Some humble observations…
I’ve been sleeping an average of four hours a night, my shoulder is aching from carrying around my laptop every day, and the buses and metro stop running to the part of town where my apartment is way too early, so I have to spend about 25 Euros whenever I want to get back from the Euroclub. And yet, I can’t remember when I’ve been this happy!
I’m part of a great team here at ESCKaz. We’re a pretty unique site, with two generally autonomous subunits: English and Russian. On the English side, we’ve got Drew and Tam (who I haven’t actually met yet, but they should be joining us soon), Mike, Daniel, and little ol’ me. The Russians generally keep to themselves, with the exception of our Fearless Leader, Editor-in-Chief Andy, who bridges the gap and often acts as a translator for the Russian-speaking delegations that we interview. My day is generally spent running between my computer, press conferences, and artist interviews, with occasional jaunts to the Arena itself, the cafeteria, or my “pigeonhole”, where I pick up promotional material like CDs or postcards from the delegations.
Business cards are flying out of my hands so quickly, I almost feel like Gambit.
Here in the MPC (Main Press Center), the atmosphere is universally welcoming. Watching the interactions between people here reminds me almost of the first few days of summer camp (only without the wedgies and bug juice). Everyone here has war stories: how bad the food was in Moscow, how cheap the beer was in Tallinn, how tiny the venue in Jerusalem was…I’m wondering what they’ll say about Düsseldorf in five years’ time…I know I’ll be wishing that my apartment had been closer to civilization.
So far, I’ve been really impressed with the acts I’ve had the chance to speak to personally. Everyone’s been sweet and accommodating (but, then again, the ones who wouldn’t be sweet and accommodating probably aren’t doing many one-on-one interviews!). It’s always a bit surreal to meet these artists and find out that they’re completely humble, normal people. Getting to have decent, human conversations with these guys kind of gives you a whole new perspective on the idea of “celebrity”. Someone hugely popular in Country X might be completely overshadowed in Eurovision. Someone completely huge in Eurovision circles might be unknown outside of Europe. And little ol’ me gets to hang out with all of them!