Planes, busses, and more busses

Posted on April 5, 2008 by Chris Lumens in travel, work.

Today, I leave for a long work trip to Brno, Czech Republic. This is my first time flying outside of the continent so it’s about equal parts exciting and terrifying. While I’m looking forward to being over there and seeing some place totally new, I’m not really looking forward to the two bus rides and two plane rides I will be experiencing over the next eighteen hours. I would say that my flight is through KLM, but due to the maze of twisty code shares I am actually flying on Northwest. Whatever. As long as they serve some drinks I should be able to eventually fall asleep. I arrive sometime around 8pm local time tomorrow, which works out to 2pm Eastern. We’ll see how my body handles that.

The Czech language looks pretty impenetrable - full of strange combinations of consonants like zd and dz, and vowels I’ve never heard of like k. I’ve got a lot of maps and other information printed out so I should be able to find my way around reasonably well the first day or two, but I think there are going to be a lot of really disoriented moments and times where I just can’t understand what people are yelling at me. It should be a lot of fun.

While I’m there for work, I am hoping to be able to do some sightseeing as well. Brno looks like it should be an interesting mix of very old architecture, Soviet-era block buildings, and ultra-modern construction. As long as work doesn’t have me sitting behind a keyboard the entire time, I should be able to wander around the city and check everything out. Conveniently, I’ll be staying in a company apartment very close to downtown. I’m also planning a weekend trip to Prague (where I’ll be flying in and out of, incidentally) to tour that area. It’s supposed to be a very scenic place.

For English language entertainment while traveling and staying there, I’m taking Against the Day, Pynchon’s latest work (you’re on notice, Death Pact people) and my stack of Mystery Science Theater DVDs. That way when I get sick of listening to crazy Czech pop on the radio and soccer (or is that football?) on the TV, I can look at something whose sentence structure I understand.

Anyway, I had better step away from the computer and get this travel thing started. Updates to come in the future, hopefully more frequently than I’ve been doing. Having something new to talk about every day should help that.