A tale of two cities. Well three, I suppose

13 05 2012

So today I got back home from a week in Europe. I was attending a trade show in Düsseldorf, Germany, but staying in a hotel in Venlo in the Netherlands. I already posted photos of the lovely hotel I was staying in. If you missed them, look here.

I spent a little time on the Canon booth. Mainly drooling over the high end cameras and lenses on show, but also in awe at some of the industrial uses their printing equipment can be put to. I also checked out some packaging software vendors and was amazed at the complexity of designs that are possible with rigid packaging such as corrugated cardboard. I was in an amusing conversation with my Canadian born boss and a Southern UK employee. At one point I used the idiom “as bent as a nine-bob note”, which caused the Brit to ask how I knew such an obscure English term.

I looked him in the eye, as my first assumption was that this was a subtle ironic joke. Realising it wasn’t, I pointed out I was plainly a Yorkshireman, and though having been absent from said hallowed ground for a few years, was still fairly well acquainted with the language. He was amazed, and claimed that he’d assumed I was a “proper” Canadian from my accent. This made my boss laugh, as to his ear I sounded exactly like the Southerner. This made both myself and my British colleague give him the Paddington “extra hard stare”, and we all left in separate directions.

Around 6:30pm we headed out of Düsseldorf for London on a Lufthansa flight. The generously proportioned lady next to me complained bitterly about the tea being served with cream rather than milk. Having had it served to me that way several times in Canada, and also in the Netherlands and Germany, I gave her the polite version of “suck it up, Buttercup”, with my mind following with something along the lines of “if you like everything the way it is in the UK… why not just stay there?”

We over-nighted in the Park Inn at Heathrow, to catch the morning flight back home today. I was treated to a proper “Full English” breakfast, which incidentally, is never eaten by English folk except on holiday or at hotels. It turned out the hotel was temporary home to no less than 14 rugby teams, which I have to say behaved so impeccibly I would never have known. On leaving for the airport, I noticed one of the groups there was from Yorkshire. Small world.

I managed to sneak a quick trip to WH Smiths at the airport, and snagged a bag of Twiglets, Cheese and Onion crisps and a packet of Jaffa Cakes. I love BC dearly, but some things I do still miss from the UK. On the plane home, a middle-aged couple sat next to me turned out to be originally from Doncaster. We all agreed it was a good place to be from. They now lived in Nanaimo, here in BC… and the world noticeably shrank a little more.