As certain impending deadlines accumulate at my desk, I have been shying away from the self-inflicting pressure of staying up to date with my faithful readers. The fact is that the more I stay and the more I am around, the quicker my phone battery dies and the faster my minutes run out. I have found myself becoming more and more engrained in the culture here that the time left to expound on my experiences and perform has been the first luxury to suffer. So here is a week at a glance (not including weekends or holidays):
WORK: So my presentation was Monday and I think it went fairly well. I had prepared this amazing presentation on Keynote for macs and had animation and great slide transitions. Then, a half hour before the presentation, I went to my conference room and tried to do a test run of the slides, and low and behold it was not compatible. I called the IT desk and I guess every word after I said, "Hi, I am an intern" became "yadda yadda, don't help me". I walked into the IT office to see if there was ANY way to get this project through. One member of the team, an awesome guy named Javier with whom I had the pleasure of lunching with later on that week, ran around the entire building trying to find a solution. Luckily for me, we were able to export the slides to Powerpoint. My transitions were reduced to mediocrity and my animation became an 80's Disney flip book, but at least something appeared on the screen.
So everyone gathered in the room and the presentation had begun. I chugged a Red Bull right before so that I was almost too awake and aware and so as to better promote my Spanish. Language-wise, I think it went really well. Just a couple of screw ups but leaps and bounds better than my final presentation in Argentina. Where I was stumbling over my words like a prepubescent boy at the Pumpkin Patch Halloween dance talking to Alexa Peppercorn, the most beautiful girl in the fifth grade. Content-wise it may have been a little misguided since we decided half way through to change strategies. The slides looked great and flowed well. I saw the litigators and my boss jot some notes down, so at least I had one helpful nugget of information.
The rest of the work week passed by pretty royally, lunching with different people around the office and chatting about the US's soccer performance as I threw out any marginal knowledge I had about the sport and/or our team. When the US team won in the last minute, there was a mini-celebration from those with American ties in the office. Short-lived but well-needed.
HOME: I am using the idea that my apartment is a mess and I am out of groceries as a sign of my true assimilation. The more people I meet and obligations I have, the less I feel a foreigner and therefore the less time I have to putz around my apartment. I have since cleaned since Oprah once said a clean house is a clean mind. Also, I find myself leaving work around 8:00 and since my gym closes at 10:30, I have to rush in and out and miss the opening hours of my supermarket.
My neighbors are doing so well. We now have an open door policy so my apartment has doubled in size and same with my refrigerator space. Naps in the other's beds and dinner across the hall have become a staple. As my reader's well know, I was resistent to becoming too involved with Americans as it would deter from my ultimate goal. But to have such comfort, support and, not to mention, entertainment, is something of which to be appreciative.
LIFE: Is good! On Thursday night, I went out with the neighbors for a beverage or two, celebrating the close of another week. It was getting late and I had to wake up early for work so I rounded up the troops to head home. Ollie was engaged in a hilarious conversation with some locals so I stepped in to linguistically lubricate the situation. And that is when we met Victor and Manuel Sanchez Sanchez (not a typo, legit name). I use the term hilarious not as an adjective to describe the content because I stepped in too late to judge such measures, but I read the conversation through body language, gesticulation and laughter. It seemed organic, it seemed almost overdue, it seemed as though this was something that could stick. We meet tons of locals (and it does not help that I roll with two exuberant girls of African American descent in the middle of downtown Madrid), but it has never become a kindred spirit type of moment. A laugh and smile but nothing on another level. But Victor and Manuel spoke Brianish, that's for sure.
Victor went to an international school and speaks great English, Cuban and Canary Islander but long-time Madrid resident, offensively on top of his fashion game and an attitude that says he runs Madrid. I'm sorry, have we met? I am Dpty. Furious George.
Manuel, the fashionista counterpart, sporting tortise-shell, 50's spectacles and a posteriorally placed fedora is from a town outside Madrid but long-time Madrid resident as well.
The music was loud so conversation was minimal but that did not hinder mutual engagement. Exchanging numbers happened, they seemed TOO cool, could we have found our native group of friends. I hoped they would answer my all too eager phone call the following day?
What do you guys think? Did they pick up? Did they call back? Was it awkward? DOES ANYONE CARE!? haha.