King of Kings

by Eli Hodapp

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Today was exhausting in absolutely every way. I woke up at around 3:00 AM again, decided I’d work on my talk, and apparently quickly fell asleep again only to wake up in a panic at 10:00 AM- Missing both the hotel breakfast and the hours and hours of time I was going to use to continue to tweak out the presentation I had to give.

Since I missed breakfast, I figured I really needed to get something to eat before I had to talk for an hour. I went out wandering, and discovered an interesting rivalry. Now, it’s not at all abnormal to see American fast food chains abroad, so it wasn’t much of a surprise to see a Burger King:

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What was surprising, however, was that standing in this exact location and spinning 180 degrees you were staring down the barrel of the front door of the Shawarma King, which sported both identical lettering and a hilariously similar logo:

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I figured it only made sense to have a Tournament of Kings, getting whatever the most prominently advertised food item was at each restaurant and seeing which was better. I went to Burger King first, where they had signs everywhere for something called the “Angry Whopper,” which, as far as I can tell is just a whopper with jalapeños on it. I then went to the Shawarma King for their default döner kebab, but, since they didn’t take credit cards I didn’t end up being able to get one. So, I guess, this means Burger King wins by default?

With a predictably upset (Or, “Angry” even.) stomach, I headed back to the hotel to grab my computer and book it over to the convention center to give my talk. I did my normal thing of outlining all the pitfalls iOS developers typically fall victim to, and threw out some ideas of community building as a way to snowball success between subsequent titles. A friend in the audience took the following blurry photo of me:

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Public speaking is getting way easier for me, especially as I get better with keynote and writing up notes for my talks. This is what it looks like behind the curtain, so to speak:

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Following that, I hung around for the standard meet and greet where I met a few dozen people who were all excited to exchange business cards and do the whole hand shaking thing. That’s always surprisingly rewarding, even though I feel like my talks are typically just an hour of common sense. I tried to be as peppy as possible, but I was more tired than ever. So tired, in fact, that when I went back to the hotel I actually fell asleep with my shoes and hat on in bed. That was awkward.

I had all this shopping I wanted to do today, so I was beyond bummed to find that I had slept through when everything was open. However, I guess I can’t feel too bad as if I’m sleeping with my shoes on I’m beyond the point of total exhaustion, so, whatever. I salvaged the evening by heading down to the hotel restaurant to have steak frittes, which, as expected, was really good.

The way french fries are served abroad is always super weird, as they come in this ornate silver side dish, complete with spoon. I never know what you’re supposed to do with the spoon, as it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to use it as a serving implement since you’re eating by yourself, and a spoon seems like the absolute least efficient way to eat french fries. Oh well, I’ll play the dumb American on that one, I guess.

Speaking of which, I’ve noticed I’ve gotten way better at traveling which I personally benchmark based on the number of people who assume I don’t speak English. Of course, I give the whole game away with my incessant thumbs up in response to everything, but, first impressions, right?

The plan now is to try to sleep for three or four hours, pack my stuff, and head to the airport for a combined twenty hours of travel between the train from Malmö to Copenhagen, to flight to Munich, my layover there then subsequent flight to Charlotte, a three hour layover there, then on to Nashville.

I think I’m going to be exploring all the pharmaceuticals I have with me to sleep on the plane. I’m so done with my crazy sleep, it’s basically completely taken over this trip, and I’m totally tired of it.