Sights and Sounds (ok, no sound, but words)


Day 1 at the ITB Berlin Travel Trade Show. This thing is huge, with pretty much every country on every continent represented, along with companies that depend on the travel industry and numerous workshops covering the future of wellness to blogging in the industry to UNESCO conferences.

And yet as it turns out a trade show is still, at its core, a trade show.

  • Hapless employees manning (or womanning) the booths stare back at passerby with a look of either "Please come talk to me to help me pass the endless tedium" or "Keep moving because I hate my life."

  • There is here, as in life, a clear delineation of the haves and the have-nots. Abu Dhabi has a plush 2-level booth including a mysterious stairway flanked by two comely lasses (when asked what's upstairs, they respond only with a mysterious "meetings"). Eritrea, meanwhile, has two short stools and free pens.

  • There are the oddball trade show vultures, who try to get their hands on anything that isn't bolted down. Gummy bears, posters, three-headed highlighters, you name it. I have no idea what they do with all this stuff - maybe there's a thriving black market for trade show flotsam.
Here are some of the sights...

Moments before this, the child sitting here was whisked away by Madonna

Part of Colombia's section. Really not sure what to make of this

I guess "Colombia: Way Less Shootings Than Before" was too subtle

A lonely booth

Please write your own caption in the comments area. Winner gets a Berlin U-Bahn map (slightly used)

In the middle of the exhibition, exhibitionists.

This was a packed room. Clearly, blogging is the new black

Somehow Chuck Norris is omnipresent

Moroccan artist working with coloured powders - click on the picture to see his work more closely

Only slightly more popular than the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians

Cool painting

Estonia's slick display area - a photographic forest

No sign of the Jersey Shore crew, thankfully. There might have been a situation

Haggling over haggis?

I have no idea what the fat pirate was representing

A long day ends well