A long-ish but peaceful day in the office today, as I forgot to check my schedule and apparently this was supposed to be my "free" afternoon! Oops.
I continue working on my finance document for Jan (Topinka) and Ivo. Míša and her friend Barbora Šípová (Bara for short) take me to lunch at a Czech restaurant, where I have creamy onion soup with chives followed by trout fried in butter (pstruh smažený na másle) with lemon and potatoes, and they have the beef broth with vegetables and then chicken with mushrooms and cream. It's a lovely restaurant with an open courtyard full of tables, and it is rammed inside and out, always a good indicator that the food is excellent (and in this case reasonable).
The Czech government produces luncheon vouchers which any company with employees can buy and for which the company receives a tax break. The employees are then given these vouchers or sold them at a discount (so for example the firm might pay 60% and the employee 40%) and most restaurants take them. What a great idea! I'm sure the UK has something like this but I personally have never seen or used one.
We stop on the way back at a lovely bakery near the office and buy three giant slices of honey cake (medovník) for later.
At four o'clock precisely we gather for cake and coffee/tea on the balcony, joined by Zuzana (Picková). The medovník is so light and fluffy (you can see that it is made with multiple layers and is rather like a honeycomb) that even though the pieces are huge and I cannot imagine finishing mine, it disappears within seconds and I feel I could probably manage another slice without too much trouble.
In the afternoon I have coffee (or rather I have mint tea and Jan and Josef have coffee) with Jan (Topinka) and Josef (Otčenášek), who are the banking, finance and capital markets team. We chat for a long time about the state of the market, about current conditions, about how our firms can work together more. Then we have to dash back to the office because Jan is trying to organise things so he does not have to come in on Friday. Jan says he thinks the work I have been doing on their standard form document is extremely helpful, which makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.
Martin takes off around 6.30pm on his Suzuki Bandit. I make a few more amendments to my slide presentations for Friday morning (ulp!) and send these to Petr (Skalsky), so that we can print them out, and I leave around 8pm.
Back at my hotel I decide that as I have to give my two presentations at 8.15am I will have an early night, so I do the lazy traveller's thing and eat dinner at my hotel. I have something which seems to be referred to as vrabec("sparrow") and consists of roast duck, roast pork, smoked pork, spicy sausage (the colour of a but much tastier), white and red cabbage, bread dumplings and potato dumplings. After eating roughly half of this along with a glass of red wine, I am stupified by the sheer weight of protein and carbohydrates. I go to my room and call Tom to say that I am having a meat overdose. I do not think I have ever fallen asleep so quickly!