Friday, July 30, 2010

Clara and Crew Say Goodbye


Estoy muy muy triste. Conocerte y compartir estos dos meses contigo ha sido absolutamente genial. Eres increíble y sólo espero que el tiempo haga que nuestros caminos se vuelvan a cruzar....Ay, que pena más grandeeee!Mucha suerte con todo Brian!! Esta tarde voy a cargar tu cd en el iPhone para escucharlo siempre que venga a trabajar!

Clara Ruipérez
Baker & McKenzie Madrid SLP

Isn't that so nice! You have no idea the benefits that have come from knowing a native madrileña, let alone sit across from one 55 hours a week. She told me about the pools to check out, the bars not to miss, the food to explore and the parks to relax. Yesterday, me, Clara and Javi (the IT genius that has become a good friend of mine) went to a park on our lunch break to eat and decompress before heading back indoors. I finished my sandwich when Clara hands me a toiletry-tote bag that has "Madrid" printed on the front. "A gift for you" they said. I was so taken aback, I don't even get gifts from my friends on my birthday and now I am getting a good-bye present from my co-workers? I opened it up and there were two things.

1. A t-shirt that says, in Spanish, "I, too, saw Spain win the World Cup". So perfect for me. They both signed small messages at the bottom of the t-shirt.

2. A CD of Joaquín Sabina that has a song that Clara and I have been talking about for a while.

You go through this abroad experiences and internalize how much certain locals have touched you throughout your experience because you are unaware as to whether it is a reciprocal feeling. I almost feel as though I am hyper-emotional given my displacement and foreign surroundings, so I almost keep a guard up so as not to impose my "traveler's nostalgia" onto their everyday life. But then I get a gift and a good-bye and it shows me that although we are interacting in this tangential moment in our lives, it meant something for both parties. They, too, met an American who loves hip-hop and is always in for a laugh. We exchanged invitations to stay at one another's respective houses during any consecutive visits to countries. It was really cool.

That night, Clara helped me get some troops together to go out for a beverage as a little going away get-together. I decided to hold it at this very, very American restaurant, Foster's Hollywood. I thought it was a fun take on my leaving party and about 10 people showed up. Clara, Javi, Vanessa (my "let's go to the vending machine buddy"), Ana (my second boss), Gloria (the other IP intern that came a month after me from Cataluña), and three other interns from different departments. Our conversation mostly consisted of making fun of our not-so-sharp waiter, but my Spanish really held up. I was telling jokes, dropping jabs, ordering food; a great way to wrap up the profesional side of this experience.

Later on, we met up with another going away party down the street and we just stayed for another beverage. We were talking pictures and Gloria had me rolling on the floor. She has this dry, stoic sense of humor that is British yet Spanish. For example, in response to my lame email telling them about the American restaurant, she responds, "LET'S SET MADRID ON FIREE!!!" Just so out of nowhere, super wierd, but gets you chuckling.

I went home and burned Javi and Clara mixes of rap that I like and gave it to them this morning. They really enjoyed it and I hope they continue listening to it and remember the loco americano that came like a hurricane and rustled the feathers of their life.

Always leave a footprint.

No comments:

Post a Comment