Goodbye to Berlin

It’s Tuesday midday and the ICIS suite is as empty as a hollow gourd. In writing the final word on the EPCA 2009 conference in Berlin, the Blog will be careful to avoid all mention of the usual Top 10 parties, after a friend hinted that it aroused jealousy and ire amongst wives and stay-at-home colleagues, and gave quite the wrong impression of what we get up to at conferences. Hmmm 
In its place, the Blog has been tirelessly compiling an alternative listing of Best of Bests…

Most Complaints – security at the Interconti, stopping people from entering the bars and meeting areas, even the restrooms, without a delegate badge.
Most Failures to Meet – There was the usual quota of people turning up at the wrong place or wrong time or just failing to connect. Prize to Daphne and Truong who failed to meet on at least four occasions.
Most Puzzling Vehicle – 2 large coaches for Helm parked continuously outside the Steigenberger Hotel.
Best Thing about the Steigenberger Hotel - huge showers.
Most sobering news – five redundancies due to “restructuring” in seemingly rapid succession: Barry H, Nick K, Andy S, Alan T, Kieran D…
Photos Most Looking Forward to Seeing: Vopak party; EPCA photos on website (in about three months’ time going on previous experience); trying on Russian hats at Checkpoint Charlie; Nigel and cigars at Accenture party.
Biggest Promise – Hans K who volunteered to speak at 2010 ICIS Aromatics conference on “Being in Chapter 11.”
Best Early Morning Walk – Steigenberger to Interconti, each day rejoicing in the lack of rain or snow.
Most Wacky Dresser - tall guy from ISP at the Mitsubishi party, in skin-tight shiny shirt and twisted red neckscarf – surrounded by 100 men in dark suits.
Best Chemical View – from the Sasol-Huntsman suite on the 7th floor of the Interconti Trigon, over water (always calming), autumnal trees and the Berlin skyline including the Reichstag, and Fernsehturm.
Most Extravagant Use of Company Resources - Russian delegation staying at the historic Adlon Hotel, most expensive hotel in town and miles from the conference, with its 3rd Reich connections, by the Brandenburg Gate.
Nicest Compliments about the Blog – Fred H and Marija K.
Most Touching Exhibition of Male Competitiveness – Joe D and Barry H disputing who got the highest scores for chairing an ICIS conference in the delegate feedback.
Most Superfluous Items in Packed Luggage – evening bag, sunglasses, camera charger, new grey tights, which turned out to be TOTALLY the wrong shade of grey (whoever knew that greys could clash), new necklace from Argentina (which didn’t go with anything).
Most Avidly Discussed ICIS News Article – Exxonmobil speech - attracted huge attention from Japanese delegates.
Most Requested ICIS Report – Benzene (Europe).
Most Pointless Innovation - Twitterfeed on my blog: it never worked. I devotedly updated it all day Sunday and Monday with my every thought and action, creating a repository of information too trivial even for the Blog, including highlights such as the arrival in the ICIS suite of a mystery bouquet of stargazer lilies, and all to no avail.
Most Shipbrokers Per Square Metre – the Chelsea vs Liverpool football match Sunday night at the Irish Bar.
PS Update on social kiss agenda:
No sightings of the male-on-male kiss at EPCA 2009. I did see two male delegates walking with arms around each other – but guess they were shipbrokers.

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