Biz biz biz

Today was all about meetings. A breakfast meeting, coffee meeting, lunch meeting, impromptu cigarette break meeting (I didn’t smoke, but the smell of my skin and clothes, I might as well have), not including the many official meetings set up beforehand. Overall, many utterly talented, utterly reasonably priced, utterly strong worth ethic’ed, utterly dealable companies and individuals to make games with.

The live sessions have a great UN feel to them. 99% of the audience speaks Russian, so most sessions involve me nodding into my live-translation earpiece and laughing at jokes a few seconds after everyone else. My company gave a group panel on why Eastern Block developers (that term is not preferred here) should publish with us. A drunk guy approaches me later and said that my English is “Wow… Way cool. Wow.” I think he means I slur and mumble.

We then put on a cocktail party in a bar hidden snug beneath the conference floor. The signature cocktail was something I call a flaming-upperclass-mudslide (they called it a B-52): a striated admixture of black Kahlua at bottom, white Baily’s in the middle, and crystalline Grand Marnier atop — lit quickly and flaming blue and drunk by sticking a straw deep in the bottom of the shot glass and slurping from dark to light as quickly as possible.

Next was a “Slavic Dinner” spread put on by one of the hosts. A weddinglike display of little treats (mostly meat oriented) as well as vodka a’plenty.

Finally — a party at a club called Botcha (beer barrel) where I downed much of the aforementioned homebrew and was, much to my surprise, highly entertained by the Swingin’ trio band flanked by an upright bass and led by a tattooed, Elvis-voiced drummer who sang, with heavy Ukrainian accent: “Sixtee-an tons and whattooyoutooget? Udderday oder and deepain det.” I then tried to follow the goings on of some Ukranian Renaissance Fair refugees putting on a contest to find the most valiant knight. Competition included proposing to a maiden by getting on your knees and singing, a jousting match with no horse and giant Q-tips, and archery across the bar.

Back at the hotel, Alexander and I desperately looked for playing cards to start up a game of poker. There’s a certain stage of drunkenness where you get an idea in your head and single-mindedly pursue it at all costs. Usually it involves sex, drugs, or violence, but in this case it was just some innocent gambling. Alas, though we tried to steal, bribe, and wheedle, there was not a pack of playing cards to be found.

One last warm beer, a clinking of bottles, and to bed.


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