14 June

Last week I was in Brussels, Belgium and London, England. Despite the omnipresent spectre of a European debt meltdown and financial calamity, everything looked pretty normal both in the halls of business and research, and out in the tourist-filled streets. Naturally, the financial situation was a recurring topic of conversation, and doubtless is making an impact on long-term planning, but at the same time everything seems to be proceeding quite normally on a day-to-day basis. This is a bit of a contrast from what some of my friends in the Canadian finance sector seems to be saying or doing, or what my friends in Greece are doing, but maybe it's due to the fact that as a casual visitor I don't really know what's going on at the more profound planning levels.

I don't like jet lag and it seems to bother me especially on trips to Europe. This time, I got a bout of food poisoning at the start of my trip in addition, so even now, a week later, I am still dipping into my energy reserves to function normally. Luckily, I was over my acure misery the next morning and was able to do the work I had come for. While I have only had food poisoning a few times, it has always amazed my how quickly we can switch from feeling great to being laid low.

After having visited both cities several times, I didn't try to squeeze in any stereotypical tourist venues, but did my work, visited a bit with old friends, hung out a bit with some esteemed colleagues, and just absorbed the general ambiance. Of course, in Belgium (after I recovered) ) did make sure I got to buy and eat a range of the exotic chocolates the city is known for.

By Gregory Dudek at | Leave a comment |    
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