When you leave for a car trip to Germany to meet your colleagues, you don’t imagine that there’s a party waiting for you! A journey that should have lasted eight hours, but due to traffic, rain and all the possible unforeseen events, it turned into into a 12-hour epic.
But let’s step back and tell you about this experience from the beginning!
Why is travelling important for our job?
We often travel for work to meet our local partners. We want to “feel first-hand” what your trip will be: places, experiences, gastronomy, the best accommodations.
Generally we know what the program is, but this time everything has been a surprise!
A difficult trip to Germany!
We were invited to the party in honor of the 75th year of activity of a German Agency with which we have been collaborating for ages, located in a small Bavarian town near Nuremberg! Unfortunately we found out a few days before. We were engaged in an inspection in the mountains: between the day of our return and the day of the party there was only… one day! So we couldn’t find a comfortable flight and we didn’t have time to book an hotel. Without losing heart, we left with our camperized car towards our destination!
At the beginning we were more than happy, we bought donuts, cappuccino, and pizza for lunch. Then the endless queues, the adverse weather, the search for an available campsite and finally the navigator that took us to our destination via a road in the middle of a forest like in an horror movie, weakened our energy.
Once we reach the closed campsite, impatient to arrive, eat and take a shower, that was not all! A treasure hunt awaited us to look for the keys to open the automatic gate and then the pitch, whose number was hidden by the grass! In the end we succeeded, at this point what else could have happened?! The stomach began to gurgle, but everything was closed. It was dark, it was raining and the sky was illuminated only by lightning. We left the campsite and like a mirage, on the opposite side of the arrival we saw a sort of restaurant. As soon as we arrived in front of it the restaurateurs told us it was closed!
We begged them to eat whatever was available and they were so kind o tell us ok! But the dish they served us wasn’t a succulent Bavarian frankfurter but vinegared onions with a slice of dark bread!
The first day ended with an epic journey that we now remember with a smile!
Second day in Germany: the party!
The next day we woke up early to reach the place where the party would take place. The navigator took us in front of a Luna Park but this time it wasn’t wrong! At the end of the Luna Park there was a big entrance located in front of a huge tent from which German music came.
We looked at each other amazed, we entered and… it was like being catapulted into the Oktoberfest a couple of months in advance! Under the awning, endless rows of people dressed with the typical costume of the area. They were sitting in front of plates full of frankfurters, chips, roast chickens, Schnitzel and beer. Waiters went around the tables carrying huge trays and belts with drinks such as apple juice attached!
We met our colleagues who welcomed us, inviting us to sit next to them and order something to drink and eat. And after a couple of frankfurters, schnitzel and chips, songs, hymns, come the stars of the event! Some very well-known singers in Germany who performed and involved the audience!
At a certain point, almost everyone present climbed onto the wobbly tables and started singing and dancing! Our colleagues explained us that all this is absolutely normal. They encouraged us to do the same because remaining seated on these occasions is a lack of respect!
So we climbed onto the rickety tables singing in German and dancing until the evening! It was one of the funniest experiences I’ve ever had! It was certainly very useful from an empathetic point of view and allowed us to know the real local culture!
Now you are surely thinking that this is a “singular” way of working with colleagues! But don’t worry! The following day we reached the operational headquarters of our partners with whom we made plans, agreements, created new experiences, all sitting (this time!) around a table, in a serious and professional way!
And how did the return trip?! A bit like the first journey, but without the anxiety of not arriving in time and with a few more stops! Let’s say it was a unique experience that enriched us!