So, I am on my way back from a 2 day trip to Bucharest with work. It sounds glamorous doesn’t it?
How about if I tell you the hotel we stayed in was also hosting the Vice President of the USA whilst we were there.
A hotel that has bedrooms bigger than many people’s flats. The bathroom was twice the size of my bedroom.
The hotel also had a shopping mall with shops selling Rolexes, Gucci, a diamond shop etc.
All meals were provided as well.
Think you fancy the trip?
Well let me add a few things.
Security was so tight that everytime you came into the hotel you had to be searched like at the airport. To go to the toilet from the bar, you had to undergo this procedure as well?
Tuesday I left home at 7am UK time and after travelling to Heathrow I took the flight to romania where we were taken directly to our hotel. No chance of sightseeing. Indeed we never left the hotel until it was time to return home on thursday.
Wednesday was the conference formal start at 0900 with talks & presentations until 1800, then a short break before a formal meal that we had to attend. It was around 2230 before we got a chance to be off duty. So that was around 13 hours working day.
Thursday, the conference started at 0700 UK time and at lunchbreak, we were taken back to the airport. Here we had the news our flight was 3 hours or so delayed. Bucharest Airport is not the most exciting place to loiter. As the delay gradually increased, so did the boredom.
The delay means we will not get to Heathrow until after2100. This means that after getting baggage, several tubes and a train, I will be home about midnight, some 17 hours after starting work.
In 2 days I will have been on duty some 30 hours. I should have worked 14.5 hours in that time. Time off in lieu? I should be so lucky . I HAVE to be in work first thing Friday morning.
Still, I shouldn’t complain as I got the chance to visit Bucharest for the first time. A chance for sightseeing at work’s expense.
I have included all the photos of Bucharest I took in this blog. What’s that you say, you can’t see the photos? That is probably because I never got to see anything of the place. I never got out of the hotel. That is hardly because we were partying as my bar bill at the hotel prices came to a staggering £10 in 2 days.
What did I learn on this conference? Well I learned all the stereo types are right. The UK were seen as being awkward for not agreeing to the proposals that were outside the scope ofthe work. The europhile countries oppose whatever the UK say on a point of principle. The northern european countries are our friends & the Irish like a drink
Foreign travel, glamorous? Not when you are travelling for work.
I can’t wait for my brief visit to my bed before work tomorrow. Luxury is getting home and into my bed.
Would I do the same trip again if I got the chance? Yes, most definitely. Its long hours, hard work but very interesting. A chance to make a real contribution to international law enforcement & help shape the future.