On the Road Again

After a long wait I managed to get through the Heathrow Flight Disconnect and I landed safely in the US yesterday.

I plan to meet with the potential customers, VCs, analysts, advisers, partners and even some friends in Boston, New York and San Francisco. Overall almost forty meetings in one week. This trip reminds me the crazy travel schedule of Systinet days when I had to fly Prague – Tokyo – San Francisco – Los Angeles – Boston – London – Prague in one week (ever since I was a kid I knew from Jules Verne‘s book that this way around the globe I gain one working day).

I did not have to travel as much at HP but things are different here at GDC. And so I am on the road again…

It’s official!

The Flight Connection Centre at the Heathrow airport has been renamed to Heathrow Flight Disconnect. I think it’s a better name for a central security checkpoint that doesn’t scale to the increased security measures and the growth of traffic at Heathrow…

Gödel and Brno

I went to Brno yesterday to meet with Good Data’s back-end engineering team. As I was driving past Gödel’s childhood home I realized I did not know anything about his life in this city. And here is what I found on Wikipedia:

Kurt Friedrich Gödel was born April 28, 1906, in Brno (German: Brünn), Moravia, Austria-Hungary (now the Czech Republic) into the ethnic German family of Rudolf Gödel, the manager of a textile factory, and Marianne Gödel (born Handschuh). At the time of his birth the town had a slight German-speaking majority and this was the language of his parents.

He automatically became a Czechoslovak citizen at age 12 when the Austro-Hungarian empire broke up at the end of World War I. He later told his biographer John D. Dawson that he felt like an “exiled Austrian in Czechoslovakia” (“ein österreichischer Verbannter in Tschechoslowakien”) during this time. He was never able to speak Czech and refused to learn it at school. He became an Austrian citizen by choice at age 23. When Nazi Germany annexed Austria, Gödel automatically became a German citizen at age 32. After World War II, at the age of 42, he became an American citizen.

In his family, young Kurt was known as Der Herr Warum (“Mr. Why”) because of his insatiable curiosity. According to his brother Rudolf, at the age of six or seven Kurt suffered from rheumatic fever; he completely recovered, but for the rest of his life he remained convinced that his heart had suffered permanent damage.

He attended German language primary and secondary school in Brno and completed them with honors in 1923. Although Kurt had first excelled in languages, he later became more interested in history and mathematics. His interest in mathematics increased when in 1920 his older brother Rudolf (born 1902) left for Vienna to go to medical school at the University of Vienna (UV). During his teens, Kurt studied Gabelsberger shorthand, Goethe’s Theory of Colours and criticisms of Isaac Newton, and the writings of Immanuel Kant.

For those who want to read more about Kurt Gödel I recommend these two books: Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid and A World Without Time: The Forgotten Legacy Of Godel And Einstein

The ATM Mile

Flying involves very little exercise and this is probably why the Prague airport arranged for us – frequent travelers – the following run: the ATM Mile.

Almost everybody who lands in a foreign and non-Euro country needs some cash. But in Prague you should bring your sneakers as well. All four ATM machines (see picture below) are clustered in the far-flung and deserted corner of the airport. So if you don’t want to waste your time put the running shoes on and run. The benefits are clear – you will get stamina and cash at the same time. I am doing this exercise a few times a week and it really helped me to get in shape!

Mario the Terrorist?

I fly so much that only very few things surprise me any more. But I was shocked to find out that Alitalia allows only non digital music players (Walkman) to be used on the board of its aircrafts during the flight and it specifically bans Nintendo GameBoy! I wonder who is the real villain here: Mario or Luigi?

Lunches at Gresham Palace

As I was having lunch in the beautiful Gresham Palace here in Budapest, Hungary earlier today it occurred to me that it is more less the same place I had lunch some twenty years ago. But I did not eat in the Four Seasons hotel then:

(If you click on the picture you will see a tin-can of sausages getting ready…)

Pictures from Cape Town

I posted some of my pictures from Cape Town on Flickr earlier today. And here is the link.

South Africa Trip

I am in Johannesburg today and in the Cape Town for the rest of the week and I am enjoying this trip very much. And the best part of my travel over here is that there no time difference between Prague and SAR and so I have no jetlag!

I’ve been traveling between Europe and the US for the last 10 year almost every month and every single time I cross the ocean I feel tired and exhausted. But not today. I landed at 7am after 10 hours flight from London and I feel great. I did not even need to change my clock! Maybe I should be spending more of my time in this part of the world…