Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Giving Thanks, and Directions to France

On Wednesday, I thought about how if I were in New York, I would be on a train heading home for Thanksgiving, with flowers in hand for mom. Thanks to Sun-Sun and Ed, I actually was fortunate enough to celebrate thanskgiving twice last week. A homage to the holiday complete with food-coma. Despite the fact that pecans don't seem to be available in the Iberian Peninsula, we ate well, including sweet potatoe and pumpkin pie, thanks to Jenn and the supermarket at Amsterdam's Schipol airport.

Mananged to get some much needed exercise in this weekend, including Vikram Yoga for the first time and dancing till the early hours at Shoko and Catwalk. Refreshing to get away from the Universal soundtrack, which seems to pay tribute to "Hold On" every thirty minutes. I was starting to wonder if original songs are still made, or if all songs now get introduced as remixes. I stopped to get gas after Catwalk and Jessica and I were approached at the pump by a distraught man, who pleaded, Dans quelle direction est la France. I responded in Spanish to clarify that he wanted to know in which direction France was, and he enthusiastically nodded yes. Certain he wouldn't mistake my gesture for a first-down signal, I motioned extened my arm toward north along the autopista, much to his delight and our amusement/amazement.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

La Emigrante, Solecito

Prior to coming here, MBAs from other schools told me their experience ammounted to a lot of travel interrupted by a class from time to time. For better or worse that's not my experience. Seemingly each week poses something I consider an "unusal time constraint" write-off, only to find a similar "extraordinary event" the next week.

Exams to cover letters, to a Spanish exam that I passed, thanks to Ale's help with relative pronouns. I also recently learned the word cerrajero--locksmith, the hard way, spending 93 Euros for 27 seconds work to open the seat of my moto wherein lay my keys.

I can see some daylight now, which is nice. Actually life in Mediterranea allows for ample light and fresh air, as its still pretty nice weather wise--around 20 or so celcius which is something not cold farenheit.

Will certainly miss Sol when she leaves for London to move in with her boyfriend. At least Ale is staying put.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Invitados and Oratory

Midterms came and went, hopefully well thanks to Ranjeet's accounting help.

Friday afternoon, I wanted to celebrate midterms and the recent warm spell by taking a dip in the Mediterranean, but I had visitors to meet. Despite the damper in my swimming plans, guests could not have come at a better time, and exploring Barrio Gotic, El Borne and the Modernist architecture in my neighborhood with Sara, Brad and Dave reminded me what this city has to offer.

Saturday was Sol's birthday, and we had a nice gathering in her honor. A focal point of the merriment was Ale's brownie cheesecake.

I live with two wonderful people, and it's certainly a bonus Ale is a pastry chef in training.

Between Sara and Dave leaving, and Brad embarking on a motorcycle trip through Catalunya and the Pyranees,

I somehow unknowingly became a memebr of the whiskey an cigar club, IESE's defacto oratory society. The task was to give a 3-6 minute speech (loosely enforced) on who was history's most influential assassin and why.

Perhaps aided by whiskey free delivery, my speech on Gavrillo Princip was good enough for a 2nd place tie, the reward being an atta boy for representing first-years well, and an invitation to the next gathering. I look forward to it, especially if I can find a gong between now and then, in the interest of enforcing brevity.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Spanish Group Dinner

Eventful weekend. Friday night I went to a very good comedy show. After the opening act tanked, the main draw, Phil Nichol delivered. He's got all the tools--excellent impressions, creative "actual events", and hilarious original music. Google informs me that many of the ip addresses used to view this blog originate in New York--keep an eye out for Phil when he performs there in February.

I am constantly reminded how fortunate I am not just to be here attending a great school, but also that my Spanish group and work group are phenomenal. Saturday my Spanish group got together for "dinner" at Guillerme's. Our professor, Berta, joined --great food and fun. At around 2 we went to Universal for some dancing and as usual Quintin set the tone.

The pic of Quintin, Michel, Berta and Jan-David, does not do justice to the power of Quintin's dancing. Basically he brings a French "estripper" aesthetic to Will Farrell moves that's more impressive than hilarious. It's nights like this that stimulate the senses and make the work load easier to tackle.

This afternoon, my work group assembled at my place for Ranjeet's Accounting Boot Camp. It was actually pretty fun, and we got a lot done in five hours. I can't say that I dominate the subject now, but certainly have more clarity leading in to Thursday's midterm. Poco a Poco.