I have decided that I could totally learn German if I were to stay here very long. When I first got here I could read about half of what I saw but now after a week I can actually understand about half of what is being said. I almost always know the gist of the conversation. Today was another great day. They toured me around a lot of the plant. I don’t know if I mentioned this (I actually think I did but I will say it again) but this place is 25 km2 and covers 11 km of the Reine river. They actually have their own little refinery on site. They buy crude oil and then crack it into all of the different fractions that they need for their processes. They have hundreds of miles of pipes running all over the place. I also learned that this company has one of the largest wine collections in the world. They have a huge underground wine cellar. They have a team of people that go all over the world tasting different wines and deciding what to buy up and I guess it is more difficult to get onto this team than it is to get onto their board of directors.
While many things here impressed me one of the coolest things is how they try and make the place more homey looking. Even in their machine shop with all the noisy machinery going and metal chips flying all over they have dozens of potted plants. In their glass blowing shop they even have a couple of aquariums with tropical fish in them. I guess since I now have a window in my office at work I’ll have to take a potted plant to work. I remember years ago I had a “creeping charley”, maybe I’ll get one of those. I also had a “wandering Jew” (am I allowed to say that?). I also like those little bamboo plants. I’ll let you know what I end up doing.
Most of the afternoon I was in a meeting with the thermoelectric team and we had some good discussions. After work one of the guys took me out to dinner (my cash is about done) so I really don’t have much else to tell you. Tomorrow is the big test so I’m a bit nervous. Say a prayer for me. We’re meeting at the train station at 7:15. Groan, each morning gets earlier and earlier.