By Monday Feb 10, things were starting to slow down. If five meetings, a film, a reception, a dinner, and a party (which, to be honest, I skipped after the dinner turned out to be huge and German) can be called “slow”. I was feeling pretty good about my ability to not fall asleep during films and contribute meaningfully to meetings and only feeling slightly overwhelmed by the amount of work from back home that had piled up in my absence.
This is my #1 challenge to overcome while I am away on work-related trips: managing the work back home. It’s really hard to be very busy and still maintain a basic grasp on the same workload you would normally have at home. It’s different from being on vacation. When you’re vacationing people assume you will be doing no work, and that is ok. When you’re away on business, people expect that you will at least get back to them in a timely manner and get the work you owe them done on a slightly delayed but still reasonable timeline. You can’t just ditch everything for two weeks, it’s not only unprofessional, it’s also really brutal to come back from once you return home and discover that everything in your life is way behind schedule.
By Tuesday, I was feeling the need for a break, so I made a date with a ladyfriend from the UK to go dress shopping at my favourite Berlin boutique. She got a dress! I got three (I was trying to be so reasonable). I saw no films, but did attend a few meetings and managed to get a really fantastic schnitzel dinner in at a traditional German place before the most anticipated social event of the fest, the Fantasia karaoke party. Walked there from dinner (a 20ish minute much needed stroll to work off some of that delicious veal) with Colin and Tim Reis and talked producing, and sales markets, and all kinds of stuff that he’d been getting a crash course in all week. A perfectly low-key day to end a very high-key (what is the opposite of low-key anyway) five day marathon.
Wednesday was the day I spend literally sleeping ALL DAY. I woke up at an appropriate time for breakfast, made some eggs and German sausages, ate them, and then went back to bed until 5:30pm. I haven’t slept for so long since I was a teenager, but the market really caught up with me and I needed the rest. This is how I avoid getting sick. Listening to the poor exhausted body is a must.