Monday, June 21, 2010

2 Lazy at 2 in the Morning

I gotta get some sleep before my early wake up call tomorrow. I was with coworkers all night watching the Spain vs Honduras game, then we went out for tapas etc after. Man, I really like it here!! Two people I was with tonight are from Argentina so that familial accent is always nice to hear. Spain won, so all is well.

This is literally the first thing I see when I come up from my metro stop to go to work:

And this is just some reflection I stumbled upon when I got lost:

Valencia- que linda!

Black and White


Arriving to the beach in Valencia:

The city of Valencia:

The COOLEST Aquarium/Science Museum/Art Park I've ever been to. Designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava:

Walking around Madrid:

Plaza de Salvador Dali, Madrid:

En la oficina

Good afternoon. Its about 12:30 here in the office. Today started "horas intensivas" which are summer hours. (Happy Summer Solstice by the way!) This means that instead of the office working from 10 to 7, we work from 830 AM to 330 PM with a shorter lunch break. This is the email the Regional Account Director, my boss sent to everyone today:

Good Morning all,

As some of you might already know, one of the best thing about working is Spain is that in summer almost all companies have a different working schedule (to allow their employees to enjoy the sun .... or la siesta) and LOLA is not an exception.

So from today (21/06/09) until the 3rd of September, LOLA’s office will be open from 8am until 3pm.

As you can imagine, in case of emergency we won’t let you down but in order to organise our team, we will need to be notified ASAP.

Thanks and have a good day.


And so, from now on I´ll be getting up a little earlier and be off work earlier as a result. I´m currently waiting to have a meeting with the big boss to go over the project I´ll be working on. He seems really cool.. He´s from France and works down the hall in the bigger office. Have I mentioned how beautiful my office is? The entire building is a palace. I´ll post pictures or videos soon... This weekend I went to Valencia and it was incredible. Yesterday I spent a solid 6 hours on the beach of the Mediterranean and as a result came back to Madrid a couple shades darker. (Mission accomplished) Valencia had a really cool atmosphere (apart from the explosion of sunshine that I experienced). People on bicycles, old architecture, plazas with fountains and flower shops, cafes in alley ways with street musicians. And so as to not feel completely away from home-San Francisco...the ocassional begger. I had my first experience with some homeless people asking for money. And then had subsequent discussions with other Americans in my group about homelessness. My roommate Danielle, who graduated from Boston College, volunteered at a homeless shelter during her time up in the Northeast....I don´t really want my blog to become a platform for the discussion of depressing social issues, but I guess what I wanted to say is that I enjoyed talking to others about their reactions, experiences, etc about homelessness. Its something that I unfortunately become desensitized to living in SF where it seems to be everywhere.

Tonight, Spain is playing in the world cup at 8PM. I can´t wait!! I never described my first day at LOLA - when Spain played at 4 in the afternoon. At about 330 everyone started getting visibly antsy andy by 10 till, the large meeting room was filled with the entire office- the bosses, the IT department, the creative department, the accounts, everyone. There were tables of Spanish food - tortillas, croquetas, bocadillos, calamaris...and tables of Coca Cola and Spanish beer. In the middle was a flat screen tv streaming the game and everyone sat and cheered and then got a little depressed when they ended up losing to Switzerland 1-0. I dont think of a better day to start working here than I did...if only they could have won!

I should review some work before I have my meeting

Hasta luego!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hola de LOLA

Good morning. (Buenos días!) I´m at my office right now, on day 2. And if day 1 was any indication of my time here, I don´t think I ever want to leave. I sit in a well lit room with easter egg purple colored floors, with four large white tables each with 4 large iMac desktops, There are about 8 or so Spanish and-or Mexican and-or Argentine workers who each have blackberries and a painfully hip sense of fashion in my room. Usually music is coming from one of those iMacs- yesterday´s example being Muse because they played in Madrid last night and some coworkers went (jealous!!). Yesterday I showed up at 8:30 in the morning only to soon, or not so soon rather, learn that the office doesn´t really get going until the trickle of young professionals beginss (not) promptly at 10. As someone who has an innate, sometimes to a fault, ability to sleep in- this is IDEAL, to say in the least! I´m working under a woman name Penélope who is originally from Mexico. She is so sweet and welcoming and, no joke, looks like a model. Her superiors are both in London working with clients, which apparently they do a lot, and sent me very nice welcoming emails. I´ll be meeting them tomorrow when they return. Lola is a part of a larger UK based network called LOWE- which handles clients LITERALLY all over the world. They´re very respected and I feel really lucky to be working here. Since I´m at work, I should wrap this up, but I´ll be including details of my day 1 later. Just a little taste for you to work your imagination - Spain played in the world cup yesterday. Lets just say the office paused for a bit during that time...

Hasta pronto readers of the world.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Mucho para ver, poco para mostrar

I woke up at 6 AM and couldnt go back to sleep- so I'm due for a siesta. Here's some fotos for your viewing pleasure. Today we had a city tour, so I saw a lot on bus, and really just wanted to hop off and walk around.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Vale Todo, Vale!

Greetings from the motherland, sort of. My grandma, although born in Cuba, was really Spanish so that counts, right? Vale. My creative juices weren´t flowing upon creating my blog address and all I´ve been hearing lately is ´vale´ which bascially just means ok or sure...Vale from the verb valer also means to be worth something, or VALue. Theres your Spanish lesson for the day. 2 words!! So vale todo...its all worth something. Every time I get lost, every time I can´t understand weird Spanish dialects, everytime an old Spanish man walks by and says ´hola preciosaaaa¨´every time I need to run an errand but everythings closed because its the afternoon. Vale!

Wanted to get this blog going because I´ve just got so much to say. Although this post will be brief, because I´m paying for the internet and mainly because it smells like fish in this cafe (I do what I can on a Sunday - NOTHING is open). One observation- there are a lot more asian people in Madrid than I would have expected. Case in point, I´m hearing some Asian language (pardon my ignorance, couldnt tell you which one). Maybe this explains the Chinatown smell thats permeating these woden walls around me. How do you say ventilation in Spanish? (Ventilación- now thats 3 words for you!!)

Some highlights:
My apartment rules. My room is enormous. Think 2 dorm rooms put together or the size of Bean Bag. Also, from the wanderings I´ve done in the last 2 days, my neighborhood seems pretty sweet as well.

The metro system rules. Its so intuitive, the hardest part is getting out of the metro and knowing where to go. Today I walked around (couldnt tell you where) ended up somehwere (again, not sure where), came across a metro station and took 3 trains and was home in 15 minutes. Gracias public transportation of Madrid, for being AWESOME and AFFORDABLE. (SF MUNI, we´re going to have some issues if I ever come back....)

Old people are ridiculously cute and nice here. I´ve already had some encounters when I get that ¨´I´m obviously lost and have no idea whats going on´ look on my face and they´re so eager to help. They also hold hands and walk around everywhere looking all adorable all the time.

ITS THE WORLD CUP!!! Enough said? Maybe not, I´ll elaborate. Argentina beat Nigeria and USA tied England yesterday. Both games I watched at this Irish pub place where I met some cool Argentines and a whole lot of rowdy English who apparently all have crazy chants memorized, perfectly timed, and situationally appropriate for any and all possible circumstances during the games. All we had was "U-S-A, U-S-A.." until some tool started singing from sea to shining sea (which obviously I was totally down with )

Well, those highlights maybe didn´t seem that fantastic I suppose, but theres more, will be more, and I´ll be sure to write home about some of it, vale?

Un beso gigante para todos mis amores estadounidenses.