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June 9-10, 2003


            Prelude: At the Luzern Meeting, I was told that Dr. Burkhard Dick, a prominent German eye surgeon in Mainz, was very displeased with aspects of the ThinOptX lens and since I was the Chairman of the Board of the company, I needed to talk to him.  When I bumped into him he was very non-specific regarding the problems he was having but insisted I visit him in Mainz to see the patients.  When I told him I was on a touring trip to Scandinavia and did not have time he basically demanded that I come.  I reluctantly gave in and told Marcia that we have to spend a day in Mainz.


Monday, June 9, 2003


            Marcia drove the first 175 miles and I did the remaining 80 miles which took us 4 hours on the German autobahns.  We arrived in Mainz and checked into the Hyatt Regency Hotel [Malakoff Terasse, +49-] which was recommended by Dr. Dick.  I called Burkhard and he came to take us out to dinner.

            He walked us along the Rhine River and showed us where the Main River empties into it.  The strand along the river (above) was very nice.  We went inland to the center of town which was very pretty as well. 

            We went past the statue of Gutenberg (above left,) the inventor of the printing press which he did here in Mainz.  Just near the main opera house we ate at Haus des Deutschen Weines (House of German Wines) [, +49-.]  I had sauerbraten with spaetzle and Marcia had Salmon with asparagus.  Burkhard ordered wild game at my urging (their specialty) because I wanted to try it, but then he never offered me a taste of it.  Oh well, the food was OK and the Bitenbier pils was pretty good.  We walked back to the hotel a different way and went through the pedestrian part of town which was also very Germanic and quaint.  After a cappuccino in the hotel bar we finally got to bed at 3 AM.


Tuesday, June 10, 2003


            The next morning I woke at 5 AM and then again at 8 AM when I finally got up.  I did my run along the Rhine River and into town and to the Centrum.  Since I didn't know how to get there, I took a cab ($10) to the University Augens Clinic (Eye Clinic) and Sabina Buchner came to take me to the clinic area where I would examine the patients with ThinOptX lenses in their eyes.

 

            After examining three patients, they urgently dragged me up to the operating rooms so I could watch Burkhard implant two of the lenses.  I had to change into scrub clothes and wear those damn hard rubber shoes again.  The Chairman of the Department met me there and gave me his shoes.  Burkhard showed me all over their beautiful facility but I found it strange with all the money they spent on equipment in this place, they didn’t air condition the clinic area – it was stiflingly hot and humid.

            After the surgery, Burkhard gave me a signed copy of his book and a digital tape of the surgery he had just done and he said goodbye; he had 10 more surgeries to do.  I was then taken back down to the clinic and examined three more patients.  Then I was told I had to climb four flights of stairs in the heat to sign their darn guest book.  I’m not getting paid for this!  What was the purpose of this visit? To show off his surgery and facility to me?  He never discussed the ThinOptX patients at all.  I stopped visiting other peoples surgery 30 years ago, I hate it and never learn anything.

            I took a cab back to the hotel for €9.65 ($11.60) and did my email and then we checked out.  Instead of going to Hanover as planned, I decided to see if we could catch up on the trip by going straight north to Hamburg.  This Mainz stop was a total waste of our time..

            It was a long drive.  Marcia did 180 miles and I finished the remaining 145 miles taking us 4.5 hours.  We checked into the Atlantic Hotel Kempinsky (right) [Holzdamm, Sankt Georg Strasse, +49-402-8880,] which a patient of mine told me I just had to stay at when in Hamburg.  When I get my hands on him.  The room (#441) was huge, expensive (€290) and had no air conditioning.  We had to open the windows it was so stuffy in there.

            We took a cab to the wharf area where the restaurants were but it wasn’t very lively on a Tuesday night.  We had a Guinness & wine at Slattery’s Pub while deciding where to eat.  We ended up at Restaurant Markt Café da Valerio e Andrea (below) [, +49-.]  Andrea was our waitress and she helped us with recommendations.  Marcia had John Dory and I had Plaice (below right,) but boy was that a big fish.  It wasn’t that great but just OK.  We enjoyed some Italian white wine as well.  We talked with Andrea for quite some time and she was very friendly to us.

   

            We caught a taxi back to the Kempinsky and had an Irish coffee and a Bellini at their very posh hotel bar and got to bed at 3:30 AM.  Now we are finally going to start our trip to Scandinavia!

KJH                                                                  Go To -> NEXT DIARIO #7 

Kenneth J. Hoffer, MD

KHofferMD@AOL.com
Ken@Hoffer.US
Hamburg, Germany           
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Sent 6-20-03

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