Wednesday, October 15, 2008

To Berlin and back.

After running around from Kolkotta to Delhi and back,reminiscing and going back to the college days,meeting up with friends one had left behind long back…walking into the German embasy to see gracious people who made the visa procedure simple...i fly to Berlin for the ERS.
The congress is at Messe Damm.The church guest house where i am to stay is five stations away.Walking on the street from the station to the venue there are scores of people from just everywhere walking with me....i meet a professor from NewYork based in Puerto Rico who walks with me as all of us are searching for the venue...he says he has many indian friends and they are very loyal...a picture of a warm hearted sardar comes to my mind.
I get myself registered and am walking back and who do i see?Dr.Peter Davies walking along...casually.We plan to meet the next day during the congress and I walk on back to my guest house.
The guest house is a decent arrangement with a furnished bath and an attatched fully furnished kitchen and a moderately large room.the jet-lag gets to me...after hurriedly wading through fresh dumplings with asparagus soup i get into a deep slumber waking up the next day.The next couple of days in Berlin I come across Steffi from the church who knows english and offers to take me out sight-seeing.I go all the way to some historical churches,musuems ,get afree ride atop a double-decker bus,move through the city centres with its colourful lights and people hanging about just a fascinating walk through life in east berlin before merger-first hand from Steffi and the musuem commentaries and display....
The congress is fascinating with a lot on XDR-Tb,COPD ,etc.I thouroughly enjoyed the talks on tuberculosis.
Called up Drs Richard and Anne Lewis as promised .Met upwith them the next day as planned.Walked all the way to the Brandenburgh gate with Dr.Richard ,caught up with some news about NJH,took some snaps by the river ,walked back to the hotel to Anne and then went out for a wonderful meal in a mediteranean restaurant.
The last but one day was a time to pack,to finish with the last minute details..pick up gifts...pick up some things I wanted for myself....and just laze around was also a time to say thank you to the church for hosting me...they were extremely gracious.Mathias Pries who had come to pick me up from the station dropped me back.Standing in the que to check in ,met up with some indian doctors from kanpur...we started having a discussion on efficacy of DOTS ....eight hours on the swiss air-line and we touched Delhi at around mid-night.

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