Basque Country. Spain.

 

“Otra noche con mis chicas fabulosas”. My French friend from our whatsapp group wrote. (How I love to spend with girls, my girl, ladies or woman).
French girl: Do you like sushi girls?
Jordanian girl: Only cooked sushi.
Spanish girl: I love it. I will bring a bottle of Spanish red wine.
I was in a hurry when I left home and I took a bottle of red wine from my small winery. We were laughing and feeling happy and blessed. When I opened the bottle, I realized that the lucky wine chosen for that moment was “Ramon Bilbao”. At that moment my memories of my Bilbao trip came to me.
I was invited to visit the Basque country in Spain; my flight was from Dubai to Bilbao. It is a yearly event happening in the Basque Country organized from six suppliers from the Middle East. http://www.basquelivingevents.com/me/
Who could have imagined that I would visit the Basque Country in the north of Spain bordering with France that too from Dubai. You never know!
A group of 15 people (architects, interior designers and engineers), were taking off from different parts of Middle East. We didn’t know each other; we just got a Spanish contact that would pick up seven of us at the Bilbao airport.
My Jordanian and French girls dropped me at the Dubai airport. It was very nice to hug them and say; see you in a week! I felt taking them with me instead of my baggage.
It was a night flight and I couldn’t sleep over, like always. I landed in Spain after a long journey. A Spanish old man carried poster, that said; “HABIC”, that was the meeting point. One by one we arrived there and the trip started. The group: a Serbia girl, a Mauritius boy, a Greek boy, a Swedish girl, a Filipino boy, an Indian girl and of course the Spanish girl (Me).
The green roads and the grey sky surrounded us from the airport to the hotel. We were in the Basque Country, and as usual it started to rain.
We arrived at Barceló Bilbao Hotel and we ran before the reception desk asking for our rooms. Sorry, but the check-in is at 2pm. A man with Spanish accent said. It was 11.30am. What to do until 2pm? I don’t remember who, but I couldn’t forget that one of them said; let’s have lunch!
Yeah, Sunday at 11.30am in Spain you could have as much breakfast as you wanted if you are lucky; I was thinking. At the same time the manager said: sorry, but we are still serving the breakfast. We could server the lunch for you at 1pm at the earliest.
I look at the group and said: Welcome to Spain!

We sat down around the table in the cafeteria and we had a nice coffee with and started to know each other. One of the boys took the first room being a Muslim and it was Ramadan. (what a pity to be in Spain in Ramadan). When he left I said to the rest of the group: we will be 5 days in Spain and we will put on 5 kg. All of then look at me and without say anything they called me “crazy”.
We sat around a round table for lunch at 1pm. We took a look at the menu and of course we started with the wine. Welcome to Spain!
Just we sat down a sexy, handsome, irresstible Lebanese boy joins us and 5 minutes later a couple from South Africa. We were around the table, and already 10 in the group.

 

 

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We enjoyed the Spanish food and wines. I had three glasses of red wine and tried the white one. But the funniest thing was the South African boy who had two glasses of red wine and 2 beers. Beer with red wine?! Well, if you tell me beer with white wine, I could understand it. Wait! When I said beer and red wine I mean at the same time. Red wine/beer/red wine/beer….maybe the last red one…I don’t remember.

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The architectural tour was at 5.15pm, and we decided to leave to baggage in the room and to visit the museum after lunch and before the tour. Rest? For what?
My room was 103. I left mine belongs, wash my face and brush my tooth. Oops! The sink was full of water. I called reception and they changed my room. It was easy when I realized that I was in Spain talking Spanish.

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We left the hotel for the museum. Just a few meters distance, but enough time to get wet. The rain stared again. It was funny after the blazing heat in Dubai. We love it!

Honestly speaking I didn’t like the GUGGENHEIM museum. The peculiar architecture of the building talks about how the imperfection could be perfected and how to create a mistake in innovation. Nothing much to say about the inside of the building.

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At 5pm I was trying to open my bag to get ready in 15 minutes. Oops! The key has broken! Yes, as you are reading. But, this time and for the first time in my travel life I had put in my hand bag everything necessary just in case something happens with your baggage.
Hand bag: full cosmetic bag, jeans, t-shirt, walking shoes, jacket, underwear.2 phones. Small laptop. App for the power connection. (I just missed the charger, in the hand bag and in the big bag as well).
No worry, I was in Spain and it was easy to speak with reception. I told them to break open the padlock and they did it.
About the architectural tour I don’t remember too much as I was cold, hungry, sleepy, tired and wet. It was the worst combination ever. A windy & rainy evening (and 16 degrees).

At 8.15pm we returned to the hotel, with just 15 minutes to get ready to be on time for the full event presentation. I don’t know how I did it, but trust me that I took a fast shower, dressed up, did make up and dried my hair that was still wet thanks to the rain. Perfect, I was in the conference room at 8.33pm.
The five missing people joined us later. An Omani girl, a Palestinian boy, a Jordanian girl, a Lebanese boy and an Indian boy.
Maybe if you know that after a long journey (35 hours), you just have to be in a presentation and have an amazing dinner in Spain. Worth it!
Look at the menu…..Welcome to Spain! 

 

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The smartest conversation after “a couple” glasses of wine was to speak about the rooms and sketch them. My question was: how many and where sprinklers there are in your room? They looked at my and one of them said: seriously, are you asking for sprinklers in the room? Well, you can not imagine how many problems I have had with a fire consultant and the PM with the sprinklers in a project, and now I have an obsession about them. I can see sprinkler in my dreams. I said. ( there was just one on the wall between the TV and the window).

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Bet time, but no before to checking all the emails from work. I fell asleep like a ell fed baby.
The phone rang at 7am. Time to get up. Thank God I slept well 6 hours. As I was getting ready I spoke with my colleague from Dubai office. Them I jumped for the buffet breakfast. (you just look at the photos, you just could feel the taste as if you have been in Spain).

We jumped in the bus to visit the first supplier’s company, SELLEX. I couldn’t keep my eyes open. When we reached the factory there was a table ready for us, with coffee, tea and cookies. Yes, coffee!!! At that moment my eyes opened wide as an owl. But a voice said: after the presentation we will go through the factory and at the end we will have coffee and typical cookies of this area. At the end?! No way! And my open eyes suddenly closed in the middle of the presentation. We were sitting in “u”, we saw the faces of each other easily. My eyes closed and my head fell down as in my university years on Monday or Friday morning in a theory class. ( I was not the only person who closed the eyes, the guy who was talking said: just a few heads fell down, I am happy that was not the only one). My smiled; I am human, that was normal.

Coffee time! I had 2 coffees and 3 cookies. I didn’t really need the cookies, but if we have to put on 3kg in 5 days the cookies count. And we jumped into the bus again.
In the next visit, TESA. I was a bit active and instead of coffee I have a cappuccino and of course more cookies.
Lunch time! They took us to a village bordering France a lovely place in a hill and the sea. It was a sunny, brightly day; a colorful day. The restaurant was in an amazing place underground.

 

After a huge amount of food and wine we took a catamaran and cross to France. It was the first time that I heard about Hondarribia and all battles between France & Spain. It is very interesting.
We enjoyed sailing between French and Spanish waters, surrounded of the blue sky, the green mountains and the turquoise sea.

After the trip when walked around the stone streets of Hondarribia and when we were within 15 miters of the cathedral, we decided to stop at a typical bar in a stone square. I had a typical white wine of that area, Txakoli. When we left the cathedral was closed. Welcome to Spain! (first the wine and then the cathedral in an Architectural tour).

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We jumped in the direction of the bus for the Hotel in San Sebastian when we would be 3 nights.
Astoria 7 was the cozy hotel when we spent our days in San Sebastian. At the check in they gave us a complimentary welcome wine. Yes, as you are reading. More wine….welcome to Spain!

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While waiting for the lift to reach my room, one of the suppliers told me: Marisol, I would like to introduce you to the President of the company where I am working. He will be here in a while, but He can’t stay for dinner. Don’t take so long to get ready. Could you make it in 30 minutes?. Come to the wine bar. I smiled and said. Of course, I will be back in 30 minutes. Well, at lest that day I got 30 minutes to get ready instead of the 15 minutes of the day before.

After a glass of red wine (always Rioja), we all had dinner. Again, please, look at the menu.

The interesting thing about that menu was the dessert. After the dinner we talked about live & Business in Dubai. And of course we didn’t get to bed before midnight and the phone rang at 7.30am in the morning again.
I had decided don’t eat too much for breakfast, but it was impossible. Welcome to Spain!
I like to break the fast with fruit. The fruits were as tasty as in my father’s farm. (My father has a small farm when we grow vegetables and fruits that we enjoy in summer, and of course the best orange in the world; Clemennules). Then bread with grated tomato with olive oil with Jamon Serrano or Salmon, plus eggs (when I am traveling). And who can’t eat cheese and all homemake cakes if they look at you ready to eat. And of course natural orange juice and good coffee.

The 3rd day we visited the Tabakalera Cultural Building, when assisted at the presentation of IMAR and LANIK.

When do you think we had lunch this time? At the Basque Culinary Center? No, exactly. We went there to see the building, the façade, the installations and all the classrooms where the best chef in Spain had study. Unfortunately the year’s course was over and just a few people were there studying summer courses.

We couldn’t tasty meals cooked by the students, but we had enough time to have a glass of red one (or beer or coffee as you wished). Of course I had a glass of red one.

Then we had lunch in another amazing building before visiting the Anoeta Football Stadium.

We walked from the hotel to the restaurant, at Ni Neu, when we had an amazing dinner. After the dinner the bus was waiting to drop us at the hotel, but just few people took it. The rest of the group when to have a gin tonic. Do you know that gin tonic is one o the specialties of that area?. Now, you know it. And trust me, you will enjoy it, price apart the price of gin is 3 times more than in Dubai per glass. Trust me!

 

 

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4th day and Wednesday. It was time to visit PRODEMA and after a presentation and a walk around the factory, of course we when to have lunch. This time the restaurant was on the beach, but before to sitting around the table we walked around the village, Getaira. Well…half of the group stopped in a bar to have a drink. That time it was a glass of white wine.

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We arrived at the hotel at 6pm and rested until 8pm. Thank God, we rested for 2 hours he longest rest in all the entire trip (apart from the sleep time, that was around 6 hours).
We enjoyed the sunset before sitting around the table at Bokado restaurant to have another delicious dinner in San Sebastian. (We arrived at the restaurant by train).

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A Serbian girl and I went to dance after the dinner. We went to a not very cool place to dance Latin dance. You now, when you dance you want to dance. What a pity that it was not the tango dance in that place.

The 5th day and the last. PARKLEX, was the company who invited me to that trip and finally I visited them. Also it was a nice presentation of the company and a nice tour around the installations.

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But, I can’t forget to speak about the lunch at Lenkonea restaurant and of course the walk around the rustic village when we had a glass of wine before the lunch.

The baggage in the bus, we left for Bilbao for dinner and to go to the hotel to rest a few hours before the flights. But, we changed the plan or better to say that the most of the group decided to stay in San Sebastian and after diner take the bust from San Sebastian to Bilbao. The hotel was close to the airport. The bus picked us at 10 o’clock.
Suddenly it rained, but we were close to a bar, the same bar of the large gin tonics night. Perfect place to the perfect time. The funny thing was that we separated in 4 groups, but in the middle of the rains we joined in that bur. You see, we don’t need a whatsapp to know were we could be, at least to try logic or luck.
I was responsible to get everyone in the bus on time being the only Spanish speaker. It was a hard work, first of all because I had to push myself to leave that amazing night it was difficult, but I did it. We were at the bus at 10 o’clock not a minute before not a minute after. O’clock!

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At midnight we were in our rooms and the receptionist called us at 5am to get up. Again, just 5 hours!
All of us were at the airport but we were taking different flights. Me to my hometown, Nules. Home sweet home.
It was a last minute decision and surprise. Bilbao is a 1 hour from Valencia, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to hug & kiss my family. My sister with my 2 lovely nieces were arriving that weekend too.
I sent a whatssap to my family from the Bilbao airport. Take off! But didn’t know it that I was flying home.
I rang the bell door. Who is there? Mami, open the door your oldest daughter Marisol is here. Surprise! and she couldn’t control the tears of happiness. And she told me: I knew it, I felt something in my heard yesterday.
Mummies, they always know everything!
Lovely less than 48 hours with them and very proud to do it. I will do it again and again.
Have I said already in some chapter that I have a lovely family and I love my family?

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Nules. The Birthday

Summer 2012, the whatsapp work started. I was ( and I am) among those who are technology friendly. It was simple to explain what, the simple answer was: I am among those who spend time in front of the computer, PC, tablet, Laptop, smartphone, apple devices. I love to be around the table or around the bar, face to face talking with friends, in a business meeting, or chatting with your new love meting him.
As a human, I did the same as everyone else. I remember that a Spanish guy from the Issac Hostel helped me to buy my first phone with internet. He told me: Marisol, it will be useful to learn English. You will write in English. I stared at him with my unfriendly face and I put the credit card on the counter. What to do? We are in the new age!
I didn’t tell my Spanish friend that I was using whatsapp, but I was using it for my new friends in Ireland and of course with my amazing family.
The family calls were daily; the whatsapps with my sister and bother were like my eyes.
The 30th birthday of my sister arrived, and for that special day she booked a flight for me from Dublin to Valencia.
I was in Galway, I took a ban taxi from home to the bus station to go to Dublin and take the flight to Valencia.
It was a surprise, just my sister knew it and we informed my brother to land in Valencia two days earlier.

My sister came to pick me at the airport and when I was walking through the corridor along my house in Nules beach… suddenly my mother asked: who is there? OMG! You are crazy!!! What are you doing here?!!! Come on mum, Do you think that I would miss my sister’s birthday? (summer in the Mediterranean and I don’t know which season in Ireland).
It was an amazing weekend at home in summer and I understand the different between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic sea….the sun and the colour of your skin.
It was a perfect weekend to kiss and hug my family and friends. And to take a big winter bag for the long winter in Ireland waiting for me.

London. 6 hours

You know, when people ask you about who is your best friend and you have to think about it… I was very comfortable saying: my best friend is my sister!
My sister was visiting me in Rome once every 2 or 3 weeks, and we couldn’t bear more than 2 months without seeing each other. It was the longest separation in our life. She was on a holiday trip round Australia and New Zealand and on the way back to Valencia, she stopped in London for 6 hours. What your friend who loves you could do for you? We are very close and I will be alone for 6 hours in London. Why don’t you come to see me? I said: I will be there!
She booked the flight for me, without thinking about it. Was not an easy thing, but love could move mountains. From Dublin to London by plane. To see my sister 6 hours (or less). Crazy? I would do it again.
It was normal walking around London, simple, easy as the love is. Do you know when people ask you: do you want something from…? Do you need something from…? What would you like from…?
That time I say: coconut biscuits from Thailand ( She was also in Thailand) and UGH boots from Australia. ( trust me; them were very useful in Ireland).
Fashion is fashion, I am not going to discuss that, but if there is a story, behind something, it is more than fashion. It is a “long story”.
You know, when you are travelling a lot you don’t remember your travel life every day, but when you stop for a while and push yourself to remember it, you feel blessed and glad about your life and all the people around you.
See you soon my sister!

Dublin. Landing.

 

OMG! My light was delayed by 2 hours and they were waiting for me without knowing each other.

I called my sister: Please, could you call them and say that my flight is delayed? I couldn’t speak English and still less to write a sms.

A friend had a boyfriend in a town close to Dublin (now they are married), as I didn’t speak a word of English, she asked to him to pick me up from the airport and drop me at the reception Hostel and say : Good luck Marisol

When I landed in Dublin, they were waiting for me. Don’t ask me how was the communication between us, but three Irish guys picked me from the airport and dropped me wit all my bags in Issac hostel in Dublin. Lucky me!

Thank God I have contacts and connections around the world. It was a shock, but I was there to start my new adventure in a sharing room with people from different parts of the world. We had just one thing in common, well…maybe two: English and experiences.

The first day in Dublin was a rainy, windy, sunny, stormy day. It was true there is a phenomenon called the four seasons in a day.

The second day thank God again, a friend from Castellon came to visit me. He saved me! I hadn’t met him before that, but I knew his sister from the COAAT Castellon ( As you know and I have explained a million times; my degree has a difficult name, in the past was Aparejador, in my university days was Technical Architect and now is Building Engineer). I was going to visit her to get the stamps on the projects about control and safety. One day she told me: If you are thinking of studying English in Dublin I have a brother there. I told her: I am going to Rome in 3 months, but I would like London more than Dublin. (a year later I met her to ask for her brother’s contact).

He came to Issak Hostel, picked me and one of my bid bags. We left or drooped whoever you want to call at the back of his dresser. He told me: if you don’t need this bag what did you bring it from Spain?. My friend, I am a girl and I need to have things with me should I need them. Do you understand me?. No, I don’t. He said. I smiled.

My first week in Dublin was a…I couldn’t explain my feeling, but I guess like being on a desert island just by myself. Now, after long while writing this chapter I know that I have never been alone at that time or never in my life. Maybe you can’t not understand me, but you couldn’t feel alone around the world, because you are not the only one around. Now, did you understand it?

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Also there were some sunny days between English classes in Dublin.

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Bangkok. 1 month

I am in ! How amazing is to be auntie to two cute girls. She follows me calling: “Tia,tia, tia”. She speaks more English than Spanish. Her second birthday is coming in a month. The smaller girl has started to crawl on four legs and her first birthday is coming in 2month. Yes, just thirteen months gap between my two nieces.
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It is hot in Bangkok, the rainy season is due and there was a big storm the first night. My brother in low is travelling this week. We are for girls at home, two pairs of sisters.

After 4 days in Bangkok, the jetlag was over. A day before after a long night without proper sleep I fell asleep at 8pm on the coach. That morning at 6.30am I had my first coffee still with closed eyes and my niece told me: tia, sit down, let’s play. Baby, It is 7am, auntie is having a coffee, wait for a while. Play, play, play. I did! Then I went to the gym. I need to exercise to feel alive. After the gym I wanted to be alone in the swimming pool, but when she saw me with bikini told me: pool, pool, pool…. We enjoyed together!

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My sister and I went for a foot massage; meantime the babies took a nap.  Your neck and back are very hard. The guy said. I know! I thought: flight, bags, beds…..and now babies. Too much!.

Are you sleeping at 8pm? I was. I told my sister. I think, I didn’t sleep the last 5 days. I am on holidays! My sleep time in Spain was perfect. I often went to bed at 2am and woke up at 10.30am. Now in Bangkok, I go to bed at 10.30pm and often I wake up at 2am.But, I am in love with my girls!

Finally Friday! I was nervous, but all was over when I jumped in the pool. My smile is back!.

I felt jittery, but when my head was in the water I felt new. My sister convinced me to take a treatment for my hair. I always visit the cousin’s maid hair salon in Bangkok.  It is a Thai salon and they don’t speak English. They give me 3 hours for Straight & hydration hair treatment. I relaxed there. It is fun when they wash your hair you are totally horizontal. The result was amazing. I have a straight hair, but it seems like a lion king in Bangkok. It is less humid than in Mumbai, but for some reason here is worse. Their maid told me: ready! Now you can’t tie and wash your hair in 4 days, until Friday. What? Impossible, unacceptable, no way…. Nooooo. I wash mi hair everyday! And some times twice or thrice!  That was afternoon Monday. I didn’t stop doing my things: gym, sunbathing, reading, writing….but I didn’t go out of the condominium.

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Saturday night and the final champion league 2016. 28th June (already 29th in Bangkok). We planned to go out for dinner and to kill time until the match started. We left the girls with the nanny and went for dinner with friends. Spanish people, of course. We went to Arno’s a French restaurant where you can eat beef choosing the cuts that you want. You choose, you order, you try. Of course, they cook! We were 5 people around the table full of grilled beef dishes.

We joined more people after the dinner in a place called Habana. Latinan life music. The  match was at 1.30am in Bangkok. Champion league 2016 in Milano between Real Madrid and Atletico de Madrid.  Of course the champion was the Real Madrid!.

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One more book. I have finished “El ultimo Caton of Matilde Asensi”. My older niece by passed me all day. I went to the pool alone and when I couldn’t resist the 35 degrees I came back home. I was sitting on a stool in the kitchen area reading the last few pages of the book. I was really absorbed in the novel when suddenly I felt a hand on my back and a push. That was my older niece and I understood that she wanted my attention. She wanted to play. Now?

  • Sabes lo que te digo, Farag?
  • No –repuso soltanto una risa callada-, pero me espero cualquiere cosa.
  • Hacer el amor es lo mas maravillo del mundo – afirme convencida; el volvio a reir quedamente.
El ultimo Caton

You should read “El ultimo Caton” and pay attention to one of my favorite phrases at the end:

 To make love is the most wonderful in the world.

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The third week, I spent more time with my sister alone. She is taking English business classes twice a week, but that week it was three times. I went with her. Everyday before getting into the sky-train, I bought a hot Americano coffee (without sugar). I was carrying a millions things as always, she took my coffee a said: Run! We got in the sky-train, but the coffee spilled. If you have been to Thailand (or Cambodia), you would know than local people use plastic bags for whatever and wherever.  It was like a fish in a fishbowl. The bag was the fishbowl, the coffee was the water and the cup was the fish.

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Pizza, pizza, pizza! My niece said when I walked into the house. It was Friday night. We called Avanti to order pizza, but they didn’t take the call.  We wanted pizza! We worried it might be closed. I will go there. I said. I thought, sure they have red wine. I was waiting for the 2 pizzas and meantime I had a glass of red wine. It was Friday!

We tried a new Thai cuisine restaurant called Nara. Be careful if you visit this place with your niece, because she could tell you: “tia” let’s go! You are full and have to follow her around the mall (running!). How much energy the babies have after eating! But always, you are not full enough for a sweet.  Kinotoya cheese tart, was the option. Delicious! (Originated from Kinotoya).  I would love to visit Japan!.

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A chocolate attack happened on Sunday night! I had sashimi of tuna and salmon at home, and suddenly: I wanted chocolate! Thank God that there are 7 eleven available at every 2 or 3 block in Bangkok. I was looking for chocolate infinity Magnum, but they just had pink pomegranate & white Magnum. The choice was a chocolate with chocolate and chocolate cone.  I sat on the swing in the garden and I looked up to the sky (it was a cloudy night), just a week left with a new adventure around the corner. I sighed.

I finished the wine; the intense purple color of the wine tasted lovely. The maid gifted me a bottle of wine from her town, at the northeast of Thailand bordering Laos. It tastes different, something like a grape juice with a little bit alcohol.

Both nieces are turning 1 and 2 years on June and July and they are leaving for Spain in summer time in a week. But before they leave Bangkok we should celebrate the party at “Bangkok Garden” with all their international friends.

 

Not a single person was missing at the party. All children with the mummies and nannies, also some daddies were lost in the party

 

I am the auntie and I was everywhere under the orders of my sister. I was tired to wear flip-flops so I put on my colorful flowery shoes. You cannot imagine how many times I took the lift. Up- down & down-up! The funniest thing was: one of the two lift at our tower was under servicing. You know, Friday around 4.30pm. Up-down & down-up… Everybody! Wait… The funniest thing, when I took the rest of the ice-cream cake to drop it up stairs; I was sweating ( it was a humid and hot windy day in Bangkok) and when I arrived at our floor I felt lost. Where Am I? Damn! I was in another tower.  I have an explanation for that: we had the party under another tower and for some reason in one of my up-down & down-up I made a small mistake.

I was very happy to be in this particular birthday party and I have to say thank you to coming to: the Japanese-Russian girl, The Thai-British girl, The Lebanese sister and brother, the Thai-Australian girl, The Tai-American girl, the pure Korean girl, , the three pure Thai girls, The pure Chinese boy, The French-Rumanian boy, the Thai-Irish girl and to my pure Spanish nieces. And the old couple Japanese and Mexican had also come. If you told me 3 years ago that I would be in Bangkok in this party. I would tell you if you were crazy… But everything is possible in this small world.

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Time to fly again… Kob koon kaa & Sawadee Kaa! ( Thanks & Bye bye). If you are a boy you would say krub instead of kaa. KAO JAI MAI?

Rome. 24 hours

 

24? I would have liked to have 24 hours. I had 20 hours! No worries! Organization!

I have to say that before leaving for Spain, I was parting and having dinner with my different friends. I stayed with the friends with whom I wanted to stay before leave Rome for my new adventure in Ireland. But I planned to enjoy the last weekend in Rome.

A friend picked me from the airport and we have a cappuccino and cornetto just as we arrived at my place. Then I jumped into my flat and I started packing, and the bell rang. Two friends came with beers and pizza. Another friend came before dinner to have an aperitif. My bags to Dublin were ready and I was leaving one in Rome for onward dispatch to Nules.

I had enough time to say arrivederci Roma around the Fontana di Trevi and had a nice dinner with red wine.

In the morning, another friend picked me up from home and dropped me at the airport, but not before having the last cappuccino and cornetto in Rome. 

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Chapter closed…

Valencia. Fallas 2012

I landed in Valencia with my parents and time was flying. A lot of things to do in 2 weeks and packing new bags.

Las Fallas was starting that week. From 1st March until 19th March there are “mascletaes” at 2pm at the “Plaza del Ayuntamiento”  (Municipality  square), but the real festival is from 15th to 19th If you don’t know about “Falles I Mascletaes”,  you should to visit Valencia en “Falles”  at least once in your life. Trust me; you wouldn’t forget it.

Fallas is in Spanish language and Falles in Valenciano language.

I lived and studied in Valencia from 1997 until 2006. I studied Delineante and after that Technical Architect, both in the construction and architectural world.

I have to clarify that Technical Architect is not the same as Architect, to put it in a fast and easier way I would say: Architect=Designer Technical  Architect=Construction Phase. This topic cover at least 3 chapters, because for more difficult now Technical Architect is called Building Engineer, but If you talk with British, Technical architect is Project Architect.   Anyway, I am sure that I studied and that I love in my work field.

“Les Falles “ , start for me on 15th. El dia de la planta de les falles. (That is the day that the workers start to build them. Cartoon, paper and wooden. Because the last day they will burn them).

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The best thing to do is leave you car home and take the train. From Nules to Valencia 50 minutes.

First contact with Valencia was “La Mascleta” and a walk around the streets.

And after the day started the night with old friends. First as a good Valencianos we celebrated ST Patrick’s day with beer earlier and with Red wine and jamon.

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After the first stop in  “la feria del jamon” the night around Valencia started.

 

You cannot go to bed early with a hot chocolate with “xurros, porres or buyols”. There is Always a friend or a couple of them who drink more beer but always as a good friend making company.

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Time to go home and sleep a few hours you cannot lose your time sleeping, we are in “Falles”.

You have to be ready in the morning, if you have a handover you cannot say anything, because your friends will taunt you as a loser.

Ready for the 2nd day. 16th March. “El ninot idultat”.  Every cartoon structure has a piece saved from the fire, called “Ninot indultat”.

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To eat in the restaurant is very cheap and the food good, the problem is to find a table and then a seat.

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Who wants to wait when you can eat and drink on the street sitting in some place? Well, you have to find a place to sit may be on the floor too. It is not an easy.

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Lucky people always find a place after drinking a couple beers in the street.

 

Negrito time arrived. Negrito is a bar twhich we are always visit in Fallas.  It is a meeting point on 16th March in the afternoon/evening. And that is when you leave the beers to start with the run. Run with sprit, please.

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I didn’t stay all night because the day after I went to the cousin’s wedding and my mother told me: Marisol, do whatever you want, but please you have to be perfect at 10 am. Of course mummy you know me. I will be perfect and on time like always.

3rd day. 17th March.I didn’t go to Fallas, but I was perfect for the weeding, that started at 10am and finish late that night. ( While writing this I feel tired. That was 4 years ago. Could I do it again?)

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4th day. 18th  March. “La nit del foc”.

Being human, I needed a day off to rest. I couldn’t move from home, but there is always a moment to celebrate something. My old untie’s birthday. (I took off my pyjama before the photo, and because my mother told me).

 

5th day. 19th. “La crema”. Sant Josep. Father’s day.

As a tradition I love to enjoy a day with my sister and my mother in Fallas. It was a sister’s day. We walked around all streets of Valencia enjoying that moment together. Like the true Nuleros that we are, we always find some friend among the people. I think we can smell each other.

 

There is Always a moment to take energy. She loves sweets and I love chocolate.

 

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We didn’t wait until “la crema”, but we arrived on time to watch it on the TV. It is not the same, but to finish those days with your family at home, it is not a bad plan.

The next week I visited my town friends and family. I had a very great time, I could be writing a several pages more, but just I want to show you a dinner that a couple friends made for me. We are from the same town, but we came to know each other from our university days. He is a great architect and a very expert chef at home, who takes care about all details. His wife is like a sun. Please, don’t ask me their name, because I will keep it a secret. Enjoy it!!!

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Thank you very much!!!

It was time to close the Rome Chapter and open the Dublin Chapter, but not before to visiting my place.

A friend dropped me at the airport this time. Where is my flight? I couldn’t see it on the scream! Excuse me, this is my flight, showing the ticket. You are late, you have missed the flight. Your flight was at 9am, not at 9pm.

What? It was the first time that I missed a flight. The funny thing is that the next day there was strike and there were not flights. My flight was to arrive in Rome Thursday night.

The plan was:

Friday:  go to the studio during the day. Dinner with my colleagues.

Saturday: Packing and Dinner with friends.

Sunday: Relax enjoying the last day in Rome.

Monday: early morning. From Rome to Dublin.

But my new flight was on Sunday and all my family made sure that I caught the flight.

 

Didn’t I mention earlier that I love my family?