At 12:20 in the morning, having indicated to British Airways baggage handling that, “Why yes, getting our trade show display in time for the trade show was… important”. A tired-looking delivery guy in a Deutsche Post van (!) showed up outside my hotel with the missing trade show display. The show would indeed go on.
Rudi Brandl, a customer of ours, had agreed to help us out at the show, and as the one really good German-speaker (he’s German, after all!), he was a lifesaver. Thanks *very* much for all your help!
When he’s not being Shanghaied into comic software-selling duties, Rudi runs a sign shop, and had actually made up a sign for us to post at our booth. In German, it said, “Our German is catastrophic. Our English is not so good. We speak pretty good American. But our software is terrific.” It was a very cool sign, and it got more than a few laughs (and knowing looks). Murphy’s law being fully in effect, My colleague Joe and I would inevitably wind up in long, stumbling discussions with folks at the show who spoke only German; as soon as we’d tag off booth duties with Rudi, he’d get corralled into a discussion with folks who spoke only English. It was a struggle at times, but we somehow muddled through. For what it’s worth, my German on the last day of the convention was considerably improved from the first day.
I hope to post pictures from the show later when I return (I didn’t bring a USB cable or card reader for my camera, unfortunately). In the meantime, I’m now typing this from a hotel room in Frankfurt. Joe went home today, but I’ve got a couple of days before my flight home. I’m hoping to see the city a little, visit a few comic stores, and maybe even take in a play while I’m here.