by Konrad Bucheli

Thursday 28th June, 2012

I connect the exclamation “awesome” with my former Australian flatmate Zoe who used it quite often. I realised that this is normal for Australians. And indeed I have to say: “Australia is awesome!” Foremost I have seen a lot, thanks to my very competent and in-law travel organizer. The country and the countryside are very diverse and beside the huge cities of Melbourne and Sydney nearly deserted from humans. And huge is this country. To fly 5 hours one way and 4 hours back to see Petra for a long weekend is a bit questionable. But we missed a bit. Impressive was that we met quite often wild animals, more than we expected. And such a Hoppedihopp (my nickname for a kangaroo) is a very special animal. Also the birds deserve to be mentioned, especially their voices. The loud laughing Kookaburra is well known. Then there is also the bright bell or the carping child. How about a “whistle after a girl”-whistle? In the office we had an alarm sound if a ticket need immediate attention. During lunch we put this very loud to hear it also in the garden while eating. But such a stupid bird used the same tone (either by nature or learned) and so it happened that we went back to the office for nothing. Finally we changed the tone. Or when we stayed overnight on a caravan park where dogs were forbidden. Still on the way back to the camper there was a dog barking. When I reached the camper, I heard the dog barking from the tree. As far as I know, dogs cannot climb, but in northern Australia live barking owls!

Back to Sydney. The city is ideal for water sports, but this is not my thing. But I used the opportunity to do a bit more Tango. A good teacher (Federico) and a dance partner (Yin) were soon found. I had to get warm first as I was not doing a lot of Tango recently. But Federico is a good teacher and could always exactly tell what has to be corrected and Yin showed me a few milongas were we could train and use what we learned. And soon it was fun again. As Petra arrived in Sydney, she joined also the course. Maybe one day it will work with us two and Tango. And there was also the work. About half of it was normal work (programming). It worked quite well despite the distance as we had split the work well in our team and I could work independently. A video conference here in between helped us to keep the contact. The other half was customer service. That was the reason why I went to Sydney. In Zurich this part of the work is about 20%. In Sydney we are four who have to cover the night. One is always the main responsible for the customer service and another one supports him if there is sufficient work. The other two do their normal work or are off. At the weekend someone had to hold the line. The workload differed. There were few phone calls, just if there was something on in Asia. Most work was cleaning up what spilled over from the day what could not be completed in Zurich. Mostly it was about some changes on the customer installations or some problems to investigate. Sometimes this leads to outgoing calls if we need someone to do something so we see the problem live and are hopefully able to nail it down. Cool was that we were a team wildly assembled from different parts of the company. You get in closer contact to colleagues you normally not have that much to do with. No further details as there is following unwritten law: What happens in Sydney stays in Sydney. Lets see, maybe in two years we go again.