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Wednesday in Prague - journalia
September 10th, 2008
10:30 pm

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Wednesday in Prague
Today feels less busy, somehow, although I am still working on a standard form document for HH's finance team, and we have a meeting late in the day to discuss progress and going forward. The partner with whom I am meant to be having lunch, Mike Mullen, who is like me an expat Yankee, is off sick so instead I have a pizza with Martin, Petr Skalský and Jan Hladký. It is a standing joke in the office that Hanzo (which is what people called Jan are frequently nicknamed) always has a mobile phone glued to his ear and is constantly talking to some high-powered politician or other. True to form, during lunch he has his fork in one hand and his mobile in the other.

The firm has a wine-tasting party in the evening for its VIP clients (nothing to do with my visit, just happy coincidence) on the balcony of its building. Caterers spend about three hours rushing up and down the hall outside the office I'm sharing with the HR manager, Katka, and the result is stunning: tables laden with wine glasses, canapes, bottles of wine, duck, salads, fruit, desserts and coffee. One of the HH partners (I cannot see which one) gives a speech in Czech and then a happy client from the Netherlands talks about his relationship with HH in English, and we all clap.

The wine tasting guy keeps announcing which wines we're tasting over the PA but by this time everyone is chatting so loudly it's impossible to hear him (and in any case he's speaking Czech), so we just carry on drinking whatever comes past. I chat to the Dutch guest and to Natalija Traurigová (who is originally Russian and mans the Russian desk), Zuzana Picková (who is working with one of the partners to set up an energy specialism), Petra Chudíková (who works in M&A and qualified seven months ago), Barbora Šípová (koncipientka, or trainee) and of course Míša.

All in all it's a very successful party and I sleep very soundly afterwards.

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