Posts Tagged: work trips


At the end of the week I will be heading out on my first trip of the recruiting season. I will then be on the go for the majority of the month, gone almost every weekend from now until early November.

My poor sweet Ben will be on his own. Plenty of Ben-time and time to realise he cannot live without me and just not enough to realise he can (you can ask him where the threshold is- somewhere between 4 and 12 days).

Of all the cities- only Mexico City will be new. I have been getting loads of pointers and cannot wait to explore.

Here is where I will be:

  • Moscow
  • London
  • Paris
  • Istanbul
  • Mexico City
  • Bogota
  • Athens

I will be posting from the road- so stay tuned for adventures and please don’t forget about Ben.


I am back from India. It was a busy trip and it is good to be home.

Some final images:

(Hopefully those cannisters are full of water)

(Love the classic cabs)

(India Gate- New Delhi)

(Breakfast by the pool in Bangalore)

(Dinner al fresco)

(Tasty-roasted potatoes, chicken curry, fish curry and garlic naan)

(Our transport back to the hotel- Auto, it was thumping-who new these have sub-woofers)

(Austin Powers themed party at the hotel, there was dancing)

I am not sure when I will be back, but I look forward to more adventures!


I am melting in the cultural capital of Bengal. We arrived this afternoon and leave tomorrow on a flight at 6.15 a.m., so needless to say, I have not seen anything expect the hotel, the hotel gym and the British Council-Kolkata where our pre-departure event was held this evening.

The high today was 46 degrees (114 in fahrenheit). Walking out of the airport, I decided to get my arms out to enjoy some vitamin D, when Naomi, my University colleague, reminded me we also in the malaria zone. Cardigan back on. And oops, take that malaria tablet.

Here are some photos of the trip from the airport:

(Colorful buildings in the hazy heat)

(This is a serious attempt at keeping cool- it will not work)

(Warm weather wear)

(Roadside nature, the cows are everywhere, but they get sick because they eat plastic)

(Grateful for the air-conditioned car)

(Bright buses fill the streets)

(My welcome to the Taj Bengal marigold lei- insert Best Exotic Marigold Hotel joke here)

Tomorrow I move onto Bangalore, it should be a bit cooler (90 degrees) and I hope we can get out to see a bit of the city. 

Good night!


Still no suitcase- jeans and a t-shirt, even if the top is from J.CREW, do not make proper meeting attire when it is 109 degrees and especially when it is the same outfit three days running.

This morning, I received a call at 0100 saying the suitcase would arrive around 0400, when I woke at 0600 thinking I would get up early for a run, it was still missing. I went back to sleep.

I have put out an APB on my black Samsonite.

My colleague, arrived last night on the same flight as my luggage was supposed to, asked at the KLM counter and they had no record of it ever leaving Amsterdam. This could mean that it will not arrive until tonight on the third try…

There is a GAP in India, I think a new outfit is called for, charged to KLM in the 100 euros I have to spend. They say they will reimburse you with receipts- is this true? Have you had this experience before?

I am glad I am not the only one.

*For those of you who did not grow-up in the Gorrilla/Smyth household- St. Anthony is the patron saint of lost things. He is usually very effective and I think he will be again. Come on St. Anthony!


I have a butler! Yes, that is correct- my room is on the Taj Palace’s Club Floor and this comes with Akshay and his team to buttle my every need. This is not a mistake- I asked.

The services I have benefited from so far have been tracking down my missing suitcase, ensuring my one outfit was washed last night and redelivered and bringing me bottled water several times of day. Other benefits of the Club Floor are a special breakfast room, high-tea served every afternoon and cocktails offered every evening. How nice!

(The presentation of my fresh laundry)

Since my suitcase along with 30 other passengers’ are coming in tonight from Amsterdam, my plan to spend the morning by the pool and running was foiled, I enjoyed a lovely facial and a deep tissue massage. The massage was delivered by the strongest and tiniest woman, Agruti. She almost had me in tears. It was a good hurt. I am feeling so relaxed.

(My fresh fruit)

The suitcase will be here tonight or early tomorrow morning, just in time for my meetings.

(Turn down service)


Three flights in the last week from three different Russian airlines.




Rossiya Airlines was a new one for me. Not a member of any of the frequent flyer alliances I have cards for. Unless you are in Russia, flying to another Russian destination you are not able to check in online, a minor setback and due to Air France restrictions, I was also unable to check in at the Edinburgh airport. This flight was slow to get going- a two hour delay because of a technical issue does not inspire confidence especially after boarding and seeing a plane from the 80’s and still has the smell of stale cigarette smoke and a hint of cooked green peppers. I felt really packed in and I was wearing my comfortable travel jeans. 

I had flown Aeroflot before and was quite nervous about the age of the plane- it could also have been I was squeezed next a window while two jolly Russians downed vodka and tomato juice chasers. At the time I going from Moscow to Istanbul and was relatively new to international business travel. Well in the fours years since that first flight, nothing on Aeroflot has changed or been upgraded, I am just more adept to traveling and remembering to ask for an aisle.

From my seat in almost an exit row on flight three (where I compose this entry) Transaero is the best. I have already received a pre-departure hard candy, a comfort pack (slippers and eye patches). The seats are leather or a close second and my arms are not touching my neighbors. There is a screeching child just across the aisle and its (a denim on denim outfit makes it a mystery) parents did not bring any toys and it does not seem to be enjoying the in-flight magazine.

The meal is coming and I smell green peppers.

FAIR… All set up, let the potential students arrive. This is my second fair for the Business School. The first one was in Paris in October. I feel more knowledgable now and today I benefit from the expertise of colleagues from the main University of Edinburgh recruitment services on my right to answer the tough queries.

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