Sunday, November 27, 2005

Last business trip

I am off to Lisbon. My very last business trip for the company will unfortunately happen with my boss, which I cannot say I am looking forward to. Three full days with her begging me to please work an extra week to train my substitute and once again save her ass. I know she'll use any weapons to try to convince me and I therefore dread this trip. I will however do my best to enjoy my last business trip in this city I have learned to enjoy and discover these past two years. Send me strength with a drop diplomacy, please!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanksgiving tradition

I would have never thought that Thanksgiving would be something I'd miss from my eight years living in the States. Don't get me wrong, I don't miss the turkey (which tends to be always dry and insipid,) the green beens, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce (that last one makes me invariably and uncontrollably do a disgusted expression.) It's not even the two days off work. No, what I miss is everyone getting together for the long 4 day weekend. Family, or adopted family (when you have an American stepmother like me,) and friends who are in town alone, all come together that day. Wherever they live, they all jump on a plane/car and spend the holiday at home with their grandparents, brothers, cousins, sisters, nephews, children, and parents. It's a tradition that Americans observe religiously, and the spirit is beautiful: it's just about all getting together and having Thanksgiving dinner. No presents necessary unlike Christmas, the only other occasion when an entire family gets together. And that's what I actually miss, that special spirit of love, peace and forgiveness among all the guests.

If you ask me, it would be much better for us Non-Americans to adopt and copy the Thanksgiving tradition instead of the much less significant Halloween. And so I will celebrate it tonight in Madrid, with my father, my stepmother and my friend Amélie.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Simply craquant

I've always had a weakness for Chris Martin. I find him simply 'craquant.' In Spanish, the closest I can find is 'está para comerselo'. He basically makes me melt. And he was especially 'craquant' last night, during the concert Coldplay performed in a completely full Palacio de los Deportes, as he attempted to communicate in Spanish with the audience. He kept repeating the few words and expressions he knew such as '¿Todos contentos?', 'Joder, que bueno!', 'Gracias', 'Madrid es guapo' accentuated by his cute British pronunciation.

The concert was fantastic: the sound was perfect, the song selection couldn't be better, and the energy on stage contagious. Chris kept jumping, running, and performing risky yet funny acrobatic moves, as he sang away his oh so beautiful lyrics. He joked, he laughed, and I melted.

I also laughed and jumped and sang and danced, happy to be there, with my school friend Amélie who's visiting for a few days, and extatic about my resignation and the new phase of my life which is just about to start.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Dirty games

Your butt is mine
gonna tell you right
Just show your face in broad daylight.
. . .

I'm giving you on count of three
To show your stuff or let it be.
I'm telling you
just watch your mouth
I know your game
what you're about.
they say the sky's the limit
and to me that's really true
my friend
you have seen nothing
just wait 'til I get through -
Because I'm bad
I'm bad - come on
You know I'm bad
I'm bad - you know it!
And the whole world has to answer right now
Just to tell you once again who's bad!
The word is out
you're doin' wrong
Gonna lock you up before too long.
your lyin' eyes gonna tell you right

. . .

Couldn't resist in quoting Michael today! I feel 'bad' because I legally resigned, meaning my official last day at work is December 7th. So there is nothing she can do to make me work and train my replacement until the 23rd of Dec. But as my very wise mother says, I am not being bad or playing dirty. I am simply using the aces I finally have in my hand and putting an end to their dirty games.

Monday, November 21, 2005

In limbo

My life is a big question mark at the moment, consisting of uncertainties and undefined variables. Yes, it is obviously and logically due to the intermediate or transitional state I am going thru, the big move, but it's a bit disheartening. Especially when all I am trying to do is 'help' my boss by giving her the time to find my replacement, whom she then wants me to train for 2 entire weeks. It's all fine and dandy in theory, except for the fact that she's already had 12 days but hasn't arranged anything yet, and for the inevitability that I have to pack all my stuff, empty my flat and make all the necessary arrangements to leave Madrid before Christmas. It’s simply not going to be feasible, and frankly, I am sorry to say that I refuse to be the one suffering from it. I am gonna have to play dirty.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Tchin tchin

I have a plane to catch in less than 3 hours. I am flying to Bordeaux, France, for the surprise birthday party of my friend Mathilde and meeting Nat at the airport. Everything has been organised by Mathilde's sister and the birthday girl has absolutely NO IDEA of what's expecting her tonight. 50 of her friends will be in the room when she arrives.

I have not seen Mathilde since she left Madrid more than a year and half ago. Those were the times when the 'Blondes Club' - Mathilde, Nat and I - (I realize this requires an explanation but it will have to be in another post!) would hang out at each other's houses almost every night, tasting Spanish wines (with the excuse of Mathilde's profession: oenology), French cheese, home-made foie gras, tapas, and of course chatting the night away. Nights which would often finish at 5am with one of us saying the famous: 'I don't think I am gonna go to work tomorrow.'

This weekend is synonym of celebrationS: her 25th birthday, The 'Blondes Club' reencounter, my moving, and who knows what else we'll find as a cause for more celebration. Tchin tchin!

Wish you all a great weekend!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Plan

Ladies and Gentlemen, Girls and Boys, it's confirmed: I am going ahead with the temporary solution. The Plan is simple: I am leaving my job (announced it to my boss this morning and boy did it feel great!), leaving Madrid, and starting a brand new student life in Hannover January of 2006! Yup, I plan to spend the first months of 2006 taking it easy, savouring my finally living together with M, and immersing myself into the German culture. I will take intensive German classes for four months, my goal being to be fluent by the end of April. And hopefully by then, M and/or I will have found a new job in another European city which will finally take us to the long-term solution.

I am happy, I feel light and free, excited and a bit scared. It just feels right and I cannot wait to start this new phase of my life. It's time for change. At last.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Saturday night

We all celebrated M's belated birthday Saturday night. 'We all' meaning M, his entire family (parents, uncles, aunts, cousins, grandmother, sister, nephews), and me. It was nice to see all these generations together around a big table, simply drinking, talking, having dinner. For the first time, I felt comfortable. It was great to be part of this big family, with its history and problems, qualities and defaults. Of course I wasn't able to say everything I wanted, given my limited German. But I did my best. And listened and smiled.

I was however a bit disappointed at M and the way he acted that night. Nothing big, but certainly a side I had never seen and I did not expect. A sort of selfishness. Which he quickly eluded when I brought up the subject. Which is now making me think twice about our temporary solution. Because it implies commitment and big changes mostly for me.

Monday, November 07, 2005

A temporary solution

We talked, discussed our options and both immediately agreed on which is the best one. Given, it's a temporary solution, but a solution nonetheless. We now have to look into it in detail, as it entails loads of drastic rapid changes. Give me a few days to research and coordinate, and I promise to tell you all about it. For now, all you need to know is that M and I are happy about the decision we made, and we are ready to start a brand new phase together as soon as January of 2006.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Forcing changes

M did not get the job. The Swiss company was forced to hire internally by its HQ. The sad part is that the Swiss company would have chosen M if allowed to hire externally. Anyhow, a new hope is gone and frankly, I cannot go on like this. I am falling apart. I believe I have been very strong and patient all these months. But enough is enough. Something needs to change. And as the famous proverb goes 'if the mountain won't come to Mohammed, Mohammed must go to the mountain', I am gonna have to force changes myself.

I am going to Hannover tomorrow; M and I will talk about our options. I have a pretty good idea of how to hasten changes, but I first have to see if M also sees that as a good option. Coming back to my current job after the Christmas holidays is certainly not an option in my book. More on that next week, when I'm back and know more about it myself!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Perfections and imperfections

The weekend was delightful, the party a huge success, and the site breath-taking (judge for yourself here). The sun and nice autumn weather also showed up, so we really have nothing to complain about.

Well, I take that back. I do have something to complain about, as when I attempted to return to Madrid on Sunday evening, Iberia had cancelled my flight. Uhu. Surprise surprise. So after two hours waiting in line at the Iberia Costumer Center desk, where of course only one person was taking care of rerouting all the passengers of my cancelled flight, I was given a cheap hotel voucher, and a boarding pass for the next day. I now have to write a letter to get the compensation I deserve according to my passengers rights, which reads very clearly minimum of 200 euros. Enough is enough, and in this case I really had too much. I hereby solemny vow to never fly with Iberia ever again (unless given no other choice that is.) Iberia, nunca mais!

Last but not least for today's post, tomorrow is the day when we FINALLY get the much expected confirmation about M getting the very perfect sounding job in Zurich for January.... Praying, wishing and hoping as always. Destiny will decide.