When Dreams Collide

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by NealRomeoGolf, May 2, 2017.

  1. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf Pattern Altitude

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    I calculated the AvGas at Speyer to be running about $7.75 a gallon. Ouch.
     
  2. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf Pattern Altitude

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    The museum in Speyer is the sister museum to the one in Sinsheim. I hear the Sinsheim one is bigger but this one was pretty good. Sinsheim is the one right off the A6. To get to Speyer you have to get off the A6 and cross the Rhine River.
     
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  3. Skywalker

    Skywalker Line Up and Wait

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    And don’t forget the landing fee. We had to pay 17 Euros per landing (touch & go is a landing!) on a weekend (Friday through Sunday). :yikes:
     
  4. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf Pattern Altitude

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    Ouch. It would be fun to get a plane and go buzz some castles though. We went to Hohenzollern and there were a number of planes flying by. It was a beautiful day in October. Perfect weather for castle buzzing.
     
  5. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf Pattern Altitude

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    I get to necro post my own thread. Our stay in Germany is coming to an end in a few months. Here is what I have learned while here:

    I have learned that hard work is good for you, but too much is not.
    I have learned some of the German language.
    I have learned that it is hard to integrate companies.
    I have learned that Germans hate change (and probably so do most people).
    I have learned how to have empathy for employees that are burned out.
    I have learned how to lead larger groups of people.
    I have learned that I can't do it all, but I will try anyway.
    I have learned how to say no, but not very well.
    I have learned that people have a very limited view of reality.
    I have learned that integration methods of acquired companies can have long lasting effects and that spending money upfront is way easier than doing it later.
    I have learned that people like working for me.
    I have learned that I work for a US company that works internationally, not an international company.
    I have learned that I really like the US, even with all its imperfections.
    I have learned how to consolidate consolidations.
    I have learned that things are never as simple as they seem.
    I have learned that I get really grumpy when I feel like I am not in control of my life.
    I have learned to pay attention to tax implications across borders.
    I have learned that I cannot live without air conditioning, chocolate chips and tacos.
    I have learned that international living is very lonely.

    I have also gotten to experience many places while we were here. I could have experienced more, but the fatigue from the long hours usually limited our (my) energy to longer trips. We have done:

    Austrian Alps - a long weekend before the snow season. Peaceful with nobody around and just enjoying the mountains.
    Paris - including a day at the French Open with my father (a big tennis buff).
    The Hague - I love the friendliness of the Dutch. An Gouda cheese (by the way, Americans say Gouda wrong) is my favorite, especially when buying it in the town of Gouda.
    London (and other UK sites) - fun town and got to see the house my 10th great grandfather built in 1633.
    Brussels - the waffles and chocolate are amazing.
    Munich - just a quick trip but fun to drive the autobahn between Augsburg and Munich where doing 215 (kmh) was easy.
    Prague - what a great city. And trdelniks are to die for if you love sweets.
    Seychelles - not a European country, but easier to get to from Europe. Paradise.
    Ireland - going there in 2 weeks - can report back later.

    I only got to fly once while over here. Almost got a second flight in, but weather canceled it. The one flight was in a Stampe biplane. The second flight would have been in a Klemm. I have been working 60 hour weeks for the most part here and that just really crimps your ability to commit to being in a club, which is really all they have here. The language barrier also presents its own challenges.

    So back home in a few months. My PA28 awaits with its second G5 and new GNC 355. Can't wait to get back to doggie flights and other joy riding. And hopefully I can find a CFII around to start on my instrument.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2020
  6. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

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    Welcome home soon!

    I like your learnings. Some come from getting older, but some come from experiencing life outside the US.

    I work for a German company that acquired us, a US company, almost 3 years ago. We are still far from integrated, and I’m not talking culture. Signs and logos got swapped on day 1, culture is ongoing, but IT systems have been a challenge.

    I’m sure you’re ready to be back.
     
  7. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf Pattern Altitude

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    One thing I want to do when I get back is fly over to KLAF and grab some South Street Smokehouse. You in?
     
  8. IK04

    IK04 Pattern Altitude

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    I hope you like wine. That will make living in that area more wunderbar!
     
  9. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf Pattern Altitude

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    Ich trinke kein Alkohol.....so no, it has not helped.
     
  10. IK04

    IK04 Pattern Altitude

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    Ich hoffe, Sie haben die Landschaft bereist und all die cool alten Schlösser gesehen!
     
  11. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

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    Let’s do it!! Propose a time.
     
  12. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I wish I would’ve learned the language and seen more while there but I too was busy. Good people, good food and good beer but I’ll still take living in the US any day.
     
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  13. Sluggo63

    Sluggo63 Line Up and Wait

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    It's funny, our German adventures pretty much coincided. We just moved back this past October. We do miss it though. We're actually thinking about bidding back there in a few years.

    I agree with a lot of your list, my lack of German language skills was the biggest hindrance moving over there initially. By the time the three years was up, my restaurant and shopping German was passable, but anything beyond that and I was lost. Being gone half the month flying really didn't give me the opportunity to immerse myself in the language like I would have liked. If we do end up going back, I'm going to take some German language classes before we go back over.

    I have to say the things I learned were:
    • "German efficiency" is a myth. "German bureaucracy" is more like it. The trains don't run on time and the busses show up when they show up.
    • There is red tape to get just about anything done, anywhere, at any time when you are dealing with the German government.
    • The cost of living over there was much less than it is in the US. Most everything is less expensive in Germany than it is here... groceries, utilities, etc. There are exceptions (gasoline), but I thought our dollar/Euro stretched a lot farther there.
    • The German people are a hard nut to crack, but once you do, we found them to be warm and inviting and friendly. It could be because we were living in Köln, which is an anomaly as far as being typically German. But my wife became friends with two local women there which I'm sure will be life long friendships for her.
    • The world is big and there is a lot to see and you'll never see it all. The biggest reasons we went on that little adventure was to try something different and to take advantage of the travel opportunities. I think we did okay. In the almost 3 years we were there, we hit countless cities in 30 different countries. And everytime we crossed a location off our list, we ended up adding three more to it. The list never ended.
     
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  14. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller Final Approach

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    I now have the need to be in Luxembourg 3 or 4 times per year. Anyone with local knowledge?

    The first trip has to be a quick in-and-out due to other commitments. April or May for the next trip...

    -Skip
     
  15. Sluggo63

    Sluggo63 Line Up and Wait

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    Tiny country, obviously. Not too much to do in Luxembourg. Walk along the wall and look down at the city. Check out the old town. If you're into WWII and you've never been to a US cemetery overseas, definitely go check out the US cemetery in Luxembourg. Patton is buried there. Just a short drive from there is a German WWII cemetery. Check that out and compare the two. The difference is stark.

    Lots of quick day trips from there. Trier (Germany) is a great old town, and if you have the time, also check out Monschau, although that's a bit farther. The Ardennes is very close for more WWII Battle of the Bulge stuff.
     
  16. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I just ate some real Dutch Gouda today. It really isn't quite the same the way it's sold in the USA. And we can't say it right here because we don't have the guttural G sound like they do in Dutch and German.

    I hope you had some poffertjes and stroopwafels while you were there too...

    Sounds like you've had an excellent adventure! :thumbsup:
     
  17. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf Pattern Altitude

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    If we end up missing it, it will be a huge surprise. As of now, I don't ever want to work outside the US again. And totally agree about the German efficiency myth.
     
  18. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf Pattern Altitude

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    We only drove through on our way to Brussels. You looking for sights to see or local knowledge of customs, etc? My dad has a friend living there. That's about all I got.
     
  19. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf Pattern Altitude

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    When we are settled back in I will let you know!
     
  20. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf Pattern Altitude

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    Wir haben die folgende Schlossen gesehen:

    Burg Eltz
    Schloss Heidelberg
    Schloss Schwetzingen
    Neuschwanstein
    Burg Hohenzollern
    Residenzschloss Ludwigsburg
    Schloss Vaduz

    Meine Tochter hat auch mit die Schule ein Schloss besucht....somewhere up north. The kids get tired of castles after a while.
     
  21. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    Welcome back (almost). It's been a roughly 3 year stint overseas in Germany?

    After more than a decade of living abroad in the Middle East, London and Kazakhstan, and working throughout those extended regions, including parts of Africa and continental Europe, I came to the firm conclusion most of the rest of the world will never be able to compete economically with the USA.

    Europe is both insanely expensive and insanely inefficient. It took 22 days to get a phone hooked up in my apartment in Kensington in London - and all the technician needed to do when he got there was 2 minutes of work at the pedestal on the curbside. :fingerwag: He said it took 21 days to get a parking permit from the Borough, and 1 day for BT to schedule the job. At least in the Middle East you can pay someone to get the job done quickly. :p

    Regardless it was a fabulous life experience even if, like you, I had to suspend my flying. I do miss London and being able to conveniently travel from there throughout Europe enjoying the fabulous food, wines, museums and art galleries.

    One mid-week day I borrowed a car from one of my biz partners in Geneva and with a friend drove south into France, to the stunningly beautiful lakeside medieval town of Annecy. It was a warm day and during lunch all the outdoor cafe tables were packed with families - 2 or 3 generations dining together, a bottle of wine on many tables, and a leisurely two hours+ used up in the middle of the day. Although France is less productive and won't ever compete with the US economy, I must admit for a moment I did wonder whom amongst us was living better. :idea: I think some of our current generation (the infamous Millennials) are perhaps asking a similar question?

    Annecy-France.jpg
     
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  22. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf Pattern Altitude

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    That's the irony of the whole experience of an American working in Europe under an American contract. My people are limited to 35/40 hour weeks. Any OT I have to comp them back, meaning I can never get ahead of the work without hiring more people. But hey, an American can pick up the slack, right? So I work 60 hours a week to make up for all the work my employees can't. If I were limited to the European rules, I would probably enjoy living here more. It's really the work that ruined the experience.

    Europe has great views:

    IMG_1469.JPG

    IMG_1390.JPG

    IMG_2082.JPG
     
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  23. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    Oh, it could be worse. Waaaay worse. :D

    Ah yes, the life of an expat. When I first went to the Middle East I was the Managing Director for the MENA region (Middle East & North Africa) for a Fortune 50 company headquartered in Houston, TX. Our trading office was in London, England. And I lived in the Persian Gulf, where the "weekend" is Friday and Saturday. So I got to start my day in the Gulf, pick up when London opened and continue into the early evening on their time, then work into the late evening because Houston was now open and calling/emailing, and work Sunday through Friday continuously. Most Saturday afternoons were travel days to be there for the beginning of the work week on Sunday.

    I'd rather deal with German labor rules and productivity, as interesting as they are, instead of the Egyptians, LOL.

    Lovely pictures, btw. That's part of the upside to it all.
    All the interesting people, places and experiences I had, and a lifetime of stories that come with that, more than made up for the many, many frustrations.
    Hopefully you will find the same as you look back on the experience in the fullness of time.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2020
  24. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    I’m glad to hear you’re coming back stateside. I’m also envious of your willingness to do an assignment like that. To be honest, I just couldn’t see doing it myself. 2 years seems like the right amount of time to see a lot and do a lot, but still get back home.