Apr 17 2010 (Apr 17 2017)

The Happy Cab, Part II

Part II of the log I kept during the 20 hour drive on the IA Happy Cab (#iahappycab) that took us back from Warsaw, Poland, and the 1st Polish IA Conference (now UX Poland) to Hamburg and Copenhagen on Saturday April 17 2010. Featuring Eric Reiss (ER), Jim Kalbach (JK) and his wife and mixed media star Nat (NK). As much as John Cleese we had to beat the Eyjafjallajökull cloud and get home, but on a slightly smaller budget. Missed how it all started? Read Part I.

12:01 Entering Germany. More phones than humanly possible ring and beep and tweet as soon as the wheels touch Deutsch soil.

12:02 Eric is dying to put a Polish Ł in his tweets (for all you code freaks out there, that's HTML entity 321).

12:08 Pit stop just after the border. Official explanation: well, it's just about noon. Unofficial explanation: Jim badly needs a bratwurst.

12:32 On the road again, discussing Sarah Palin for no particular reasons. Or maybe it was the border (I can see Germany from my windows). Jim placated with a super-size-me feast of sausages. Now drools a bit as the cholesterol shot ebbs away, but I'm riding shotgun and taking pictures now, so that's somebody else's business. Handing paper to the guys in the back for their shoulders just in case (Road rule #1).

12:36 Dear Carsten, Polish roads are definitely better. On the other hand, the music in Germany is decidedly worse.

12:40 Never mention music: now we are sinking for good. Scorpions are on.

12:42 ETA to Hamburg: 3hrs. Nah.

12:45 Eric is getting all winded up on privacy issues and some connection with slowness: point is, in a taxi, suddenly Poland is a large country. Nobody gets it, and we all pretend that never happened.

12:50 Sudden doubt: was that the Malachi crunch or the Tamagotchi crunch? I decide to keep radio silence.

13:00 Finally getting into seminal IA talk, but rapidly derailing into signature wrestling moves.

13:15 Jim's phone is dying fast. Hopefully.

13:20 Bratwursts must have been drugged or something: a 10 minute discussion on what is a moose and what is an elk, from the different cultural perspectives. That is, North American and Scandinavian.

13:30 Note to self: never let Jim push you into a corner. Remember to look up the Swedish name for caribou. For EuroIA Paris. Ha!

13:32 Eric mentions rats and everyone just rolls their eyes.

13:40 Just noticed that between me, Eric and Jim we have been at all local conferences in Europe (that is, Italy, Germany, and Poland), and have opened, closed, or chaired all of them. Conference whores.

13:45 Fun fun fun on the autobahn. Radio plays something I could only describe as pop-punk-tribal. I had a friend who used to produce similar sounds when he was in distress, but then he got a good doctor.

14:00 Kind of loosing track of what's happening in the backseat. It seems they are discussing being fired because of the volcano. Or being set on fire because of the volcano. Or something.

15:00 Must have passed out for a little while. We are at a gas stop and I'm back in the back again.

15:14 Jim is now front, showing (literally) the happy driver the way to Hamburg and Kalbach Mansion.

15:18 Getting sleepy again. German landscape totally uneventful.

15:30 Discussing taxis and particularly taxis in New York. We just play it loud and snarky as we know our driver does not speak English. That is, so we believe.

15:36 Blanked out while entering Hamburg. Conversation not really up beat as early up, trip, conference, and bratwursts exert a toll.

15:49 Hamburg center. I have fond memories of getting lost on the ringway a thousand times on the way to Jyllands. Oh. There's the bakery we stopped at to ask for directions in 1998. And they sent us on a sightseeing tour of old Hamburg. Damn bastards.

16:15 Nat and Jim are safe home. No time to stop if I'm to catch the night bus to Stockholm which will take me home in Jönköping. We are rolling in five minutes, after our goodbyes. Thanks guys, it's been weird, but damn fun.

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