Saturday, March 28, 2009

Work, the only Georgian taxi driver in Madrid, Armstrong crashed in Spain, the week I began to tweet with fervour and Earth Hour 2009.

Twitter is catching on in Spain. Have you tried it?

Hiya again

I’m writing today Saturday instead of Sunday as we will be travelling tomorrow to Extremadura for a week, that is my men (Eladio and my Father) and I for a well deserved break. There will be more about that on location.

The week has been very ordinary with not much to report. I had lunch with Juan on Tuesday when it took me 1.5h to get to work!!! Thank God I don’t have to go in early every day. Working from home is the best professional experience I have ever had and just wish it was more widespread. It would certainly decrease the amount of workplace bullying that is around.

On the subject of work, today we went out as a family for lunch to celebrate Oli’s renewed contract at RTVE. Her contract has been extended for another 6 months, so still a precarious situation but great for work experience.

Funnily enough I also went to a farewell dinner for a colleague who will not be renewing his contract with his workplace, Ono. A group of journalists and communications managers organised a dinner for him. And so on Thursday I found myself at a dinner for 20 or so communications people from the sector at the Cuban Centre in Spain, of all places, which actually turned out to be a grand place for a medium sized soirée like ours. It was a great night and it was good to meet some of my counterparts from other operators too.
My counterpart from Vodafone, Pepe, and myself at the dinner on Thursday. You can see more photos here.

The experience of that night was made even more intense by the journey back home. The taxi driver, Misha, an ex wrestler, told me he was from Tbilisi and according to him, the only Georgian taxi driver in Madrid. You don’t get much more exotic than that and we ended up telling each other our life stories and getting lost in the process. He told me something I knew but had forgotten; that Stalin was a Georgian! When I asked him about the relations between the Russians and his compatriots he told me it was the Russians who hated them and that Georgians don’t hate anyone. He spoke good Spanish and we both had a laugh at how Spaniards, who cannot pronounce the “sh”, call him “Misa” which means a religious “mass” and call me “Masa” which means the physical “mass”. It was great to meet you Misha!

Who didn’t laugh this week in Spain will have been the seven times winner of the Tour de France, Lance Armstrong. As some of you are aware I knew him from my Motorola days when he was a young rider. He has returned to cycling, three years after retirement and could well win his eighth Tour de France. When he announced his return I wrote a short post which you can read here. His crash this week in the Tour of Castilla León could well jeopardise that return. It seems his collar bone was fractured into many parts. Only time will tell.
Lance in the ambulance after crashing. The photo was taken by my friend Rafa Gómez.
What I did find funny to read was the hullabaloo caused by his mere presence at the race start on Monday. Last year there was one TV and maybe 15 journalists. Apparently this year, those numbers were increased enormously just because of Lance being there. He was, of course, as has become a custom now, accompanied by an entourage of body guards. I can imagine what all that meant to the small sleepy town of Paredes de Navas where the race started.
The small town of Paredes de Nava in Palencia.
And it’s thanks to Lance that I have now taken on tweeting which is the verb for using Twitter. Twitter is a social network which has been around for quite some time. I have used it sporadically, far preferring Facebook but this week became curious about it when I read about Lance’s updates on Twitter. So I began to follow him and since then am using Twitter quite often (you will find me here). The good thing (or maybe not so good) is that what you update on Twitter automatically updates Facebook. So you see I really am a connected person in all senses. To top it all I at long last have corporate e-mail which has completely satiated my email addiction. Yes, I am an addict of social networks, my blog, my mobile phone and email. I suppose they are the perfect tools for a PR person like me.

Other things that happened this week were coffee with my out of friend work Elena yesterday. Also we bumped into my friend and neighbour Fátima this morning whilst shopping and so took the opportunity to have a drink together and catch up on each other’s news. It was good to share the “patatas bravas” and Rueda white wine at our local bar.

I must also mention that I got a phone call from Jesus. No, not Jesus Christ, as some of my English friends might think, but my dear friend and ex colleague from my Motorola days. Yes those were the days of great friendships and cycling of course. Jesús will well remember Lance Armstrong or probably more the pacharáns we would drink in the Tour of the Basque Country. Jesús now lives in Miami and it’s a bit far to go for drinks. So Facebook has to suffice along with the odd phone call like this week. If you read this on Sunday Jesús, this is to tell you I really miss you but then you know that already.

And now I must finishe as it is nearly time for switching off the light as at 20.30 it will be the "Earth Hour" which seems to be a worldwide initiative to save power and protest against the harm being done to the environment. Lights will go off all over the world from 20.30 to 21.30. Also tonight the clocks go forward and tomorrow we will have one extra hour of daylight. I love it when the days get longer and lighter.
The image of the poster of Earth Hour 2009

And that’s it for this week. The week coming up promises to be full of new experiences, discovering Cáceres and Badajoz in Extremadura.

Cheers till next time

Masha

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