A broken Blackberry, rain, our flight delayed by one hour, and a sprained thumb – this is not a good start. But the morning improves markedly when I meet up at the airport with another EPCA traveller who has been drinking for ten hours on the transatlantic flight and generously re-gifts me his freebie blanket from the flight.
It turns out that being at the airport with someone in the party spirit is close to being in the party spirit oneself, and then I get news that a new Blackberry will be joining me in Budapest on Saturday, so things start to brighten up.
We meet Henry W and his charming wife Rachel as we board the flight. He is heading for four days of meetings where everyone will be asking about the new ownership of his company. It will be an improvement on being owned by faceless money men, he says.
The hotel is not entirely as we imagined from the website. Sure it has its helipad, rooftop restaurant, bullet-proof glass and panic room, but a wizened porter shows me to a small dark bedroom which is not big enough to swing a cat in. When I protest, I am upgraded to a larger room with a street scene mural on one wall and mirrored walls and ceiling with disco lighting, much to the entertainment of passing colleagues.