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Published: November 28th 2010
So lucky we were.
After making rafts and biking in the Swiss countryside, we were then sent to Frankfurt to attend ASG's (Austria-Switzerland-Germany) Financial Summit 2011. This is a bigger event as this pools the resources from the 3 European countries. Promotions for this even have been consistently creative. We were addressed as "Secret Agents" , who receives mails and updates from Ms. Moneypenny, telling us that we have a secret mission and that we must go to a secret location (only the coordinates were given).
We met a few minutes before 10AM at the Zürich Hauptbanhof (Main Station) and then boarded the train to Frankfurt, Germany with one station change in Basel, Switzerland. The train ride was smooth, the train itself was modern (ICE train) and the scenery was postcardy. Very neat, green and very organized. It was like Farmville springing into life. The fields became small houses then commercial areas then big buildings. After 3 hours, we have arrived in Frankfurt. The Frankfurt Hauptbanhof is as busy as the one in Zurich, lots of trains and passengers too. We walked our way to the then unknown hotel where would be staying which turned out to be Hotel
Intercontinental Frankfurt. We took a long time checking in and were left a few minutes to prepare before the first event.
We we escorted by the "Bond Girls" in red from the Hotel to the first venue, a good 40 mins away from where we are. On the bus they made us view our secret mission from the Agents and were asked to answer a puzzle which they say holds a big part in the event later. The LCD screens on the events shows a timebomb with the clock ticking away. We treated ourselves with the served food - mini yummy burgers, chicken fillets on sticks, pretzels, breads, potatoes with green sauce (brocolli?) and different, big muffins. When the timebomb clocks is on its last 10 minutes, the Bond girls escorted us inside the auditorium, where we saw the timebomb projected on the screen, a panel with different colored wires and a worried lady frantically walking back and forth the stage. This lady turned out to be Ms. Moneypenny, who asked our help in detonating the bomb - the usual "which wire should I cut in order to stop the bomb" scene. It turns out that it is Magenta,
which is the answer to the riddle we answered in the bus earlier. She was also the host for that afternoon's program. She showed us a video of an agent thrown out of a plane wrestling another agent with a parachute. Our agent prevailed and grabbed the parachute and glided down on earth…until the signal died out. Then came gliding down the stage a parachute with our agent on it. Turns out that this agent is the Senior Exec of the ASG Financial Services group. He gave updates, bragged about this year's success and growth, what's in store in the coming months and acknowledged the key resources who made the success possible. He also gave the floor to the leaders of some key projects and gave their own updates and success stories as well.
The next part is for the invited guest speaker, who had a cute entrance as he pretended to be one of the audience and he talked about communication. Ironically, he delivered his interactive and seemingly fun and engaging talk in his native tongue, leaving us, as well as the Americans, Chinese and Indians clueless about what's happening. After his long talk ended, they presented the
6 video finalist who responded to Agent M's mission. The audience decides who is the best by clapping, which is measured by the decibel-meter (?) set up on stage. Our colleagues from Zurich won the contest by a slim margin. The program ended and we went back to the hotel to prepare for the evening, "black-tie" event.
Again, the "Bond girls" escorted as to the event. We were led to a parking lot entrance and were welcome with drinks (in a test tube), cars from the different Bond movies, a simulation of being kicked onto a wall, some karate and self-defense demonstrations and shoot-out galleries. The place was already jampacked when we came and the dinner has already started. I learned that the whole place is reserved for us. They served a lot for dinner - breads, different salads, Japanese food (sushis), Curries and German food. Drinks is flowing - open bar for the night. They had large selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. After dinner, they served different desserts and fruits. We also met some of our PDC collegues based in Germany at the party. I was taking some pictures of the place when I was surprised that
the what I thought a golden naked girl statue was actually moving - and indeed a true human being. She was really naked and bravely walked around the place along with her 2 more golden girl friends. Then the band started playing, mixture of old, new, English and German songs. People started to going to the dancefloor, others busy talking to their newly-known collegues, others getting drinks by the open bar and some others, just sitting. The party is still ongoing when we decided to go home by midnight. Audi/Mercedes Benz taxis brought us back to the hotel.
The morning after we had buffett breakfastand checked out of the hotel as well. Since we still had some 6 hours to burn, we decided to explore what can be explored by foot.
From the hotel we just walked until we found a giant Euro symbol and of course, took a picture with it. We also saw lots of fountains and parks. We went to the shopping area, an expensive street adorned with the likes of Gucci, Longchamp, LV, Armani, Hermes and a lot more signature brands. Our next stop is a local mall, uniquely designed with a hole in
the middle and spent most of our time in the very big electronics store. We already burned a significant amount of time and decided to go back to the Hauptbanhof to wait for our train. However, we dont want to walk anymore so we tried the so called - "VeloTaxi", which is closely related to our "padyaks" in the Philippines. Time went fast, and when it was exaclty 6;05, our train left and arrived 4 hours later in Zurich.
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