Let’s put it this way: if the invitation states that the Christmas party starts at 8am, you basically know it’s going to be a long haul. One way or the other.
It’s true. We were sent to a remote Styrian village called Gleisdorf. We soon flixed our way through the first part of the journey. But shortly after getting off at the bus station in Graz, we had our first problems with orientation. We knew it, the coffee was too strong. In spite of Google Maps, we ended up scanning every which direction before managing to reach the hostel. We were turned away for the time being, but we were allowed to leave our suitcases there.
What’s it all supposed to be about, again? The journey?
First of all, back to the station. Now that we knew every direction, the way back was easy-peasy. Before the troop set off, dear Denise attempted a headcount. Two rows or thereabouts. It wasn’t that easy. Nevertheless, we still had 40 minutes until the regional express would depart. Good thing Katl had a rubber ball with her. And that Christoph had a few beers for on the go.
Unbelievable but there it was: Gleisdorf.
Arriving in the idyllic uplands near Graz, we found the Gleisdorf Fredmanskys’ premises without any trouble. Well, that’s a lie, but we’ve got to cut it short. After the official part – the newcomers read the Christmas Gospel – we ate bread rolls, sushi and cold pizza, and occupied our Styrian colleagues’ workplaces. We liked the office instantly: arcade machines, pinball, a Carrera track and a PS2 with Singstar between all the desks. We wondered for a moment how anyone could work there. But Max put our minds at ease: “The desks are only hired, of course; they’ll be picked up on Monday.”
The plural of gin-’n’-tonic? Gin-in-tons.
After the fridge was empty, we had to get straight to the train. Then from the station back to our hostel, which so far had only accommodated our luggage. Lo and behold: someone finally offers us a room and now no-one wants to go to bed. Well, hell! We kept things going. The long walk ended in front of the Ernst Fuchs Bar, where we were warmly received: “Bloody hell, the lot of you want to come in now?” A few gin-in-tons later, we were on the move again.
We stopped by a shed (it can’t be described as anything more luxurious) called ppc. ppc is short for Extremely Slow Cloakroom. The lads there really had all the time in the world. No surprise, all they played were hits from the 90s. Which, by the way, very few of us knew. But everyone got into it like we Fredmanskys always do: boldly, strongly and enthusiastically.
We stayed there a while more or less – some more, others less. It’s hard to piece together how everyone got home, but they all made it. We were all present and correct at the luggage hostel the next morning, at least.