So I got to go to Berlin for business and I was pretty excited about it – especially when I was allowed to take 3 days off and fly out to berlin early, on the company’s tab. Well, in all fairness, I saved the company about 100 bucks flying out early, but it’s both irrelevant and moot because I got to go out early.
Since I wouldn’t have a room for the first three nights, my supervisor was kind enough to let me crash with him for the first couple of nights until my room came through. Think about it… Berlin, three days, free room, free plane ticket. How sweet is that?
Well, we get in to Berlin Monday morning and that day is a complete waste because of the time difference. I ended up sleeping most of the day. Once Steve, my supervisor/good friend, came back from the office that night, I used his GPS phone to call my folks and let them know I got there okay.
My mom, who is adament about me not flying anywhere because of terrorism (because, you know, that would never happen in the US), was glad to here from me and basically told me not to tell anyone I was an American. In her mind, Americans are shot on site outside of the US. And maybe Canada.
I told my mom I was at a Mariott in Germany. I say this because it is important.
Anyway, I hung the phone, got the obligatory grief from Steve, and we headed up to the executive lounge.
Oh yeah, did I mention the executive lounge has free beer until 12ish? Free GERMAN beer? Yeah, it does. Life was good for that week and 1/2.
After walking around the city, I went to work on Thursday and took a break around 3 to go check into my room. I walk over to the hotel and proceed up to the desk, praying ot God I get the hottie that’s on the left to help me, and not Franz, the big dude on the right. He just wasn’t as attractive. God smiled down on me, because I did indeed proceed up to the hottie on the left. But, the thing is, God wasn’t smiling down on me because he was doing me a favor, he was smiling down because he knew the punchline.
I’m getting to it.
So I smile at Helga (not really her name, but all German women are Helga, all Russian are Olga – everyone knows that) and start the check in process, making small talk the whole time. See, I’m trying to get myself a tour guide. Trying being the keyword, but, hey, she was making small talk back, so I thought there might be an in.
Right when I was about to make my move, she says, “Oh! I almost forgot Mr. Redrum, we are supposed to tell you as soon as we see you that your mother called.”
“Really? Wow. That’s interesting. She didn’t even know what city I was in.”
“Well, that’s pretty impressive because I don’t know how many hotels we have, but I know we have over 17,000 beds.” She said. Smiling.
Without another word, I took my key, went to my room and wept.
I’m 32 years old. I’ve been out of my parent’s house for 10 or 11 years. I’m in another country. And mommy still manages to track me down.
Thank God for that free beer in the executive lounge.