Monday, December 14, 2015

The Paris Diaries / Broken phones and Christmas markets

Day 4.

I woke up feeling refreshed and warm, like I’d slept so well I could almost get up and go for a run, not that I was going to do that, but I could have. I opened my eyes to the morning light and tapped my phone to check the time. My alarm still hadn’t gone off but it felt late, I tapped and tapped but my phone wasn’t responding and panic was beginning to creep in. I jumped out of the bed quicker than Muhammad Ali in the boxing ring and flew to my watch.
8am... two hours late... sh*t!
I threw on clothes, brushed my teeth and ran out of the hotel without breakfast. I rang the ladies in charge while simultaneously running to the station and wondered why my phone decided to let me down when I was hopelessly relying on it. I tried and failed to turn it on, before finally seeing the white apple sign appear (damn you Apple!).
I arrived at the event, threw on my showmaking shirt and heading to reception to deal with the crowds, luckily my slight lateness didn’t seem to have an effect on anything, so the panic was kind of unnecessary. I just hate being late, it’s that feeling of having no control over getting somewhere that fills my stomach with dread every time.
The last day of the show also means surveys! Everyone wants to know how well the show went, and the only way to know is to ask. Ultimately, nobody wants to stand and fill out a questionnaire, especially when they have other things to be doing. Needless to say, I sucked at surveys! I asked countless people and was met with disappointment every time. Most didn’t speak English, others were too busy, or running late. I tried asking nicely, I tried selling the free Ipad they could win; I even tried cornering people while they were waiting for partners outside the toilet. But in the end, after two hours of trying, I got three people to answer my questions. I don’t think a sales career would ever be one for me.
I spent the afternoon working with a lovely lady, who is based in the Amsterdam office but calls Holland home, and who kindly distracted me from realising how exhausted I was. Today was quiet, the last day of an event always is but as luck would have it, the event was run for the food ingredients industry, meaning there was yummy food everywhere. With the last day being so quiet, it gave us showmakers a chance to walk around and talk to all the exhibitors.  After lots of free samples, chocolate explanations and a rack of free macaroons, the end of the day finally arrived and I headed to the briefing room to put my feet up. I could have fallen asleep on the show floor I was so tired.
The showmakers who got the most surveys won Amazon vouchers; I sucked so bad I knew I had no chance. Turns out, I was still awarded a voucher, not for my terrible survey skills, but for being the only showmaker to have worked the full three days of the event. It was one hell of a lovely surprise!
I headed into central Paris and walked through the Christmas market – I had wanted to go all week but kept putting it off because I was so exhausted. The lights were so pretty, and the shops were all expensive – I expected nothing less.
I grabbed a pot of Haagen Daaz ice cream and sat and ate it outside the Louvre. It was such a beautiful night I didn’t want to head inside, but I was only too aware of the extremely exciting, potentially exhausting day that was occurring tomorrow.   



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