Connor, the bachelor of the Berlin IIP Program, is back with another update of work, play, and travel findings.
As some of you may already know, I spent last weekend in Slovakia. Let me first say that I was pretty freaked out by the whole concept of getting on a night bus. I did not get any nerves about traveling until the night of really, which was fun. I was fine when I woke up in the middle of Austria. So beautiful. From Vienna, I connected to a second bus around 10am and I arrived in Bratislava, Slovakia before noon. Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia. It is a rather quiet city with a heavy historical theme. There are a bunch of cool buildings and monuments as well as a giant castle on the hillside. I spent a couple hours there and then made it to Trnava via train to meet up with my friend Filip who was throwing a small music festival for his record label, Z Tapes.
Meeting Filip in person was pretty crazy because we have known each other through the internet for a couple years now. It is easy to run into someone online who is working in the same creative space. It was almost a surreal moment at first. Upon arrival, I made sure to help him out the best I could with the show. I prepared food, set up merch, and got some video of the performers that I will send him in August. I had the opportunity to meet and hang out with artists from the US, UK, Czech Republic, and Slovakia. I actually split a hotel room with a Slovakian artist who gave me one of his tapes. He’s 20 years old too, and it was crazy to see how similar our lives are even though we are living on opposite sides of the world.
I spent the next day hanging with Filip, his wife, and the musicians. Filip showed us around Bratislava. I had some kind of potato beef dumpling dish. 10/10. We went to that castle I was talking about earlier. I gotta say… Slovakian is way harder than German, and I was very lucky to know someone who spoke it. That language barrier was rough. I did not get home from Slovakia until 10 am on Monday, but I took off that day in advance. So worth it.
My boss decided to take off work last week and this coming week. I will not see him until my final week of work, which is pretty wild… 2 more weeks. (It flew by.) In the meantime, he wanted me to identify IoT (Internet of Things) platforms we could potentially partner with. I made a rather extensive document over the course of two days where I researched companies one by one to narrow down a smaller detailed list of target companies. I am also working on a website post to announce our SIGNL4 Partner Program, and 2 other industry blogs posts during his time away. I should have some quality deliverable when he returns. Also the industry blog I wrote for Microsoft was published this week.
This week a friend from home stopped by. I have only met her a couple of times through music in the DC area, but it is always nice to talk to another American. I showed her around town for 2 days. It was a good time. We also went to Teufelsberg, which is an abandoned NSA spy tower from the Cold War that sits on a man-made mountain/hill. It was cool to walk around that. We took a taxi there. It took me 10 weeks or so to take a taxi in Berlin. I am pretty good with just using public transportation.
Friday night I went to a friend’s (Lafayette) record release show. He runs a label, and he was hosting a cool split-record release for two bands on his roster. When I showed up, I saw my sticker on Lafayette’s laptop. Pretty cool moment. Did not expect that. One of my coworkers is really interested in my involvement in music, and she wanted me to pick up a record for her boyfriend… so I did. I ended up hanging with some random guy from Liverpool who plays in a band with my friend. I am getting rather sick of everyone asking about Trump. It was a great show though, and the rest of the weekend was rather quiet. On Sunday, I went to Mauerpark and bought some small things from local artists. I was looking for a cool leather jacket, but could not find one I liked.
I am expecting this week to be rather busy at work. I really want go out with a bang professionally, and leave my best work on the table before I leave. As far as music goes, I need to finish my initial round of press for a record I am working on for some guys in Pittsburgh. I am really excited about it. We are having a cool release show in Lawrenceville at a larger venue with cool acts from Brooklyn, a bunch of visual artists, and more. All my label stuff will continue in the evening per usual.
PS… Wifi where I am staying has gotten a lot better… more pictures will be on Flickr soon.