Tomorrow afternoon I go on my travels. A long weekend in Portugal to the capital city of Lisbon (or Lisboa in Portuguese) to be more precise.
I have been to Portugal once previously. Many years ago when I was a mere strip of a lad in my twenties, while living in Amsterdam, the company I worked for, decided that a team building event in Portugal was necessary to cement the bonds between the team members.
There would be team building exercises, and strategy discussions and all sorts of dull corporate shenanigans. The location was a luxury golf resort in the medieval town of Sintra which is located about an hour from Lisbon. Apparently it is a breathtakingly beautiful place. I wouldn’t know. My agenda was full to the brim with corporate bluff. On a golf course.
The team which I was a member of, wasn’t exactly full of business executives. We were glorified call centre staff. So we were somewhat overwhelmed by the extravagance of our monstrous multinational – whisking us off to this glamourous location.
It wasn’t all glamour mind. On the first evening a recovering alcoholic in the group discovered that the drinks were complimentary. It was triple whiskeys for the rest of the weekend for that person.
Unknown to the rest of us, there was also a functioning heroin addict in our department. Late in the first evening we wondered why he was shaking. He borrowed some cash from the drunk, and made his way to the city to score some smack. He wasn’t seen again until the flight back home.
This all went officially unacknowledged – we were adults, and responsible for ourselves. The head of the department (who six months later would leave the company under a cloud of ignominy after having an affair with her married boss) declared our team fully bonded.
This weekend will be less eventful I hope.
A group of us from the drama group have sourced cheap flights and are paying a visit to a former member of the group – a Brazilian woman who now lives there. This is wonderful. She knows the city and speaks the language. We have the inside track.
It is an easygoing bunch I suspect. Between them they have played my sister, wife, friend and dinner. All onstage of course
It promises to be memorable.