Friday, July 29, 2005

C’est pas mauvais, c’est rustique

My mother expressed the desire to have dinner at a Moroccan restaurant for her one night stay in Madrid. She had expressed that same antojo last year and we had gone to the usual and expensive Al-Mounia, but as we had been disappointed we decided to try a new address this time. I therefore spent some time asking around and looking on the web for new unknown places and finally decided on one reviewed cheap and authentic.

As I called the restaurant yesterday to ask if a reservation was needed, I was pleasantly surprised when the person who answered the phone barely spoke any Spanish and replied ‘yes yes ok reservation 4 people 10pm’ to my ‘is a reservation necessary?’ question. I thought it was a good sign (it being his poor level of Spanish.)

So at ten last night, we entered a small empty and typically decorated Moroccan restaurant. The waiter was the person whom I had ‘spoken’ to on the phone so we spoke slowly and used a restricted vocabulary in order to try to make ourselves understood. The card was small but included all the specialties my dear mother desired. The place was certainly authentic. No wine. No alcohol. Authentic except for the KISS FM playing in the background.

We ordered cous-cous, pastela, taillin, and 3 alcohol free beers. The service was friendly and certainly fast, the food was ok, and the bill cheap as hell. I apologized a thousand times, my mother kept trying to find positive elements to the experience, and my mother’s boyfriend summarized the experience as ‘C’est pas mauvais, c’est rustique’ (read ‘It’s not bad it’s rustic.) Indeed.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Esa maldita rana

La mayoría de los españoles tienen mal gusto; no es ningún ataque directo a los españoles, ya que estoy convencida de que este el caso de la mayoría de todo país. Musicalmente, por ejemplo, solo hay que mirar los horrores que suenan en la radio y lo que vende: ¿donde más se ha visto que una sencilla como Maria Isabel venda más que U2? Sin hablar de fenomenos de moda como OT o el ‘neng.’ Pues bien, hasta hace poco estaba 'sorprendida en bien’ (traducción literal del francés como suelo hacer muchas y que habla por si misma) ya que España era uno de los pocos países en Europa, o quizás el único, que no había lanzado el Crazy Frog.

El Crazy Frog, para los que no lo ubicáis, es esa rana azul/gris feísima, con una pinta de mala comparable en mi humilde opinión a un Gremlin mojado, que lleva un casco, monta una moto, y no para de producir ese insoportable e irritante sonido que enfurece a cualquier persona normal: "ding ding dididing". Lleva ya varios meses mareando a toda Europa pero el problema es que ahora también ha empezado a marearnos en España.

Entiendo que esta maldita rana venda muchísimo sobre todo en contenidos para móviles ya que a muchísima gente le hace gracia, por falta de cualquier criterio de buen o mal gusto, o simplemente para joder a su entorno. Vale, eso lo entiendo aunque me siga pareciendo patético. Lo que no entiendo es que los medios dejen que el puto ding ding dididing suene en cada uno de sus espacios publicitarios, o sea cada cinco minutos, y eso hasta varias veces seguidas. Que pague Jamba o Blanco&Negro por el espacio publicitario no creo que deba de ser sinónimo de libertad absoluta de atontar a toda la población. Y para los que diréis ‘pero si yo no he visto a la rana en la TV’, tenéis toda la razón, todavía no (aunque si ya invadio la radio.) Pero como la historia se repite y eso es lo que sucedió en países como Alemania o Inglaterra (donde no se podia ver un programa o una peli en la TV sin ver y oir a la puta rana 50 mil veces, a tal punto que hasta hicieron una petición!) prepararos, porque eso es lo que nos espera, seguramente este otoño.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

A perfect balance

Friday: After some shopping and some cocktails, we started the evening with a degustation menu in a wonderful 'secret' little terrace.

We then headed to a few bars in Chueca (too bad the bartender was taken, sino Nat se lo abria comido) and ended up closing a pretty cool outdoors club.

Saturday: Nothing better than a house and a garden outside of Madrid with some new and old friends, a paella and a sangria to cure the hangover ;-)

Nat being a player, she obviously had to start some 'surprise shower games.' But when you play with fire chances are you'll get it even worse... here's the proof!

After the obliged nap, we had a great dinner eating 'Miami-like' sushi. Yes, you read my right, I can finally find edamame, spicy tuna, dinamite and rainbow rolls in Madrid =)

Drinks and bar hopping in Malasaña. This lamp was at Blue Note and looked really cool standing out against the bright blue wall.

After dancing our night away at Sala Sol (donde Nat finalmente se comio a su primer españolito, Miguel Angel LOL), we just HAD to taste the spaghettis of Lady Pepa, fortunately empty because of the long weekend. Sunday was therefore synonym of attempting to sleep with the bright sun and afternoon heat and brunch when we finally got out of bed.

Overall an exquisite weekend, a perfectly balanced mix of everything I wanted and needed.

Friday, July 22, 2005

@ Glass bar

A weekend with a mission

I love receiving visits from friends. Whether it's their first time in Madrid and you get to show them everything you love about this city, seeing it through their marveled eyes and quickly making them fall in love with it like Beanie, or simply enjoying the city with friends who used to live here and miss it. The second is the case of Nat who is in Madrid for the weekend. The mission this weekend is thus very clearly defined: quemar Madrid. Great restaurants, delicious dinners, girl talk, long nights, live music, cool hip bars, eating spaghettis afterhours, big brunches with bloody marys, and of course the imperative shoe shopping for the shoe addict!

I shall definitely tell you about all mentionable details of the long weekend when it's over. That's right, I said long weekend: thankfully Monday is off and I might very much need it to recharge my batteries and empty my body from all the toxines I'm going to be ingesting (I no longer have the aguante I used to have and was famous for since I passed the bar of 30); so I'll either be a total
couch potato or jump in a train and pay a long postponed and much needed visit to Uma b. @ El Escorial! Uma b. is now the proud mother of Duke Bruno, but she certainly was the expert party queen of this city before this new stage of her life, the one who showed me how to enjoy and love la marcha madrileña and what quemar Madrid really means!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

In awe

and shock with this new discovery.... check out these ladies' undies!!!

As clueless as Alicia Silverstone

Yes I work in the mobile industry and should be able to solve this mistery but I am completely clueless (as clueless as Alicia Silverstone): I have litterally tried everything and cannot figure it out.

I had the bright idea to buy a little thingy called a sim card copier for my father's birthday. This small and cheap little machine enables you to back up all the information you keep on your sim card of your mobile phone. Pretty practical when it works properly huh? We all use our mobile phone as our address book and calendar nowadays so we're pretty lost when we loose or have no access to our mobile phones, aren't we?

Anyhow, this is the mistery: the sim card copier is supposed to read any sim in the whole wide world and it does read all the cards I have tried except my father's and mine. Of course. It keeps giving us the error message 'error pin.' Now, we both have corporate accounts with our respective jobs, do you think that could be it and that these sim cards have an equivalent of firewall? If anyone can help me solve this problem, please do tell me what to do!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Mongui surroundings

As I mentioned yesterday I cannot wait till my dear 'mongui' colleagues leave on holidays (by mongui please understand mentally retarded.) I have only been back in the office for 3 days now and I am already fed up. Let me try to expain why.

Colleague n.1
Nicknamed trouduc which litterally means asshole in French. He is the typical overly nice and sweet guy who looks a bit like a teddy bear at first (when you still like him), but he soon gets on your nerves because of his complete incompetence and total stupidity, and you soon see him simply as overweight and dull. Not to mention his bad taste, not to say lack of taste, which in this case is very important as he is in charge of the stereo of our open space and keeps playing all the shittiest tackiest Spanish songs, my daily hell. He is by the way considered the music expert by our wonderful boss.

Colleage n.2
Nicknamed la pute incompétente which litterally means the incompetent bitch. In a nutshell: a) she is as false as can be, pretends to be nice only to better shoot you behind your back; b) she seems to be smart at first, but it is soon visible that she only pretends to, which is basically worse than trouduc, because at least he is true to himself, he knows that he's stupid and he does not try to fool you. She, on the other hand, is convinced that she's smarter than anyone else. She always knows better; c) she also pretends to have good taste but likes the same exact BS as trouduc; d) last but not least she is sooo cool and hip; like Buenafuente, she calls everybody 'neng', the fashionable tacky expression these days.

The intern
No nickname to this day, since she is practically invisible. She got the internship through the lover of our boss, friend of her father. I am not kidding. What she does when she comes to the office remains a mistery. On the plus side, she's innocent and nice, which in this team is truly exceptional.

THE boss
Ah the boss! Often nicknamed the alcoholic simply because she's more often than not drunk or hungover. She's the cherry on the cake: false, overly friendly, incompetent, stupid, deceitful, in a continuous drunken spaced out state. She's also famous for hacerse la Sueca, never better said as she is Swedish (please understand for pretending not to see/hear) and sleeping around especially with the managers of the office, obviously not too discreetly.

So, now that you have a complete picture of my daily surroundings, I am sure you can better understand my nightmarish suffering. ¡Bienvenido sea agosto!
PS: yes, I am as busy and motivated as yesterday
PS2: phew, kurt is right, that was really therapeutical!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Current status

Feeling: lazy, bored and unmotivated
Physically located: in the office
Mentally located: everywhere but the office. Have been pretty much surfing the net all day long: blogs, job search, astrological previsions, travel deals, gossips, and much much more.
Reading: I started Atlas Shrugged as soon as I started my holidays and have been reading it every single day by the pool. Yet, I have still not finished it and I am seriously not a slow reader. The book has 1075 physical pages but seriously, it is written so small and condensed that each page counts double in my book. Other than that, I am loving it.
Listening to: mainly the last albums of Jack Johnson and Coldplay, even if the holidays included a variety of genres ranging from Madonna's 80s hits to Bob Marley.
Looking forward to: Nat's visit this weekend which promises, not to say ensures a wild and intense mission of quemar Madrid; Marc coming back for a week in August; the jornada intensiva starting in August (which basically means starting early, around 9am and leaving extra early, around 3pm); being the only one in the office (and thus being able to cheat on the jornada intensiva official hours) and spending the afternoon at my uncle's pool two blocks away from the office!
Eating: After a quite healthy diet during the holidays, consisting of lots of fruits and vegetables, I have decided to try to continue even if it is not as easy when I work. Let's see how I do and if I loose some weight at last (seeing myself in the pics from the holidays has horrified me!)

Monday, July 18, 2005


... from absofuckinglutely fantastic holidays

... in Madrid and its 'youmaycallit' desert heat (even if it has cooled down an itsy bit)

... to being alone: M left today =(

... in the office, as unmotivated as humanly possible

... in the 'waiting' (Mercedes Benz called on July 11th to inform M that they had chosen another candidate...)

Monday, July 11, 2005

Friday, July 01, 2005

on vacation

On vacation
Back on July 18th