I am in Paris this week for a customer visit at the demo centre Sun have here. Flew in this afternoon, off home again on Wednesday.
Paris is not part of my usual beat - much as I enjoy visiting the cities in my region, it's nice to have the chance to go 'somewhere nice' for a change. Ever since mid-Europe was taken out of the area I cover, there's been a distinct lack of visits to 'easier' places for me.
What do I mean by 'easy'?
- Getting on and off the plane doesn't involve any pushing or shoving, excessive hand luggage in plastic bags everywhere, people jumping up the minute the wheels touch the ground, etc.
- No smelliness on the plane\*
- No need for visas, you walk straight in, without any confusion as to where you are supposed to queue.
- Sensible driving (thought this may not apply in Paris!).
- Smooth roads.
- No deadly diseases. Or mosquitoes.
- No visible signs of heavy security. (Having a gentlemen with a rifle sitting outside the lift of your hotel floor is both reassuring and rather worrying at the same time, but isn't a situation I would actively choose to find myself in. Same goes for armoured vehicles sitting outside reception).
- Getting to meetings using easy, efficient public transport, rather than bouncing around in the back of a Toyota Corolla for hours on end.
- Being able to walk around outside the hotel in the evenings on my own, partly because it's safe to do so, partly because there is actually something to do and see.
- Decent toilets. (Using a squat toilet when wearing a suit, with no toilet paper in site is not something I enjoy).
- A climate that suits my English constitution.
I'm looking forward to this week!\*\*
\* I fully understand that my fellow passengers on certain routes simply aren't able to get access to showers and soap as easily as I can. That's not their fault.
\*\* Sun shareholders need not worry, this meeting is for a very important project. I promise to be back in my old haunts regularly during the remainder of Q4!