Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Tuesday 8am

Good morning.

I´m a bit angry today. As I left the car parked where I work, I noticed a scratch on the rear of my car. It wasn´t a small one but a big one, and also the bumper was out of place (well, just a bit). That turned me mad for a short while. It seemed like somebody parked behind me on the street didn´t gave a damm bloody shit when he left the place. But I´m sure he noticed it, he moved my car and it must have been dificult for him to push my car and get out of the parking lot. But instead of leaving a note saying sorry, please this is my number call me if you have a problem, it´s better tu runaway.

I care a lot about my car, I don´t like scratching it, I like it brilliant and beautiful. But it seems I shouldn´t care that much, as more as I care as less as everybody else doesn´t.

Anyway, have a nice day.


Monday, March 27, 2006

A monday at 7pm

Good morning fellows.

It´s hard enough to work on mondays. But today it´s not only monday but an hour earlier. The hour has changed at 2am Saturday to 3am. So we´ve lost an hour. It´s said we save 1€ a day on electricity but I´m not sure it worths the 6€ we´ll save till next time change. I feel like it´s 7am instead of 8am, I just want to be sleeping.

I have a doubt, what happens with that hour lost in time. And what happens if you have a date at 2:30am, will it be changed automatically at 3:30am, or you won´t have that date?.

I bought a new digital camera on Saturday at Carrefour, pretty nice one. I needed almost an hour to do it, it was quite crowded and there was just one guy to attend everybody at the photography department. That´s the way it works on carrefour, it seems like they don´t want us to buy anything. The poor guy was overwhelmed, but I believe it was not only because it was crowded, but also for his inneficiency and lack of brain. I had to wait half an hour to be attended by him, but also when he did he was attending another three people at the same time. I asked him to bring me th camera I wanted and he left. He came back and told me there were no cameras left, then I asked him if I could buy the one was showed (paying much less) and also I felt happy in a way, so it´ll be much cheaper. Just to do that took more than 15 minutes. While he was doing so he was trying to talk with another 3 customers. Then he told me he couldn´t find the box, and I said it didn´t matter. Finally he went again to the warehouse and when he came back he brought a brand new camera. He told me they had just came from the lorry, but I´m afraid the first time he didn´t know where they were.

I worked at carrefour once, and I know how it works, so I can´t feel angry at him for making me lose an hour of my life. So finally this weekend I´d lost two hours of my life doing nothing, well, at least I remember the later hour.



Tuesday, March 07, 2006

A bugs life

Hello and good morning bloggers.

When I was on the bathroom getting ready to have a shower I noticed something moving beside my suit. I got near it to get a closer view and I noticed it was a cockroach upside down. It was trying to return to it´s walking position unsuccesful. I must admit I´m very brave with a lot of things but insects, at least I´m brave enough to admint I´m scared of most insects.

It must have been a trauma when I was a child, but I don´t remember it, so it seems to be just an unreasonable fear. I can touch flies and some others (a few), but I can´t even be near most. It´s even hard to touch them without using my hands (a piece of paper, gloves, etc.). So, when I saw that alien black big horrible thing from outer space I admit I was afraid. There were nobody to help me so I had to do it myself. It took me 10 minutes just to decide killing it before throwing it on the bathroom. I had to kill the cockroach because If you don´t it´ll come back again as water doesn´t kill them.

So I encourage myself and push a piece of paper on its head. I crashed it, but it was still moving. I press again and once more it didn´t die. With rage I took it with a piece of paper and throw it down the toilet. I flushed and it dissapeared.

I feel sorry for her. She hadn´t done anything bad to me except being alive. I know they carry deseases, and dust, and they´re unhealthy, but I can´t stop thinking about the little cockroachies waiting for her mum or dad to bring them food. But I only think about that for a short while, next time I will be cruel once more.

R.I.P. Cockroach


Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A long time

Hi fellows.

I´m sorry, I now it´s a long time since my last post. And I also noticed a decrease in visits, it´s totally my fault, I´m lazy. I beg your pardon.

It´s been two weeks since my last post. IT has snowed twice since, and the second one was only but wonderful. The snow flakes were as big as my thumb, and even bigger. Unfortunatly it was 2AM on Saturday night, wich made it impossible to become an excuse not to go to work. When I woke up the street was completly snowed 20cm thick. Even the road was snowed making it hard for the cars to pass. It was beautiful.

I have bad news about me being a godfather. There´s no new born baby anynmore, at least this time, my best wishes to my sister, there´ll be another chance. It was a medical decission not to have it, so there was nothing to do but to trust them.

I feel a bit ashamed about my job. It´s the second week without anything to do, so I spend the day googleing, reading emails, and doing nothing (I know I had no excuse not to have written a new post). So I´m being payed just for waking up early in the morning, driving 20minutes and spending the day beside my desk letting time pass by. It´s not completely my fault, the reason was the company that hired mine estimated the completion time over 10 times the reality. I believe my partner and myself made it possible, but it resulted on not having anything to do at the moment. I know we´ll have some work in the future.

But there´s more than just one guilty. I´ll try to explain as best as I can. three companies (I´ll call them "1", "2" and "3")were offering different prizes for the Repsol´s project. "3" retired. So there were two companies offereing completly different prizes, "2" two times more the cheapest. So Repsol decided to give the project to "1" but then "2" made a new and much cheaper offer. At the last time they decided to talk to "1" and threaten them. They offered sharing the project and regret their offer and "1" accepted, except the money the different companies got at the end was like 30% for "1" and 70% for "2", I mean the worst was for "1"wich wich made the best offer at first and the threatening company "2" got 70%. So the project belongs to "1", even when they earn less money from it, and also they are the head of the project, if something goes wrong it´ll be their fault, strange isn´t it?. My own company is only a collaborator, we get payed by "1" and not from Repsol.

At the moment, "1" has finished 90% of their job (thanks to us) but "2" hasn´t done anything yet. There´s been some tension between them for the last two weeks and as a result I can´t continue working because I need some data from the lazier company. But as we say in spanish "A mar revuelta ganancia de pescadores" wich could be translated freely as "On a sea storm the fisherman wins", I mean when something goes wrong there´s always someone who´ll earn something from it. It could be my own company. If "1" get´s really bored and angry at "2" they could fire them (even losing money) just not to make Repsol mad at them (actually they are mad with "2" but as "1" is the head of the project and the one who receives all the money (later they´ll give the 70% to "2") they´re are annoyed with "1"). If "2" got expelled from the project there´ll be more work to be done, and we´ll do it (my company).

But at the moment I´m totally bored and I just want to go home. It´s only being bad for myself, as I get used to do nothing, and later it´ll be difficult to start working again. There´s also the other people at the office could believe I´m a lazy bastard and also I´m cheeky, but it´s not my fault. I hope I´ll have some work soon or I´ll get crazy. I told my boss and he told me it´ll be possible to move me from here, but it´ll be easier to move my partenr as I´m the responsable one of us (kind of a small boss, with 1 person at my charge, it should be nice).

Well, let´s see what happens. At least I learned yesterday my company trusts me, and I also learned they had given me more responsabilities than I thought. I hope they remember it next year when we talk about my salary ;-)

Hope everything´s fine with you. See you soon and please don´t forget I exist, even when I don´t write that often.

Farewells from Manoel.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A new duty

Hello all you.

Last weekend was going to be a horrid one, but in the end sunday was going to be one of the nicest on a long time. It was cold, very cold, my computer was broken for the whole weekend and I was knackered. I went to have dinner with my flatmates. While we were dinnering I looked to the street and it was snowing!!! It wasn´t just small flakes, but big ones. I went out fast, as I came from a coast town snow is something really strange and new for me. I stand under the falling snow and enjoyed it. I did it because I thought it was going to stop soon. I went back to the restaurant and finish my meal. We went home and I was surprised not only to see it hadn´t stop snowing but also when it came to the ground it didn´t melt. So it was really snowing as I always see on pictures. So I enjoyed it, I went home to pick my camera, and walk the street taking pictures and making snow balls to throw at my flatmates. I walked to my car to see how it looked like and it was beautiful. I was feeling like a child and I liked it. I went bed feeling happy.

Next morning the snow was still there. I went into my car and wiped out the snow on the screen. The road was difficult and not only because it was slipy but also because all the cars were as slow as turtles. So it took longer than usual to get to my job. I believe we don´t receive enough driving education in Spain. People doesn´t know really how to drive with bad climates or situations. Yes, you should slow down, but you still have to be careful and care of others. Being as slow as a turtle doesn´t solve all your problems, in fact, there´s a possibility if everybody is too slow the ice doesn´t melt so it´s still there while if everybody were a bit faster it would have melted making it easier. I know it sounds strange.

Changing the subject. I´ve been commended with a new task. I´m going to be the godfather (I don´t mean Marlon Brando) of my possibly new niece (it depends on the gender wich is still unknown). And also I´ve been told to think about names. I have some on my mind, but it´s really hard to do it. You have to be very careful because it´s going to be with him all his life and it could also change it completely. I like names with a meaning, and also historical names. I suggested some like "Satan", "Belcebu", "Nosferatu", "Osam... Ben...." (I have to be carfeul if I don´t want my blog investigated by the CIA), but of course she didn´t like them (as a joke it was funny, or at least she laughed at it, I hope George W. B. has a good sense of humour). Seriously I thought about Linus but spelled on a Spanish way, wich sounds something like "Leenus", I also thought about Amadeo (but it has a religious meaning) and some others.

I would like you to suggest some names, as an interactive game. The only requisite is it has to sound nice in Spain, I mean, it´s chav to call a child "Jeniffer", "Kevin", "Samantha", "Josua", ... in Spain, so it shouldn´t be an English name, but there´s some of them I like. I´ll left it to you.

Thanks for your efforts (I´m anticipating you´re going to do some).

Cheers and farewell.


Monday, January 23, 2006

In the morning

Good morning fellows.

I know most of you are still in bed, I wish I could also be, but I´m not. I´m waiting for the server to become available as when I arrived this morning it was down. That means I can´t work. I should be happy as most Spaniards would be about having an excuse not to work. But the fact is I´m not because it means I don´t know what to do. If I has known it I would have stayed in bed today. At least it gives me a moment to write.

Well it´s my second giving up smoking week. I´m afraid I failed during the weekend, but I have kind of an excuse. I shouldn´t have any excuse to smoke, but to say the truth I had horrible pain on my teeth and because of it I ended smoking again. I´ll start the proccess again this week and I hope this time it´ll be better. I have what´s called "bruxismo" in Spanish and it´s I move my mouth and press it hard when I´m sleeping and also grits. It´s hardness depends on how stressed I feel, and how much tense I am. Last week seemed to be a stressful one, but it wasn´t related to my job, but to the fact I wasn´t smoking and my body reacted that way. So as I spent the night biting nothing but my own teeth I felt tired and painful. The first day I tought it was I had decay but next day I felt it on another tooth so I kneew it was the "bruxismo" thing. I´m having pills before I go to bed now, I bought some muscle relaxants. I hope they work.

Changing the subject I´ll start again talking about driving. There´s some bad things about the roads here, at Madrid. The major is working hard on renewing roads. It should be something marvellous, and I`m sure it will, but at the moment it only makes driving harder. It´s not only my GPS turns crazy when I want to go anywhere as roads changes every day their paths, but also the lane signs on the road aren´t clear. I mean today the lane is marked on white and it follows a path, next day you´ll have both the white and a new yellow one wich differs completely but not enough to know wich one to follow. The law says you should follow the yellow one, but when it´s dark, foggy and/or it´s raining it´s hard to guess wich one is yellow. But that´s when you only have two of them, sometimes there´s three, four or even more.

To drive in Madrid you have to be rude, and also aware of other drivers. You have always to expect them to be naughty, and it´s specially bad during traffic jams. It´s war time. If you insult somebody before they move their cars you won´t be wrong and they won´t be offended in fact I´m sure they had mented your mother before you opened your mouth. There´s a lot of motorways here, it´s a good thing, they surround all Madrid so you can go anywhere without entering the city. But in some ways they aren´t motorways. It´s speed limit is 20 Kmph less than normal motorways, and they are full of speed cameras, you should be aware of it and also it´s easy to notice as there are signs saying it as at England. So there´s no excuse for you if you´re catched speeding. I would understand if you come fron outside Madrid if your´re speeding, but if you´re from here I don´t. I realized some idiots speeding (and really fast) exactly at those points where there are cameras installed. Sometimes I even noticed the flash as they were photographing the idiots. I don´t feel sorry for them.

I hope this weel would be better for me, specially about smoking. And also I hope you too.

Farewell readers.


Friday, January 13, 2006

Driving in Spain

As you should all know if your good enough to read my blog, I acquire a car recently. It´s almost a month since I bought it, and I spent two weeks driving at Madrid. I guess it´s time for me to tell you about driving at Spain.(I won´t talk about driving on the right side for you english people, as it´s a perfectly known matter).

I had driven at Galicia since I got my license, so my knowledge was restricted on how we Galicians drive. There´s much to tell you about that matter, but I´ll focus on the differences I percieved between Galicia and Madrid. But also there´s some differences between my old town "Pontevedra" and any others.

The first thing I noticed and also probed in the last two weeks it´s the lack of using "intermitentes" (the lights you use when you want to change your direction to tell other drivers your intention, sorry for not knowing the proper word for them). There´s a big difference between small towns and big ones. On small towns you use them (except on roundabouts, even when you should), but on big cities you don´t. The reason, or at least my believe, is on big cities you have a lot of different lanes where you should be if you want to go to different places while on small towns there´s normally just one. You change the lane in wich you´re in so much you finally stop using them. But it works for all the people that lives there as they´re aware of it. Beware of you poor country boy.

There´s also some more differences between small and big towns, but they´re mostly related to speed. At Pontevedra the fastest you could drive would be on the "ribiera"(as my father calls it) where there´s a 60 Kmph (35mph+-) wich allows you to be at 80 or 90 Kmph (in Spain we have something called the rule of the 20%, wich applies to speed measures and is a legal term that allows everybody to be at a 20% more than the speed limit because of the imperfection of the machines, wich is totally false as those can measure your speed with a 99,9% accuracy, but it´s legal, so you do it, and also as all the speedometers on cars lie about 15kmph allows you to be at 30% more of the limit). But on big cities as Madrid there´s a lot of motorways and your speed average gets over 90kmph (unless you´re on a traffic jam, wich happens all the time).

The bigger difference I got between Galicia and Madrid is about how drivers react to our actions. The people from Galicia is known for being bad drivers, but I don´t believe the topic. It´s hard to happen you´re beeped when you do something wrong at Galicia but at Madrid it happens even when you hadn´t. It seems people is aware of everybody doing the wrong thing, so they beep just in case it happens. I mean, the other day I was getting into a lane, I had to stop if there were cars coming, but instead of reducing my speed I did as I always do, I mantained my speed wich wasn´t too high to be able to see if they were cars coming and if they weren´t or if they were slower than I I would be able to enter the road without much disturbances for myself and other drivers would come behind me, I believe that´s the way it should be. But as soon as I saw two cars coming and was prepared to brake they beeped as their lives were in danger. There was much more than enough time for me to brake and for them to do the same, but they beep anyway. After that I realized it happened all the time, as they were used to people doing bad things on cars ( I hope you get what I mean). Since then I watch carefully for other drivers reactions and noticed they always expect you to be wrong. In some ways it´s better than not doing it, but for myself it´s quite annoying as it sounds they don´t trust me as a driver.

Driving at Madrid could be quite stressful for some people. They change the lanes everyday (the mayor is doing big changes, just look on google for "Madrid", "carreteras" (roads) and "Gallardon" (The mayor)). Even my GPS navigator get´s crazy some times, poor little thing. Most of the stress is related about the way roads are built, I believe with some minor changes it would be ok. But also because education seems to be lost when you speak about travelling (I´m not only speaking about driving this time). Drivers at Madrid are far more agressive than outside it. They´ll pull you out of the road to be 5 seconds earlier. They´ll block the way if an ambulance is coming not to be late. They´ll pull their cars on the lane to block your way and make you brake hard just because they want to use your lane.

I love driving, and I´m not worried about driving here. I consider myself as a polite driver wich makes me feel sometimes weird when other beep me when I let somebody to get into my lane. But I don´t care.

I´ll tell you more about the matter, but I should go to bed know. God (or whatever you believe in (not god for myself) bless you all.



PS: Be careful on the road, please.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

After Chirstmas

Happy new year fellows.

I´m back at work. It´s very difficult to start working again after a 10 days holiday. I have to be up early once more, and go to Repsol to spend almost the entire day being a bit bored. Although I hadn´t rested during holidays. I should have stayed at Madrid.

When you live outside your own city and can´t see your relatives often it happens when you go back to your old town that you don´t have a free day to do nothing. It´s even worst when you also have a girlfriend and visit her and her family. You don´t have enough time to visit all your own relatives but also you have to visit hers. And in my case it´s even worst. My girlfriend´s mother has another 7 brothers and sisters, I was lucky not to have seen them all.

At the end although I was supposed to sleep and rest during holidays, I ended far more tired than before.

Anyway, I had a very good time visiting my old town, friends and relatives.

I´ll start soon with the new series of car stories. I had a few after two 7 hours trips from Pontevedra to Madrid. I needed 4 hours to drive 25 miles from Madrid to Guadarrama tunnel last 23th December. I had driven at night at a crowded road almost all the way. But there was nothing to mention, apart dangerous overtakings and some bas..ds close to my car´s bottom when I was overtaking at maximum permited speed. It´s like the road only belongs to them. That´s my most hated car behaviour, and specially at motorways. If you´re driving at 90 miles per hour, you see them coming on the mirror as arrows and instead of braking they mantain their speed. If you can´t finish overtaking (and also because you have the right to do it) they´ll finally brake, but only enough to make you feel nervous as they approach your rear, they´re as close as touching your car. I always have the temptation to brake or at least to touch the pedal enough to turn on the break lights to scare them, but after an incident on a road I stopped doing it, I don´t want to feel guilty if I provoque an accident, although they deserve it. What happened that time was a crapy car was doing the rear thing to me on a road, he couldn´t overtake because there were cars coming in front (it was a single lane road). The car was a Sear 127 tuned, but that only means it´s crap with some furnitures, and not a very safety car. So after a while I was pist off and decided to turn the brake lights on. I didn´t really brake, but the guy was so surprised that he moved the wheel and change the lane dangerously. I could hear the tyres being burned while he was trying to control the car. I really believe he deserved to feel in danger, but I could have provoked an accident with a poor guy coming from the opposite direction, and that´s being like them.

Well I hope you had a nice xmas and also that you´ll be happy and lucky this new year.

Greetings and farewell.


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Christmas´s coming

Merry Xmas bloggers.

Yes, it´s only days before christmas. For most is a horrible season in wich we reeoncounter with old relatives and/or friends we didn´t really want to see. We eat and drink, and then we eat and drink, and on and on, ....

There´s some differences between spanish christmas and the anglosaxon. We spaniards are of fiesta type, so it´s easy to imagine we have a three weeks christmas. We both celebrate christmas eve and new years eve, but we also have "three orient kings" eve. For us those three weeks, from the 24th ´till the 6th of Jan. are christmas. If you don´t know about the three orient kings those are wich brought little Jesus presents following the christmas star to christ´s birthplace. So our children receive presents on the 6th directly from the three kings. We called them "Los tres reyes magos" and are Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar. They´re supposed to come from far away reigns and if my memory doesn´t fail one of them is jew, the other indian and the last african. They travel using camels and brings gifts and presents. As well as Santa they come at night, but instead going down a chimney they just open a window, wich is far easier and cleaner. I´m just worried about how easy is to open my window from the outside, hopeful the kings doesn´t teach thieves.

On the past few years Spain became a bit anglosaxon in some matters. I mean we copied Americans mostly and their customs. We exchanged our "Belen" (a representation of christs birthplace using small figures) and replaced it with a christmas tree. And also we put Santa Claus in the three kings place. I believe it´s not fair, although is an opportunity to receive two christmas presents instead of one, as most people just celebrate both. There´s something I don´t like about Santa and it´s the fact he comes from Coca-Cola, the jolly red guy.

As I got tired and angry with public transportation I decided to buy a car, and so I did last friday. I talked to a cousin of mine who lives here and also works selling cars and he showed me a good and cheap one, so the very same day I said yes.

This week I´m going to pick it up, I just hope they won´t be too spaniards and let me enjoy my new car as soon as possible. I´ll post a picture of it if you want. That gives me an opportunity to start new stories, this time about traffic jams. I´m sure I´ll have some.

Merry xmas to all of you and happy new year, hope next will be as good as this one for me.


PS: Colin, I hope I won´t find you on the road with my car, ;-)

Monday, December 05, 2005

Trains and other stuff.

Hello bloggers.

I know it´s a long time since last post. I must apologize, but there´s no excuse except lack of time and will to write.

It´s been a year since I came to Madrid. A lot of things happened this year and most good ones. My life changed completely, as I promised when I started the blog. I live in my own house (well, shared, but you know what I mean), I have a job and I earn enough money to enjoy living and also the little luxuries I love (Except for the car, but that´ll come soon).

I remind you of that because christmas is coming, and it makes me remind last. I came from Madrid by bus and everything was full of snow, white, glassy, shiny, beautiful snow. My family was glad to see me because they hadn´t saw me in a long while. This time is longer. I would love to see them more often, but I can´t and also in some ways I don´t want to (please notice what I mean). I miss them, but not much because my mom loves me to call her as much as I can. Really I´d preffer to call her once or twice a week, but finally I call her every two days. That´s the Spanish mom´s like. But somehow this xmas is going to be special, because it´s the first time I´m on my own.

As you noticed by the post´s title I´m going to talk about trains. Trains is one of the reasons I want, and going to, buy a car. It´s not only they´re bloody late, but also they´re crowded and unconfortable. But the worst is timings. I can´t rely on trains, and the chedule is awful. If I miss the 7:30 I´ll have to wait at least 15 minutes to catch next one, and that´s only if I´m lucky enough not to have a train´s driver strike, or an electrical problem, or a broken train on the track, or... (there´s always something). Last week they had electrical problems with one of the tracks, it was casual that it only affected people who wanted to go where I wanted, I´m trying to be optimistic, but it did. A man was telling customers on the station speakers who should try alternative transport to go to Chamartin to catch the train from there. That was funny and annyoing, because there is no alternative. The underground to Chamartin is closed due to the construction of a new station and also it´s almost impossible to catch a bus to Plaza Castilla wich would be another option, but they´re full all the time, and also I´ll lose 30 minutes just reaching there. So there were no alternatives except paying a taxi or walking, both options would mean alosing a lot of time.

So I called my boss and warned him I was going to be late, blame renfe (the spanish railroad company, yes we only have one and it´s gubernamental, more or less). I waited for another train that was going to Chamartin, although didn´t to the place I wanted to go, but at least I could try Chamartin. The I had to wait for another 30 minutes but finally I could catch the right train to go to my job. I was lucky at the end, but for a trip that should take 45 minutes I needed 2 hours. I forgot to mention that the train was bloody crowded and stinky.

That´s why I want a car. I know it doesn´t mean the trip would take less time (well, actually it could), because traffic jams. And also I know you can never rely on the traffic. I could also be late, but at least I´ll be on my own car, seated and listening to the radio. I also love driving (I have no experience on big traffic jams, just only on small ones, but I`m not afraid).

There´s something else related to trains, my colleague at work. He´s not a bad guy, but he´s not what I consider as a funny guy. We go back togheter on the train often. So as I´m seated beside him I can´t listen to music or read my book, I don´t want to be rude. That wouldn´t be bad if he had a good conversation. I try hard, I speak, I ask him things, but he only answers and shut. So I spend half the trip silent. For the people who knows me in person, they know I can´t be quiet for a long time and I love talking, so it´s kind of a punishment.

Farewell and if I can´t write again soon Merry Xmas.


Monday, November 14, 2005

Just another post.

Hello bloggers.

The reason why I hadn´t posted anything on the last week is because nothing really interesting or funny had happened. Well, some things happened, like one of my flat mates is leaving the house. I also bought a TDT receiver card, in fact I bought two. last saturday I went to mediamark, an electronics shop just to see. Or at least that was my intention. But sometimes I can´t control myself and so I bought a USB TDT receiver. The TV signal on my bedroom is far from good, that´s why If I bought a TDT card I could receive TV signals with the best quality with my dodgie antena. The problem was the card was broken on a few days, so I went back to the shop on friday to take it back buying another one (I mean I didn´t buy the same brand, I bought a different (and much better) one). When I gave the box with the card to the shop assistant she opened it and checked there was everything there. She said it was Ok and gave me back my money. When I came back home I noticed I´d forgotten the remote at home. If anybody needs a Pinnacle 60e Remote Control I have one and no use for it.

As you know I´m working at Repsol IT office at trescantos. It means 45 minutes from home, using tube for 5 min. and then the train. It doesn´t sound horrible, except for today I needed almost 2 hours to get to trescantos. It seems there´s an unofficial strike of train drivers. Although the official one they had two weeks ago was finished, they´re still moving on. So the morning train was missing and I had to wait 30 minutes on the station. Then it came, and of course it was crowded with all the people who couldn´t catch the missing one and the people who normally uses next. But it wasn´t all that happened, after 20 minutes the train stopped on a station and the lights got off, it seemed the engine was stopped, at least I couldn´t hear it. After a while it started again, and began to move. The driver announced the train will stop at trescantos and nothing more, lucky me. I feel sorry for the people who wanted to go to colmenar as they´d had a bigger delay than I did.

After that I read the free newspaper they give you at stations, we have some in Madrid. It´s like at London, except nobody leaves it on the trains, wich means if you can´t pick it on the station there´s no other chance. I´m not sure if it´s rude or not to leave newspapers on the trains, as it might be considered as trash, but I remember picking it from the seat and being happy for somebody to have been dirty.

Anyway, I read on it that train drivers are using tricks to be on strike. They aren´t supposed to be, but they get late to the trains or even say they can´t start moving the train because there´s first aid boxes missing, or they have mechanical problems. The joke is the company believes the boxes are dissapearing as soon as they put them on their places, so it seems drivers are stealing them to have an excuse not to start moving the trains. Funny, isn´t it?

Well, I´ll continue the story, and I´m sure I´ll have some new train tales to tell you soon.

Cheers and farewell.


PS: Have you notices I put a banner with the weather near my house? I´m not sure you´ll like it, but then I can see my local weather just checking my own blog.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

And so on...

Hi fellows.

It´s the 6th day and we still have the princess on our TVs. It seems the country is anxious about seeing her face. Unexpectedly it wasn´t allowed to show the baby born princess, and still we wait (well, I´m not really interested). Usually I read the newspapers on the internet, and ocasionally I watch the news on TV after the Simpsons during the weekends. I don´t know what are they waiting for, and I have my own guess about the reasons. Either she´s too ugly and she´s taking surgery, or they´re waiting for the country to enjoy a little about it before they get too bored and listen to the last real important news, at that moment they´ll show her so they can forget real issues.

While the country is rejoycing with the new royal birth, there´s some other things happening. The miner´s strike, the "estatut", unemployment, etc... So it looks like a strategy from any smart gobernment, it´s like football or religion quoting Marx.

This week has been a week of pain, I´ve been a bit ill. I had kind of a cold and also I had the brilliant idea of playing a football match on wednesday as ill as I was. As a result I can´t breath properly, I cough and I had the last two days horrible aches on all my body as a result of running after a year of not doing any excercise. In the past I made a lot of sport, I went to gyms, play indoor football, basketball and swin, but since I came to Madrid I didn´t have enough time, energy and also I didn´t feel like doing any. So that´s why I decided to play the match. I also have bad knees, and I shouldn´t play football, my mum would be ashamed. But the most strange thing and also annoying is a feeling I´ve got on my left hand. I have what we call in Spanish "hormigueo" (I could translate it like ant-feeling) and also my senses seems to be shorter, I mean, I can´t feel temperature, pain with my left hand as with the right one. After some research I discovered it can be a compressed nerve, and it also said to go to the doctor inmediatly. I´ll do it this afternoon as it´s an annoying feeling, or better to say not feeling. But don´t be too worried as it also said it´s not really important.

On other hand I´ll move to my new location on Monday. My confortable life working at 15 minutes from my house is at it´s end. Next place will be at an hour from here and also means taking trains and buses again. I hope at least it´ll be a confortable trip. In some ways I´d like it, as I miss reading books on the tube, and also I miss watching people.

About underground, the last news are about security. There was an increase on attacks to people and security officers. The new measure includes 20 trained dogs. So the new Madrid´s tube will have dogs included. I like german shepperds, so I hope I´ll see them. I would like to touch them, but I´m not sure they´ll allow me.

Well, see you soon. I´ll tell you about my hand.

Cheers, farewell and have a nice weekend.


PS: Gracias por leerme Josito, estoy en Madrid, ahora trabajaré en Repsol. Mándame un emilio, please, de paso la dirección de Alfonso.

Monday, October 31, 2005

It´s a Girl

Hi fellow Bloggers.

When I woke up this morning I was surprised with the most recent news. The Prince Felipe´s daughter has born. I don´t really give a damm ... with that kind of news but, as she is a girl, that means she won´t be king unless our constitution is changed (I mean, if the royal couple brings a boy to live after her). The Salic law is written on our constitution giving priority to boys over girls. So everybody is talking about changing that article of the constitution, wich means a long proccess. First the disolution of the "Cortes", then elections, and last a Referendum asking Spaniards if they want to be changed.

Of course everybody started to show their oppinion this morning. I heard a lot of times "of course it has to be changed, is anacronic with the era we live in". I think there´s something contradictory on that, because the first anacronism is that we have kings. I´m not sure they´ll want to ask on referendum what people wants, and I´m sure they´ll just ask about the salic law. I´m afraid they fear we could vote for a Republic.

Yesterday I´ve been on the Madrid "rastro" wich is a street market like Camdem Town. When I was at England a friend of mine told me he went to Camdem Town and thought it wasn´t like Madrid´s, in fact he said Madrid´s was much better. Now I know both and I can say how proud we are of our own. The "Rastro" is just people selling crap on the street, and I really mean crap. Apart from those who sell clothes, like on any town in Spain and Portugal, the speciality is people who sell anything they found on their homes and don´t want to have anymore, that could sound nice, like the boot sells at England countryside. But the impression I´ve got is they went into an abandoned house to get all they could find, and also some of them seemed to have gone into a dump. So it wasn´t like you could fine nice furniture or music instruments very cheap.

On the other hand I always heard about a special side of the market where they sell electronics. Digital cameras, mobile phones, PC components, ... All of them from a doubtful origin. I´ve also been told you cold be stolen your mobile and minutes after seeing it on a stand to be sold. This time the market was full of police, and that branch wasn´t there, it isn´t very nice from the police to wait for me to go to the market, at least I wanted to see it. Damm them!.

But there were two guys selling blank CDs and DVDs. They were very cheap so I bought some. The first one was the cheapest, and also he had some more stuff to sell, like VHSs, Tapes, Batteries, and strangely Condoms. Well, I´m kind of an IT freak, and I know a lot of real IT freaks, and the last thing we need (I said need, not want) is condoms. An IT freak doesn´t couple that much. I can´t imagine an IT freak buing 100 blank DVDs and also a condom box, it´s like he´s going to have a nice night, but doing what? Downloading porn films to be burned on those DVDs, no use for the condoms. I believe it´s like on drug stores, when you buy an aspirine box and with a lower voice you ask for a condom box. This time the freak goes shouting "I want a box of condoms..." and then lower "... and give me those 100 DVDs, please."

On our way back we saw a X film cinema. I thought they had disapeard on those internet times, but it seems they haven´t. Well I never saw the use for a X film cinema. I know I´m being dirty today, but I don´t like the idea of watching a porn film surrounded by men watching a porn film. We all know what porn films are made for. I guess some men come to see the other men, ... On the other hand I saw a most disgusting thing, I saw a really old man entering the theater, I coulnd´t say more than "AGHHHHHH!!!" when I saw it.

Well, my greetings to the royal family, and also to those republicans who see on the little born princess an oportunity.

See you soon. Farewell.


Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The lazy bastard

Hi fellow bloggers.

I´m not sure you´re still there. It´s a long time since the last post, and I´m afraid to say it was totally my fault. I hope you still come back some time to check if I had written and you didn´t lose the hope to read something. Sorry.

As you know I´ve been unemployed for the last two weeks. It was a time for relaxing and francly doing nothing but watching movies and eating sunflower seeds (I love them). I also went to Pontevedra to see my family and friends. I also had a chance to see how little changed is my old town. I went by plane, and this time it wasn´t a quiet flight, we had turbulences and also a problem when we reach Galicia. It was cloudy, and the pilot began descending, I´m used to it, I usually play a computer game called Flight Simultator so I`m familiar with the process. The problem was the altitude wasn´t as indicated on the panel (I know that because of the game) and sudenly a mountain appear on sight. I could hear the roar of the engines and felt we were going upwards faster than normal, but not enough for the rest of the passengers to notice. As I said I know how piloting works (at least a little) and I could notice something was going wrong, but not really wrong I mean, I´m sure it´s perfectly normal, it was just another event on my flying career.

I started my new job, and I´m quite happy as everything seems to go better. I´m not too hopeful to be prepared for the worst to happen. I know I sound a bit pesimistic, but unfortunatly life has kicked me a bit not long ago, so I´m just preparing my bottom just in case. I´m going to work for Repsol (well, my company does, and as a result so do I), wich is an oil company, I´m not hopeful to get petrol discounts, and also I don´t have a car, but it would be nice.

I don´t like talking about politics, specially because I don´t belive on it, it´s kind of a religion. And also my fellow blogger and friend Colin does write about the last Spanish politics affairs. So I don´t feel in the need to. But you might want to know my opinion about the latest Catalonian and "estatuto". Well, I have an oppinion, but Ì´m sure it has nothing to do with the Catalonians, PSOE or PP (Political Parties). Everything´s a mess, they play with words as the people doesn´t really understand the real meaning of all. They use the words "nation", "nation of nations", "autonomía", and some others as it they didn´t have a proper meaning. I thought we had a rich language, but it seems nobody knows it, I wander if they have a dictionary to check the definition of them all. The purpose is we believe what they want us to believe, if it´s the Catalonias who´s speaking they´ll try to convince us they have rights, they deserve more. If it´s the actual gobernment (PSOE), and specially if it´s our president who´s talking, they´ll try to make us believe nothing really is happening, and they´l try to convince both, the catalonians, and the rest of Spain, that nothing´s going to change except if it´s going to be better for everybody. If it´s the PP, the opposition party, they´ll talk about the fall and ruin of the constitution and the Spanish nation. One doesn´t know what to believe, so I just think everything is a big lie sweetened with honey words. Nothing is going to change, as it always does in terms of politics.

On other hand, we have the chicken flew, wich has been a big issue for the last two weeks. Day after day, another chicken, parrot, goose or whatever is found dead with simptoms of the flu. No man has died from direct contagion from another man, and yet just 2 guys died from it (I´m not sure about the real numbers, but I know it was just a few). And also there´s not evidence about a muted flu virus. There´s also the fact we don´t have a vacine for the virus, it´s perfectly logic, as there´s no virus at all yet. But European governments are expending a lot of money and time on the case, buying antivirals and convincing us to be afraid of nothing. I´m not sure it´s not another trick so we can forget about the European constitution catastrophe or the Catalonian "estatut". I´m quite a scientist, or at least I consider myself as one, and I play with evidence; by the time there´s none to be alarmed. If something really happens I won´t be surprised by the chaos.

I can´t promise to write every week, but I´ll try. blessings, farewells and my best wishes and thoughts for all you.


Sunday, October 09, 2005

"Volver a empezar"

Hi bloggers.

For those who can´t read Spanish or don´t know that was the title of a Spanish old film wich won an oscar I´ll translate it as "Begin the Beguine".

I choose the title as I´m starting again a new job. I could seem I can´t long on any job s I get tired and bored of doing the same thing again and again. You could also think as the England thing is finished I don´t see the point on staying with my old company. I´d be lying if I say it hasn´t has a bit of thruth, but the main reason is far from being my fault.

I´ve spend the last 4 days enjoying myself, and being sick (I have a cold). I´m unemployed at the moment, wich doesn´t mean I don´t have a job but I´ll start the new one on a week and a half. But at this time I´m making the unemployment list bigger (I feel sorry for Mr. Zapatero, our president, well I don´t feel really sorry). It´s not my own idea to leave my old job that soon, well, it was my decission to resign, and I did it on wednesday, but I didn´t want to leave the office so soon. Normally you have to tell you´re leaving 15 days before, sometimes it´s even more than 15 days, as they count as laboral days, so it´s three weeks. But they didn´t want me to stay in the office if I was leaving.

Let me tell you what have taken me to resign. Of course you´ll only get my point of view.

First of all let me describe how things went at England. I had a very good time and also a very bad time. As I talked with one of the only good bosses I had at my last company he told me he believes it was a mistake to send me to England without enough knowledge on both the job and the environment. I totally agree with him, except for the job knowledge. The office at the Abbey National bank it´s a viper´s nest. The banking offices are always full of bastards, because they had worked there for ages, and they see new people coming who would take their jobs as they have more IT knowledge and ambition. They are used not to work too hard, and when it seems the projects aren´t coming on time they normally accuse somebody else of their own faults. That happened to me, and also got as the main head to blame for any problem, I was the last one to come. What I did to solve that was just work as hard as I could and finish everything on time so I couldn´t be blamed. But it seemed not to be enough. But everything was told behind my back. I only knew somebody was talking badly about me from a second hand, taking the possibility of defending myself far away.

There´s also the problems we had at hotels. I don´t know who to blame for that, I believe it´s a mixture of both the hotel managers, my company and the travel agancy. On Mondays we came back to the hotel at night from work to check-in. We were tired and just wanted to go the room and rest. But on every hotel we´d had problems with the payment. They always wanted us to pay in advance as they hadn´t received a fax with credit card number and permission to be charged for our rooms. On some hotels they said it didn´t matter and everything would be solved on next days. On some others I had to argue for a long time before they allowed us to go rest. But I always felt ashamed, as I was a beggar who asked for a free room, or was trying to cheat them.

The last England problem was related to social security. I discovered last Monday, after the event who make me take the decission to leave, my company hadn´t talked to the social security about us going to work on another EU country. They should have asked for a TA-200 form, fill it and give it back to the S.S. (Social Security, not the german´s), then they´ll give them another three forms, the E-101, E-102, E-103, to be filled and taken to us to be signed, giving us a copy. Of course they didn´t. We didn´t have any medical problem or accident at England, but we could´ve had, and it could happened to us that the english hospitals could´ve denied service, or charge us for any treatment. They also should´ve given us the European Medical Card, and didn´t.

The last thing that happened was the worst. I would like you to tell me if I was wrong or not. Monday was my first office day after England. I came to the office as if it was my first day at the company. I´d rather knew my co-workers. I expected a good wellcoming, but I wouldn´t be surprised without any. What I didn´t expect was the welcome of one of the bosses and also the one who offered me the England trip.

I was talking with the secretary at reception about money and he came to me. He shaked my hand and I was expecting him saying "How are you?", "How things went in England?", etc. but instead he asked me "Who gave you permission to go to Galicia?". Well, I was a bit surprised about the question, but didn´t bother too much because it was them who gave me the permission. But them he told me off about it. He was talking to me in front of the secretary and also in front of anyone who walked in the reception coming back from having a fagg or drinking a coke. He told me I was cheeky and implied I was lying to them. I couldn´t explain myself at that time as he didn´t stop talking. The last thing he said was a threat, he told me "We´ll seek a way for you to pay for the trips you made, we might discount it from your salary". That left me on a shock.

Let me explain to you what happened on a friday, when I was called to be told about the trip I was going to do next thrusday (Monday was holidays). The explained quite a few things about the trip, they said they didn´t know enough about it as they were unexperienced about that kind of things. But they told me about the money I was about to receive and the things I was allowed to do with the flights. They told me I could chose between staying at England with the hotel payed or travel. I asked them about the weekend flight and also if I could travel to Galicia instead Madrid. There were two people there, and both with power inside the company. They said I could do it, but I´d had to ask our client at the bank.

When I was at England I asked him, and he told me I could and also asked the travel agency for the flights. I wanted a direct flight to Galicia, but they didn´t want because it was more expensive than going to Madrid and then to Vigo. I didn´t bother as it wasn´t my own decission. But I didn´t know it could mean a difference for my company.

After being told off by that guy, I talked to another one, one who was present when I asked if I could go to Galicia, and he told me he remembered them giving me permission. But he also told me the problem was I´d taken to flights instead a direct one. I tried to explain him it wasn´t my fault and also it was because it was cheaper.

Afterwards I decided to leave the company and started seeking for a new job. It only took a day to have a new and better payed one.

The problem is I was told off in public, in my own way it shouldn´t have been like that. If you want to tell something to an employee take him apart to talk privatly, specially if you have to tell him off. And also, you should give him a chance to explain himself, or at least ask somebody else about the subject without pressuming guilt. He told me with different words I was a cheater, a lyier and a bad guy, and he told me in front of anybody.

I think I was right on being angry and leaving the company. Please tell me if I was wrong.

Anyway, I have a new and nicer job. Let´s hope everything goes fine.