Questions & Answers

FIBO - 2009

I am sitting at Duesseldorf International airport waiting for my flight back home after my FIBO experience. As a child, I used to be fascinated with airports. The excitement of going on a plane, the atmosphere, the shops, I was in awe of the whole experience. These days I suppose I am still fascinated with airports but for completely different reasons. After having travelled through so many airports, I am not as excited anymore. In fact the whole experience of going through customs and the delay has made it quite tedious to fly. Unnecessary amount of time is wasted at airports these days. One would say it for our own security, yes, but I am human, it’s my entitlement to complain.

Now I “people watch” at airports instead. Everyone should try it sometime. It helps pass the time. Right now, there is a couple sitting right next to me in the boarding area. I observed them arriving earlier. They are holding hands even though they both look so moody. They have sat here for almost 15 minutes without as much as a glimpse at each other. They have not said a word since they sat down and are both looking around in different directions. Maybe she’s being kidnapped and travelling under duress. Could it also be that they’ve had an argument? If so, then why on earth are they holding hands? He’s just been looking at me now. I am going for the kidnap scenario because his eyes seem dead to me. You know what? I think I am just going to leave them alone now and mind my own business.

FIBO has been advertised as the biggest European community for the bodybuilding, fitness and weight training industry. It has been held annually in April for as long as I can remember. The last time I was at the FIBO was in 2003 and from how I remember, it seemed a lot bigger than it was this year.

I arrived at Duesseldorf on Friday the 24th of April 28, 2009 and was met by Nikolett and Esther from Scitec Nutrition. I think they were relieved to see me because they thought I had missed the flight! I was the last person to get off the plane. I am always the last person to get off the plane because I always request to be seated at the back of the plane. There’s a reason for that, you see. When a plane crashes, the people seated at the front are always the first to go! The survivors are usually found at the back. Ha, I am not as daft as I appear!

We left the airport and headed for Essen about 20 minutes after I arrived because we had to wait for Zoltan and Viktor, two other sponsored athletes from Team Scitec. The plan was to drive straight to the expo, we did that but then decided it was a better idea to go check in at the hotel and leave our luggage before entering the actual exhibition.

By the time we got to the exhibition, it was already heaving with people. Even though the exhibition was not as big as I remembered it in 2003, it was still very busy. Most of the day was spent sitting at the Scitec stall, signing and taking pictures with the crowd. The exhibition finished at 6pm and by that time, I was so tired. I had only slept for three hours the night before because my flight was very early. I had two meals at the expo which consisted of mince meat, potatoes, salmon and chicken and I must say they were very nice indeed. We went for a steak meal at a restaurant opposite our hotel after which I went to my room and chilled for an hour before going to bed.

Saturday and Sunday were practically identical to the first day except that the crowd was bigger which meant taking and signing more pictures with people, something I enjoy doing immensely. I must say I had a great time but what really made my weekend was my interaction with the Scitec team who mostly spoke Hungarian.

I have been to Hungary so many times but I must confess, I only know a handful of words, my excuse being that the language is one of the most difficult to learn. Well, that’s what my yahoo search told me! Nikolett who usually deals with my communications with Scitec was only in Essen on Friday. I was initially worried that her departure was going to be a problem for me as she was the translator between myself and the rest of the team but I discovered that Edina who is also a member of the team, had lived in the UK for a few years so my fears were allayed. Edina once considerately asked me whilst we were at a restaurant having dinner if she should translate the conversations at the table and whether I felt awkward. My reply was that it was not a problem for me. I used the time to think about the current global recession, the hole in the ozone layer and whether the demise of the Soviet Union has rendered NATO obsolete. Only kidding! I was busy cussing the waiter in different languages for taking too long with the order. I did the cussing in my head though. I didn’t voice them.

Imre drove the Mercedes van that was hired by Scitec to take us around Essen. The problem was that no one seemed to know where we were going so a SatNav was used on every journey. It was supposed to be a twenty minute drive from the expo to our hotel but it seemed we used a different route every time we made that journey. Zoltan Voros, who is German speaking was the navigator and always made sure we had a scenic and interesting route. Thanks to them I think I can confidently say I am very familiar with the streets of Essen.

I returned home on Monday the 27th of April 29, 2009. I calculated I had lost around three kilos in weight as a result of being out of my usual daily routine. It usually takes me around five days to regain that weight so I am still working on that.

Until next time, ciao for now.