Thursday, October 27, 2016

Cuanto tiempo amigo, cuanto tiempo!

blast from the past!
I've been away for a long time. I've missed you. The writing, I mean, among other things. But you as well. The occasional distraction from real life. But I'm back, and hoping that I'm now a bit wiser, a bit more disciplined, a bit more interesting. Hope being the operative word.

Life is good. Over the summer, I accepted a position as a management consultant with an international consulting firm based in my beloved Barcelona. I just returned from a 2 month project in Shanghai. In between, I spent time in Kuala Lumpur and a glorious 10 days back home in BCN. Life is good.

Stay with me, yeah? I have some good stories to tell.


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

but you ain't bonafide

There is no virtue in rejection.

I'm the kind of fellow who genuinely enjoys drinking. Sure, we aspire to be connoisseurs (whatever that means) and to feel like we're adequately appreciating a bottle that someone has poured their heart and soul into (again, whatever that means), but in the end, if we're really being honest with ourselves, we just like to drink. There's nothing wrong with that - it's not alcoholism - but I just like getting tipsy. Occasionally drunk. Never enough to be sick, but enough to be a more fun version of me. A boozy DF is the best DF.

I've had this conversation many times with IESE friends. About how fussiness in wine kills all sense of enjoyment and pleasure. For fuck's sake, stop worrying about how you look, how you're supposed to hold a glass, how you're supposed to taste, how you're supposed to talk about wine. What happened to just drinking the goddamn glass and enjoying yourself? What happened to the first function of wine, which is to bring people together, make conversation flow, and ultimately, to get you laid? I blame wine hipsters and wannabes. And Obama. If there's anything that I've accomplished with the IESE Wine & Spirits Club, if there's anything good to come out of all that boozing, it's this - that my friends, previously wine-drinkers or not, have the confidence to drink and enjoy wine on their own terms, without all the bullshit that's infected this beautiful, beautiful drink.

This is a cool bottle. Me and Shuji (travel buddies for life) spent Christmas of 2014 in Lisbon, and to thank our hosts, we picked up this bottle of 1983 Kopke Colheita Port when we visited the house in Oporto. I drink a lot of port, which gave me the illusion that I understood it. In its natural context - in Portugal, with a Portuguese family - I learned how port is really drunk. As a digestivo, and only in small amounts. And so with these new experiences, your perspective broadens, and you bring something back home with you that furthers your understanding.

But let's be clear - there is no virtue in rejection. I got another rejection today, from a very large multinational consumer goods company. A very nice rejection, mind you. They had the courtesy to call me over the phone and share some specific feedback about my interview. But a rejection, nevertheless. I really wanted this job, but apparently, I gave canned answers and came across as, in her words, fake. There goes my shot at returning to Europe. I refuse to accept that rejection is a necessary step on this path, that there is something to be gleaned from all this - that everyone has to go through it, or any other bullshit cliché. Interviews are such superficial ways to understand a person. Do we still seriously believe that we don't all game interviews, that we prepare for the same behavioural type questions and rehearse juiced up answers over and over again? What is there to be learned from that? What takeaway do we get from a rejection from this type of process? I'm just incredibly frustrated right now. But I'm sick and tired of hearing that all this is necessary. There is no fucking virtue in rejection.

The wine is nice though. The wino drinking it? Apparently not so bonafide.


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

head up, chin up

New year, new me. 

Or something like that. In desperate need of some new energy, a spark to keep me going. It has been difficult, this slump I've been mired in for a few months now - I won't lie, sometimes I have really bad days. Angry days. Resentful, bitter, fucking pissed days, but I've been told those are all poor (and unemployable) qualities to have. When you're on the outside looking in, what choice do you have but to follow the rules. Other people's rules.

Last year in Barcelona, a few days before I embarked on an epic 35 day trip through 5 countries, I had some time to wander around the city, experience my 2nd holiday season there. Spain does Christmas really well - lights are hung up across all the major streets, with coordinated designs. It's not all that cold and there's no snow, but there's certainly a feeling of celebration in the air. And the Spanish are really good at celebrating. Hm ... maybe some of that is in order? I don't want to mope, I don't want to be a whiny little bitch about it, but this is where we're at it. 

I'm going to India next week, to spend a week in Bangalore. I'll be there to celebrate my IESE teammate's wedding. Excited? Like you wouldn't imagine. Really looking forward to seeing some great friends again. I watched the movie 'Bridge of Spies' last week. One scene that stayed with me, historical accuracy aside, was when the East Germans were beginning construction of the Berlin Wall, and panicking families were escaping to the other side. I don't know if Toronto, or Canada for that matter, is for me. My gut tells me no ... that I need to look to the other side. That should be the hard part, that internal struggle. But so far, the struggle has been everywhere else. 

Onwards and upwards ... chin up!