Category: World Tour
So not much sleep on Sunday night, even though I was jetlagged. I attribute that to nerves and anticipation.
I must say the client here is taking very good care of us. They have a driver that picks us up every day from the hotel, as well as brings us back. Not having to worry about transportation take a major load off the mind.
We showed up at the client office around noon, and immediately went to lunch! Most of the staff here are working afternoon and evening shifts, to help support other offices around the world. So our normal work day this week will be from 12 pm – 10 pm, which definitely throws off the internal clock some.
Lunch was a restaurant with some traditional Filipino cuisine. I tried ox tongue! It was rather good. And I had a great dessert that was purple, that I can’t remember the name of.
After lunch we toured the client offices, where we met everyone that worked there, about 200 people. Again, everyone here in Manila is incredibly nice and polite. I’ve also picked up a couple of words in Filipino: “How Are You”, which sounds a lot like how you would say it in Spanish, and “Thank You”, which is “salama”. I’ve been saying “salama” a lot.
The rest of the day was spent in some process meetings, and then we started doing some Service Manager customizations. About 9 PM we stopped and went to dinner at a steak restaurant, that wouldn’t have been out of place in Tupelo.
I’m on my world-wide adventure this week. Work has taken me to Manila, Philippines for the next 7 days. This trip marks the farthest I’ve traveled from home yet, as well as the longest transit time (30+ hours) of a trip that I’ve taken.
My adventure started Friday morning, with the first leg of my trip being a jump from Memphis, TN to Detroit, Michigan. No major surprises on that leg. I ended up with a five hour layover in Detroit, so I decided to take advantage of the Delta SkyClub. This was my first time in a SkyClub, and I must say it was a nice one. Yes, they have free snacks and drinks, but what really worked for me this time were the private dedicated work areas. During my layover I spent most of my time helping some consultants with a problem, and the private internet access as well as workspace made that a much better experience than it would have been sitting at a chair in the food court of the airport.
The next leg of my journey was from Detroit, MI to Nagoya, Japan. That’s right, Japan! This flight was about 13 hours, and the plane was huge. It was nice though, and was probably the most comfortable flight I have taken in a long time, with some very good food as well. I tried to sleep on the plane, but never really achieved anything other than a light doze. I did catch up on some movies that I have missed (Thor 2 being one of them).
In Nogayo, I only had a two hour layover. But it was still more than enough time to completely impress me with how polite Japenese society is. Case in point: I made a purchase while in the airport, and the person who rang me up handed my credit card back to me with both hands. Small things like that have a huge impact, because they show respect. And I found everyone there very helpful and friendly. Here’s to hoping my travel’s bring me back there again one day.
Final leg of the trip was from Nagoya, Japan, to Manila, Philippines, which was about a 4 hour flight. Now, I’ve already crossed the international date line at this point, so I’ve lost a day. We land in Manila a little after midnight, but you would never know it from the airport. It was packed. And finally, I made it to my hotel about 1 AM local time. Total travel from from when I got up in Tupelo, MS to when I got to my hotel in Manila, almost 30 hours.
So today marks my first full day in Manila. It’s Sunday, so official work doesn’t start till tomorrow. In attempt to reset my internal clock (which is 14 hours behind local time), I dragged myself out of bed this morning after only about 6 hours sleep. Today has been spent exercising (the hotel has a wonderful fitness center), answering some emails, and wondering around the hotel and taking in a little local culture. Everyone I’ve run into has been extremely friendly and helpful.
I must say though, that while I’m looking forward to this week, I’m missing my family already. It is very strange being on completely separate sleep cycles then they are, and it makes telephone communication a little difficult.
So there you go, my first update on what I’m calling on Twitter #MickeysWorldWideTour (though I guess it is really only a 1/2 WorldWideTour).