Last week was the second of what is now becoming our traditional ‘Christmas Party in another country’. In 2013 we headed to Lisbon. This year it was Budapest. Home to vampires and having baths with friends. That, at least is what we read before we arrived. As it transpired only one of those things happened and we had our speedos on at the time.
We shan’t give you a minute-by-minute, blow-by-blow account of all the ins-and-outs, but as voted by no one other than the writer, here are the five moments that summarised the experience.
1. Burger-gate. No trip outside the office would be complete without Bordoni and food. Having ordered his burger with chilli chips (a Hungarian delicacy), he then refused point-blank to accept that the burger he was presented with was in fact the one he had ordered… despite the fact that it clearly was. So there it sat, in the middle of the table, alone, as one-by-one everyone else’s food was delivered to the table. What was originally amusing, soon became uncomfortable and then embarrassing. Until the inevitable happened. Everyone had their food, the chilli flakes arrived at the table and Bordoni relented with his typical Yorkshire charm and grace. The waiter looked a broken man.
2. Sharing Steve’s number with the world. Turns out, that in one of the Ruin Bars we found – Szimpla Kert – the owners appreciate you drawing over the walls, tables, bars and floors. Having grown tired of drawing Pink Squid logos, we decided our ink would be better placed writing Steve’s phone number on every available surface. Disappointingly for us – and insultingly for him – no one has called yet.
3. Josh. Our Kiwi-import deserves a moment to himself. Whether it’s because it was seemingly the first time he ever touched alcohol or because he let our Creative Director Manj know in no uncertain terms how much he admired Manj’s wife…
4. Bath Time. While Jon stayed at the restaurant on Thursday night with a few others who wanted to discuss tea (cool stuff happening next year) and share his dessert, the rest headed to the baths. And most of them got in. Apart from Nerea and Sandra. Who managed to lock their key in their locker and spent the next 90 minutes bather-watching. A hobby that’s unlucky to catch on or become legal. They did at least provide useful in the taking of photos.
5. “We are diverting to Frankfurt.” Admittedly we were flying with RyanAir so we had opened ourselves up to the potential for something to go a bit awry, but none of us were really expecting to take-off from Budapest and land in Frankfurt. For 30 minutes it looked as if this would happen after the work-experience boy at UK Air Traffic Control pressed the wrong button and effectively closed British airspace. Luckily someone hit Ctrl-Alt-Dlt and eventually we were Blighty-bound again. Much to the chagrin of the air steward who was making a killing on £1.80 Mars bars.