Meeting Oleg, Espen, Ilya and Steve for real:
Monday, April 28, 2008 12:15:06 AM
Oleg in Norway? Really?
A long time ago Oleg PMed me asking why I didn't post more often saying the Python posts of mine interested him. As until about a week ago I have been short of time working 100% as well as studying at University during the weekends. But we kept the contact, and it didn't take much time before I was the one admiring his skills, not in programming, but his amazing designs. He is probably most known for winning a competition at MyOpera with this image now printed out and hanging in the corridors of Opera. But also for some of the great flyers he made for SXSW and much more.
Now Opera had invited him to Oslo, and I had to get the chance to meet him, but after a misunderstanding about what Hotel he would stay in, I contacted Espen and he asked me if we should meet up together for a social event. And of course I didn't turn down his offer. So we met up at Tullins Café me, Oleg, Alex (one of Oleg's friends)Espen, Stine (Espen's girl friend), Ilya (known from MyOpera.net), and after a while MyOpera's favourite video-blogger these days Steve.
O'boy was I in for a treat:
I didn't know what to expect from the evening except getting to talk to Oleg, so I was surprised when Espen had what he called a "mandatory present" for me. In the plastic bag I found two t-shirts (see picture to the right), as well as buttons and stickers. I'll save one of the stickers for the new laptop I am about to buy, but I'll push around some of them at work; I know my friends will appreciate it.
But it didn't stop there. We got food and drinks on Opera's bill, so we stayed for quite a while chatting about Opera and what else nerds usually talk about when gathered this way. I just hope we didn't bore Espen's girlfriend too much. Oleg talked quite a bit about how it was living in Ukraine, and Espen told us about how it is to work at Opera, and I had to restrain myself from asking questions I know he would not be allowed to answer But he sure made it sound like a really nice place to work. I've always loved places where people love their job more than the money they get from working there. And it sounds like Opera has quite a few people like that working there. The atmosphere really reminded me about CERN where I could see people sitting up way past midnight knowing they could have left at 5pm and call it a day.
When people meet from different countries there is always some sort of problem when it comes to communication. But I can't say I had much problems understanding Oleg at all. His English proved to be much better than my Ukrainian. He tried to teach us how to say "to Opera" while toasting and Espen did really well, while I couldn't have done any worse I guess. But he was kind enough to write it down for us (see picture on the left) so I could go home and practice.
The night was young:
After a nice meal we headed for the bar at the top of SAS Radisson where we could see quite a bit of Oslo. Luckily as we where fireworks came from nowhere just outside our window before it was time for us to part. Me, Espen, Steve, and Stine went on for one more beer at Evergreen before we all felt an urgent need for some sleep. It had been a long day that surpassed my expectations at least tenfold. I just want to thank Espen and Opera for making this such a great evening, and you should all watch out for an update on Oleg's blog with more info on his trip soon I guess.
[Oleg to the left, and me on the right side]
- Øyvind Østlund -