Sunday, July 15, 2007

Eurotrip: Prelude

Vacation starts with a party. On Friday night, I set out from Tartu for a three-odd hour drive across Estonian back roads. My goal: a campground where my employer was holding an annual corporate piss-up.

There are places in Estonia which are not simple to reach - pairs of points on the map that are not connected by any satisfactory freeway. Hundreds of kilometers through small towns and villages, with nothing but a Google Maps printout and twenty gigabytes of music to keep you company is actually a pretty good way to start a vacation.

The corporate party has been the subject of many a rant, and certainly I've lived through some crap ones; however, this one was actually pretty decent - mostly due to the choice of campground. Small separate houses, with proper toilets & showers, sufficiently spread out to give people a chance to get some peace & quiet when they're done partying, really is of paramount importance.

The tequila didn't hurt either.

A big part of corporate outings is the entertainment. At Christmastime and during the Summer Days season, content-starved society rags snoop for information on the parties each act is doing and how much they're charging. For the bands though, this can be miserable. There are plenty of companies in Estonia that can afford a big name, but it's largely an issue of bragging rights, and presuming a minimal level of competence at performing live. You won't make everyone happy. The upshot is that a band that's used to playing in front of a crowd of fans, people who paid their own money to see the show, can find itself in a room with fifteen drunk IT nerds standing around & scowling.

Still, I'll mosh to anything with a power chord.

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