EA Global London 2019: Day 1
And we’re off!
If you missed Day 0, head on over there. I’ll be right here where you left me.
This year, I moved to Scotland to avoid jet lag for the conference. So it was a convenient little domestic plane ride to London City Airport, a few hops on the depressed-looking-passenger filled trains and tubes, then a couple getting completely losts wandering around with a dying smartphone as my guide that led me to the hostel. A wave hello to the poor American in the other bunk who had just flown in overnight and was starting his jet lag journey (should have moved to Scotland, bud!) and I headed out to the opening social.
Budgets looked flush this year. The location and venue — The Brewery — was ritzy enough to make one wonder if there’s a sympathiser among the party venue elite of London. If not, to pull a Judas, I think I might just quibble. We don’t need a fancy venue, do we? Most of us have scant cash on hand and those that do — I heard rumours of a billionaire tech magnate among us — should surely expect austerity. Give us a giant circus tarp made from plastic bags and a bean and rice buffet and send the rest of our budget to Rob Mather. But I know I know, image and branding and marketing make the world go round. Let’s move on.
Registration was painless, coat collection smooth, and endless *vegan nachos truly endless. The first night was really just meant to loosen everyone up. I’m not sure that’s possible with EA people, but an attempt was made. Myself, I didn’t do all that much extroverted speed-friending compared to last year. I’m not sure why not — but I’ve learned to kind of ride my moods wherever they take me. Still, I did meet a good gaggle of gangly folk. There was liquor around so things got progressively louder until the keepers of the venue herded us out into the street. At that point, everyone kind of broke up into roving, Effective packs.
I ended up in a small pack with Aaron Hamlin from the Center for Election Science — you might remember him from a past episode but you can remember him here as a guy who runs a great organisation that is trying to improve democracy. We failed to find an open vegan kitchen to feed poor Aaron and eventually just went home at a reasonable hour, very vegan, very sober. I told you we’re hopeless. Or maybe I’m just projecting. Anyway, I slept a little. Ready for day 2?
Small aside: I can’t sleep around other people. This whole hostel idea to save money? Never worth it. Sleep was mostly impossible. But I knew that on some level already. Didn’t matter. This isn’t a complaint — but it bears noting because it means I was going to become more and more sleep-deprived throughout the weekend. This meta-fact bears noting because this means I am an unreliable narrator. You already knew, that but it bears repeating. Bears. Hah. What madness. Please let me rest, ye gods.
* As they made a point of saying this a few times — yes, everything except for the milk with the coffee was vegan. No word as to who approved of the coffee-milk but rest assured they will never again see sunlight.