Trip to Prague

I just came back from a week-long trip to the City of Prague – the capital and largest city of the Chech Republic – to participate in Novell developer’s team summit. Just saying that I had such a good time is an understatement. It was a blast! The weird thing is that this was the first time I ever met with anybody who is involved in the OO.o project face-to-face, and instead of text-only communication that we normally conduct, talking with actual voice and seeing their physical face brings such a warm, pleasant feeling to the conversation.

Aside from the meetings we had in the office, we spent the evenings and the Saturday exploring the city. The most memorable moment of course is the “blackout” incident on Thursday.

Here is the story. We went by train to a small town outside of Prague on Thursday evening. The plan was to find a restaurant in that town to sit down, relax, eat and chat (the usual stuff). We got off the train, and headed for the first restaurant closest from the train station, but unfortunately it was closed. But hey, accidents happen all the time, so we immediately regrouped and headed for the second restaurant in town, thinking that the odds of two restaurants being closed were very low.

And guess what, the second restaurant was also closed! Jan, our trusted local guide, sensed that something was wrong, so he found someone local and asked him what was going on. We then found out that there was a power outage in that town, and as a result of that all their local restaurants were forced to close for the evening.

At that point, our only choices were either to wait one hour for the next train, or walk 6 kilometers to the next town and hope that the power outage didn’t reach there. We chose the latter.

Long story short, we ended up walking that long 6-kilometer trail through the woods to the next town, to finally find a restaurant! In retrospect, though, it was probably the best team-building exercise anyone could have come up with (plus a good exercise physically). :-) But I’d rather not go through that again. ;-)

This trip was actually my first visit to Europe, and I’m sure I’ll be back again. It’s sad that we don’t know when we will meet each other again the next time, but hopefully not too distant future.