Who wants to be a millionaire?

September 20 2005

Imagine going to a currency exchange, handing in US$50, and becoming an instant millionaire.  Well, there are several countries in the world with such exchange rates...including, until recently, Romania.  In July, the country dropped four zeros from their currency, the lei.  However, the old banknotes are still in circulation until the end of 2006.  Thus, I am presently enjoying my time as a multi-millionaire here in Romania.

Image:Who wants to be a millionaire?

Unfortunately, I do not have much to report travel-wise so far on this trip.  Due to a baggage delay and other factors, I had little time to explore Sofia, Bulgaria.  I left Sofia with an impression of Soviet-era architecture and transport in the city center.  I briefly walked through a carnival/festival, and saw something I'd never see in the US -- one of those carnival rides that is basically a large pendulum, with one of the riders actually standing during the ride, in full view of the ride operator.  The Bulgarian IBMers and customers were very friendly, and you could definitely feel the enthusiasm of a new and growing market.  I look forward to more interaction there.

My arrivial in Romania last night was fairly low key.  It is raining heavily, and many roads are flooded.  In all my travels, I've had occasional hotel issues with noisy neighbors. This was the first time I've awoken at 3 AM to, um, the particular sounds of a happy couple in the next room.  Ahem.

I've met one customer today, and I know they are reading my weblog so I won't say much about the meeting ;).  My hope is to return here in six months and gather the material for a success story about their Notes/Domino implementation -- it sounds very promising.

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