Halftime at SMW Berlin #SMWReporter Update

Thanks for stopping by!

This post is one in a #SMWReporter series covering #SMWBerlin. Thanks to Nokia for covering travel and expenses as well as providing a Nokla Lumia 1020. Disclosure: http;//cmp.ly/6/RC5QuG. Hope you enjoy this update written on Wednesday, September 25.

We’re halfway through SMW Berlin and the week is flying by.

All week the lobby here at the hotel has been getting set up for the Microsoft server conference. It opened today.

Coincidentally, Nokia was exhibiting. Thanks to the reps for giving us handy straps that attach the phone to a lanyard. They also took time to give us tips on how to use the 41 megapixel camera. When they took a picture of a 10 euro and zoomed in to show the tiny tens that we couldn’t read, I told the rep he was a magician. What amazing resolution – and a friendly and helpful bunch!

Newly equipped, we boarded bus 100 where a passenger warned me to move away from the top of the spiral staircase when the bus was moving. So glad that everyone here is watching out for me.

After a quick stop at a souvenir shop [I took a pass on the nutcrackers and Berlin bears], we walked over to the square at Brandenburg Gate. I lost my co-reporter, Henie [http://twitter.com/hennartonline], when I ran after Mario and Luigi. She got a picture of Mickey Mouse. While I missed that photo opp, luckily I didn’t miss reconnecting with her at Starbucks.

With so much going on in the square there, it’s easy to lose track of your traveling partner. The upside; we dialed our German phone numbers into our Nokia Lumia 1020 phones. Tip: when you’re traveling with someone, set a time and place to meet up.

My second visit to Brandenburg Gate was more informative. This time I found the placards and while there was no need to read them, thanks to the Texans who read every word out loud, it was moving to learn about the significance and history of the gates – even if it was conveyed in an American southern accent.

And, this time I got a closer look at the American Embassy’s red, white and blue flower bed – so patriotic!!

There’s a school on the square; today I enjoyed watching the elementary students watch the day’s entertainers during recess. We got to see the same guy in a bear costume I saw on Saturday, a few soldiers with an imitation Checkpoint Charlie station offering passport stamps for three euros less than the real one, and a silver cowboy who alternated between being a statue and being a robotic dancer.

When we got to design akademie Berlin, we planned on attending a few sessions.

We were early, so I took some time to browse an eclectic store that was part Ikea, part office goods, part art supply, part architectural book stall, and part fabric shop – what an inspiring combination! It was all I could do to pull myself away to get to SMW Berlin right upstairs.

Since the sessions were in German, we hung out in the offices. The SMW Berlin team has adopted us and welcomed us as colleagues. This sense of inclusivity has made me feel at home and I know I will truly miss them all when I go back early Saturday morning. Today, it was a pleasure to meet Isis Wiedmann, a Social Media Week writer.

After visiting there, we headed over to SMB Berlin’s second home base at ImmobilienScout24 where the team was getting ready for a job fair.

Berlin is an international city so it was a pleasant surprise to meet someone from southern Illinois/Indianapolis in the Nokia charging lounge. Benjamin Snow and I exchanged stories about home, world travels, careers and social media.

As the job fair got started, I was excited to see Nicole Simon as the speaker. We’ve met a few times at BlogWorld, now NMX.

Congrats to SMW Berlin on two packed venues and a wonderful change.org day.

As the day drew to a close, we decided to take a taxi back. We happened to land in one with a Turkish tour guide who stopped to let us snap pictures out of both sides of the Mercedes station wagon. One of the best blocks turned out to be only a few hundred meters from our hotel.

We wrapped up the day in the hotel’s lounge and restaurant. Since I’ve been traveling two out of the last three weeks, I guess it’s time to have a wake up call and say good-bye to summer. Embracing fall, I ordered the pumpkin soup with potato gnocchi. It’s hard to believe my #SMWreporter job ends in less than 48 hours.

More to come . . .

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