As I look past the wing of the airplane down to the patchwork German countryside, I can almost believe the illusion that the earth is sliding past while I and the plane are stationary. It’s an easy illusion to indulge in, because as I leave Romania and Bucharest the experiences I had there in such a short time are so vivid in my memory.
All the memories jumble up as I try to record them here … arriving at 11:30 PM and strolling, jet-lagged, through midnight streets … photowalking through old Bucharest … swordfighting at Vlad Tepes’ castle … lunches and dinners with amazing people like MySQL founders David Axmark and Monty Widenius, Free Software Foundation Europe president Georg Greve, Fedora EMEA vice-president Jeroen van Meeuwen, Spanish open-source advocate Ismael Olea … the list goes on and on.
“Open source diva” Danese Cooper is a really fun speaker to listen to, and she’s worked for practically every company that matters (except for IBM, as she told me).
The people at Agora Media were amazing as well … Rom (the first person I know who is actually called Romulus, which for a guy with a modest dose of Star Trek Virus™ like me is pretty cool) Maier … Anca, who took care of us as no-one else could … Andreea …. Oana, who took pity on me and showed me a couple of dance moves so I didn’t make a complete idiot of myself at the club (hey, 99% is NOT 100!) … and many others as well.
But it was a great thrill to see the people of Romania, especially the students and IT people who came to the conference. Smart, dedicated, passionate … they are intensively switched-on. It was such a privilege to wander the halls during the conference and meet them, ask questions about what they were studying or working on, and learn about their worlds.
The after-conference party was a ton of fun, and while I don’t have a hope of remembering all names of the people I met, a bunch of us have already connected on Twitter and I’m looking forward to staying in touch that way.
I’m going to put other recollections and thoughts, along with photos, in other blog posts …. keep posted.