Sunday, May 6, 2007

Company outing

This Friday was different, at work. We were told earlier that week that there would be a company outing on that day, and that a bus would take us from work at 4pm. Further hints were dropped in the last couple of days, but since I don't speak Icelandic most of the stuff escaped me.

Now, for a quick background about my company, it's made up of 30 employees or so. It also belongs to one big Icelandic conglomerate (yes, they have those here too). Of the 30 employees, about 6-8 are in the software group (including me), and that group has been moved to a separate office recently.

So, it was finally Friday at 4 pm. We got on a bus, on which the other two dozen employees already were on. Actually we grabbed beers before we got on the bus. We then went to a recording studio in Hafnarfjörður (a town south of Reykjavík), where we ended up going in the recording room in groups of 4-5 to record songs! The song I sang on was called "Draumur um Nínu" (meaning "Dream about Nina", which a google search reveals is the 1992 Icelandic Eurovision entry). Having not heard this before, I tried to sing as well as I could.. It will be interesting to listen to it when we will be given copies!

After the recordings, the bus drove us West (towards Hveragerði), and we stopped by an ATV course. We put on some outerwear (it's muddy there!) and got on the ATVs, 2 people on each. At first I was in the passenger seat, which was a bit uncomfortable. Halfway through we switched and I was driving... Now that was more fun :). The course wasn't too complicated, though the setting was nice (surrounded by those moss-covered mountains).

After the ATVs, we got on the bus again, and were assigned to each interview our neighbor so that we could do a one minute presentation about them over dinner. The dinner was at a place called the "ski cabin" apparently, in the same area (not that there seemed to be much skiing infrastructure there...). Since there were 30 presentations to be made, that took quite a while. Everything was in Icelandic, so I could only understand word here or there. Thankfully my lessons start in 10 days!

After dinner, the bus took us downtown, and we went to a couple of bars/clubs. The combined alcohol from the trip (plenty of beer on the bus, wine and other drinks at dinner) and from the clubs had the (expected) effect of making Icelanders easier to chat with. People are quite reserved here when they don't really know you... Until the alcohol hits :).

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