Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for February 17th, 2010

Euro Zoning

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Hola from Madrid.

Only I would fly all the way across the pond to miss all the mobile industry action taking place in….Barcelona.

Never mind I’m a huge Gaudi fan…although I would love to see the progress made at Sagrada Familia since I was last in Barcelona in 2000…but no, the action has been at the Mobile World Congress there, the news from which I’ve hardly been able to keep up with.  Feel free to send me a debrief.

What I have been keeping up with are some fun anecdotes from my travels (travails?) across EMEA.

First, in a beer hall in Boeblingen the other night, we discovered inadvertently that the chef of the restaurant was from Ghana.

One of my IBM associates hails from there, so we twisted his arm to go back to the kitchen to say hello.

When my IBM amigo started speaking “Twi,” the Ghanian dialect he hadn’t spoken in thirty-something years, the Ghanian/German chef stared at him in wide-eyed amazement.

It’s not every day that someone comes along and speaks to you in your native, relatively obscure language, but it sure put a smile on all our faces to see both their reactions.

It was what I called a true moment of globalization.  In Boeblingen, Germany, no less.

Then there was my airline anecdote.

Apparently I was stuck on a plane myself, as I only just heard about the Kevin Smith “Too Fat To Fly” episode. Oy vey…good luck to everyone digging out from under that mess.

But as we pulled into the airport in Madrid, I saw a much less subtle approach to marketing communications.

On a RyanAir plane that was parked just across the way, there was a simple message for their competitor, that large unnamed German airline, painted in bright blue letters on the side of the RyanAir plane for all the world to see.

The message said simply this: “Bye Bye Late-Hansa.”

Ouch.  They play full contact soccer over here!

I must say, it’s amazing to be here 17 months after September 2008, when the financial crisis in the U.S. started into full tilt, and to still find such a mess of a situation with Greece.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that German and French banks carry a combined $119 billion in exposure to Greek borrowers, and more than $900 billion to Greece and other countries on the euro-zone’s vulnerable periphery: Portugal, Ireland and Spain.

There’s even talk from some journalists of a split in the Euro.

I’m no economist, so I can’t add much value to that particular discussion.

But please, don’t make the split until I’m heading out of Milan on Saturday so I don’t get totally s—wed on my exchange rate.

Better yet, beers on me at the Milanese pub…if there is such a thing.  I’ll be the obnoxious American at the end of the bar trying to buy everyone a Bud…the American/Dutch kind, NOT the Czech one.  LOL

But whatever you do, don’t try to talk “Twi” to me, because in the end…I hate to say it…it’s all Greek to me.

Written by turbotodd

February 17, 2010 at 7:10 am

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