Spanish Efficiency

Today I hoofed it home (18 min walk approx) at 3pm to meet my landlord at 3:20 at my flat. I meet him outside and we haul ourselves up four steep flights of narrow stairs in the 300 year old building. There is painting that needs to be done on a part of the kitchen area (it is a studio remember). Icould not care less about the unpainted bit, but he has come in from Germany to see to it that this gets done (he is Catalan but workd in Germany).

3:25 – We enter flat and have a chat.

3:45 – the workman hasn´t shown up yet. This is totally normal and no mention is made. We keep chatting and I offer up seats, as I can see this may be a while.

4pm – landlord calls the company and is routed to hold music. He puts his phone on speaker. We have just finished a conversation about how the customer service in the US is amazing, period and that makes up for how many hours Americans spend working. He thinks he could never live in the US because we are so focused on work. I have lived in 5 different countries and all of those had shorter workweeks than the US, however in the US I always ALWAYS had more leisure time because I never had to waste time waiting around for people to do their jobs. Shit. gets. done – BAM.

4:15 – a voice comes on the phone and he explains no one has shown up. He is put on hold again. We chat about Obama, Europes obsession with him, and I eat crackers.

4:30 – voice comes back on and tells him someone arrived the day before, but went to the flat on the ground floor. He commences to explain that the scheduled time was for TODAY, and for the flat on the 3rd floor. Send someone out. He is put on hold again. I eat a pear.

4:40  – voice comes back on, says no one can come out for two weeks. He explains he is only in town for three days from Germany and to send someone out stat. We chat about how my Spanish is coming and visiting the Basque country.

4:50 – voice comes back on and a 5 minute conversation ensues. I have stopped paying attention because I just want to go back to work at this point, knowing that even if someone could get sent out this afternoon, I would not be able to be there anyway. Landlord is put on hold again. I comment about customer service in general and good customer service makes ones life easier in general. He mentions it is actually worse in Germany, and I choke on my gum in disbelief. But he has a point, in Germany if they do not have rules to follow, they will not take any action. At least the woman on the phone is trying to figure something out.

5pm – voice comes back on and he gives them my phone number instead of waiting longer, and says to call me when someone can come and that I, the resident, will confirm whatever meeting time they choose. Which is what should have happend in the first place instead of him coming out and hanging out in my studio apartment while we wait for someone who isnt going to show up.I send instant messages to my boss while trying not to lose temper. Boss laughs at me via instant messenger.

5:05 – we say goodbye and I hoof it back to work. I return to find boss has spilled entire jug of tea on desk, lap and floor. I enter my “office” (which is actually a little conference room) and laugh at him via instant messenger.

This is efficiency, people.

In this personal side note, I tell you about glasses

I realised something exactly 3 days ago – I am attracted to men with glasses. In fact, a full 50 percent of the men I´ve dated have worn them, and I´m sure it would be more if every bespectacled man I have ever tried to bat my lashes at would have been interested in dating me as well.

That being said, the style of glasses matters a lot. A LOT. Homeboy can´t just show up with dads magnifying readers or uncle Bills Blue Blockers. These things make or break you my friend – the spectrum ranges from stylish to WTF were you thinking GTF away from me.

This has never been a concious attraction for me though. Sure, I have displayed disappointment when my object of interest has opted to wear contact lenses instead of their specs for certain occassions, because I knew I liked their glasses. But I also like stylish clothes and various fashions of facial hair displays (again fellas, make or break – no officer Poncherella bars). JM was no exception to this, I preferred him wearing his glasses (and with certain styles of facial hair). But now I realize I will date men who are entirely wrong for me because of the style of frames on their face. Holy Jesus, put a helmet on them and it´s all over.

It has taken me 20 years to figure this out. I´m quick like that.

That’s it, I’m buying a moto

I cant stand it anymore. It may be forever before I get involved in motorcycles out here – thanks Kawasaki for pulling the plug on your MotoGP team, thanks MotoGP for cutting the 250 classes in half, thanks KTM for pulling out of 250…ya’ll just limited my job opportunities and that was really callous and thoughtless of you.

In the meantime, one of my new years resolutions is to generally “have more fun”.  This does not mean drinking more. You may have noticed I do not have problems attending drinking establishments or parties where alcohol is served. Operationally defined having more fun means: finding more Italian men to cook for me, taking more weekend trips outside of Barcelona, *and* actually riding motorcycles again, which necessitates buying one.

Here is the bike I will likely buy:  RS125 Honda. 2 stroke street bike…small enough to be scooter-like and efficient, though just enough (?) motor to ride it around the mountains here.

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I figure this way, I can meet some people with real motos that I can borrow for track days…after all I live a half hour from an amazing race track.

That said, this is the bike I REALLY want:

aprilia_rs_125_02

It´s more than twice the price of the Honda. It is killing me to see that thing in the shop windows  ’cause I WANT.  It’s like Aprilia looked into my soul and made me the perfect bike. Serve this up with some cake and Hendricks gin and you have got yourself a party to end all parties as far as I am concerned.

UPDATE:  The Honda is a 4 stroke!! 2 strokes over 50 (80?) cc are outlawed here in Spain now.  So forget it! I’m having the Aprilia. With a Hendricks gin martini on the rocks with cucumber slices swimming in the mix.

Feliz new year

I don’t know about you, but I just slammed the door shut REAL HARD on 2008.  The year couldn’t have been worse… and at the same time there were a couple of good things that happened.  So that makes my feelings about it even more confusing and mixed up.

Therefore I rang in the New Year like baby jesus intended:  plenty of Vodka, Italian men, cigarettes, chocolate, making out with strangers, wine, dancing and truth spilling until at 8am.

Meanwhile, I hope that 2009 is a better year for you all, and that you make a step towards your hearts greatest desire.