The last few work days have seen me visiting innumerable websites of software vendors and service providers in the commodity trading and risk management space. Here I am sat in my apartment in Prague visiting the sites of all of the companies dotted all over the world and for 90% of these companies I have done some sort of business with them. Each site conjures up a whole bunch of memories going back 20+ years of people and places. It makes me feel somehow sad that so much time has passed and yet glad that I was lucky enough to visit these places and interact with many of these people.
I was just visiting the website of a company in Calgary, Alberta. I used to visit Calgary and Vancouver perhaps once per month at one point in my life. I enjoyed both cities sat out on the edge of the mountains with modern high rise city centers. Calgary’s climate was brutal in the winter but they have glass corridors connecting most of the buildings downtown so that you can walk indoors everywhere. It is called the plus15 and you can see the layout here. I was also always struck by the rather odd mixture of quaint British culture mixed with a very aggressive US culture. There really were department stores there that reminded me of Grace Brothers from ‘Are You Being Served?’. I also recall visiting a number of excellent new age stores in Calgary and that is where I bought one of my favorite books called The Zelator. I won’t mention the companies involved but their staff were always welcoming and personal and I really enjoyed visiting Calgary.
Then there was Denver. The mile high city again on the edge of the mountains. I liked Denver too. I had a good business contact there who lived up in the mountains and he would invite me to his family home. Simply amazing place. Denver was also the site of my worst experience of being drunk but that’s another story I think. Suffice to say, altitude and alcohol don’t mix so good.
Other places I have fond memories of visiting include New York where I would also stay with a friend and his wife in their apartment overlooking the river – such a glorious view. Only place I ever had 9 meetings in one day starting with breakfast and ending with dinner!. Boise, Idaho too. I had a small client there at one time and visited a couple of times. Small town in the midst of amazing scenery and great fishing. Emeryville, California where I used to go once a month when with Sybase, Inc. occasionally staying the weekend for a trip to Nappa Valley! I didn’t much care for LA to be honest but I did make it to San Diego and that climate cannot be beaten. I sometimes really really miss Houston and the USA. I really do. So many friends there and my boys too.
Of course, in Europe I have been lucky too to spend time in places like Barcelona, Nice, Geneva, Zurich, Paris, Amsterdam and other such places. At one time, I used to spend a week once per quarter at a chateau on the outskirts of Paris to give training courses in energy to other consultants. That place was luxury without a doubt with gold plated faucets…… Take a look at the place – Behoust it is called and back then, it was owned by Cap Gemini Sogeti.
Yep, its been a trip down memory lane and some darn good memories they were too….
A final thought. It’s funny but at the time I didn’t have a bloody clue how lucky I was to be visiting all these places and meeting all these amazing people that filled my life. And here I am sat in Prague taking it all for granted again…. though I do keep records of visits to places here at this blog.