sydney, Melbourne, Rio and Buenos Aries. I’ve been on millions of miles of flights. I’ve been to countless airports. And I’ve butchered countless languages.

And I would do it all over again – exactly the same way. I will admit I miss my family while traveling. (Thank heavens for cell phone, Skype and FaceTime) And I’ve probably missed my share of family events. But I think I’ve managed to keep work and home aligned nicely.

And I’ve learned a few things along the way. Like there are no hamburgers in Hamburg. I wonder if there’s basil and Basel.

3.19.12

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