Thursday, September 07, 2006

news from Europe

This blogger is spending a few days in some corner of the German speaking world, on work by the way, vacation after, elsewhere. His first time in Euorpe since 2002. Well, Europe kept progressing but more startingly, I am realizing how provincial we Venezuelans are becoming (or already became?). Some quick notes.

Frankfurt airport was a nice place to spend while waiting for a connection that took a few hours. The impressive shopping area looks fancier than any mall in Venezuela, at least as far as the variety if goods offered. "un emporio!"

The cosmopolitanism of the crowds in the airport makes Chavez looks even more provincial. His little gatherings of the "youth of the world" and other assorted self flattering self serving offices are nothing compared to what I observed in the hall ways. From incredible tattoes, to fabulous sari clad women, Sikhs turbans everywhere and African chiefs in full garb. I did not see a kimono but I am sure that if my plane had been further delayed one would have crossed my path. None of these people wastes time visiting Venezuela.

The conference I am attending is describing the agribusiness progress in the rest of the world. Every body seems on the road to prosperity and increasing GDP. All speakers ignore LatAm or make pessimnistic comments about it (except for Brazil, Chile ignored as not a commodities producer). We are just not going to be players, no matter what Chavez says. Though at least one speaker pointed out the potential for trouble of Venezuela. I was not proud.

But the most striking moment for me was at the airport. In the bus that was waiting for the participants arriving for the conference, climbed someone coming from India, all worn out from his trip, having visibly sojourned in muggy tropical airports. Well, he just flipped his cell phone and started making calls after calls. I did think about subscribing to a cell phone for this trip, but the cost in Venezuela, or the currencz limitations make this an option for only very high palced executives. At this conference almost any non German folk flips a cel phone here and there. And by the way, my fellow Indian recovered quite well from his trip and was much better dressed than me the next day...

Sorry for typos, but no spell checker and German key board...

More irregualr posting as I can.

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