May 22, 2008

The business trip

Laptop? -- Check
Notebook? -- Check
USB key, blah? -- Check

Having never been on a business trip before, I really had no idea what to expect from our meeting with the partners of the project. The train was at 7:24 am and that meant I had to get up atleast at 5:30 am if I had any chance of having my wake-up chai and make it in ample time to the station (I had better get there coz I had my professor's tickets as well). And after what seemed like eons (15 months since the defense), I stepped into formals and made my way to the station.

7:00am - Paris Gare du Nord. Yup, I was there. The train wasn't. They hadn't announced the platform yet. That meant I had enough time to grab a croissant at the Bonne Journee downstairs and yet, there was no sign of the professor. He and I had decided to meet there at 10 past 7. So he still had time to show up. Having munched my croissant and whiled away time just idling & looking around (I'd forgotten the Ipod - no 'check' for that one!), I glanced up at the DEPARTURES board again. And sure enough the 7:24 Lyon Parrache had Voie 3 (Platform 3)next to it... A quick glance later, I figured Voie 3 was right there and I wouldn't have to walk at all...

7:15am - No sign of the professor. I did have his phone number but I didn't want to bother him. Maybe he was waiting on the platform for me. I waded past the crowds upstairs and located our coach number. No. 5. Surely he had no idea it was no. 5 because I had the tickets. I flipped out my cell phone and called him.

7:18am - He's at the station somewhere at a coffee shop having coffee.
"There's time but I'll join you", he tells me...
Really? There's 6 minutes for the train to leave. There's time? I see him come by in about 3 minutes and I had just started to get really nervous and was contemplating a second phone call. We swiftly wave our tickets at the checking people. And no sooner had we located our seats, hung our coats and put away the luggage, the train glides off away from the station.

Now its my professor's turn to be shocked.
"It was this close?", he asks me in disbelief.
Hmm... I guess its the Indians that have the habit of making the train stations at least an hour before departure. Hmph


Shiva kumar Shankar said...

too much, and a brilliant exciting one.

Anonymous said...

great blog felt as if we were with u and the way its written makes u feel that u are a part of the happening keep it up'

Jaya said...

Shiva & Appa - Thank you

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