Month: October 2013

  • Sometimes I think It’s Cool that I Speak Three Languages

    Then I remember that I’m fitfully awkward in ALL of them.

    So, tonight there was supposed to be a city-wide interns drinks social. I arrived “fashionably” late (mostly just logistically late). There had also been drinks at the end of the work day for another intern who was in her last week. Interestingly, she was also from the States–and Texas no less! Anyway, there was a little (and really only a little) wine and some terrible drink called “pastis.” The accent falls on the second syllable and the “a” is pronounced /ah/, so no stripper jokes!

    By the time I started for the bus, I was already feeling a little tired. But, I had resolved to go to the event in an effort to meet people. It didn’t work.

    After a whirlwind trip back at my sister’s (upset babies, mid-diaper-change leaks, eating too much, etc.), I changed my clothes and set off again. I arrived at the bar relatively easily. I ordered a drink…and then thinks slid down hill. NOT because of the drink, mind you. But, because I have zero conversation skills.

    I tried to pick a non-threatening group of people to interject myself into. You can’t easily maneuver yourself into any group of 2. So, I looked for groups of three or more. I picked one…they were a group of interns from CERN–way too smart for me. We would have nothing in common. I made the mistake of saying that aloud.

    Then, thoroughly embarrassed, I found a table where I finished my beer alone…and played 4 Pics 1 Word because you don’t need a WiFi connection. All told, I was in the bar about 20 minutes. It felt like a freakin’ eternity.

    On the way home I passed through the red-light district. There were literally red lights there, which made me smile. Then I thought of the terrible life sex workers must have. Then I stopped smiling.

    What’s your most awkward introduction or bar experience?

  • I Have no Idea What I’m Doing

    At least it feels that way. And the austere looks from the people around me speaking over each other in German don’t help the situation.

    I “started” my internship Monday. But, I didn’t do much that day. Today, however, I got my identity/security badge and had real assignments–despite a late start because I arrived at the gate without my passport and had to ride the two buses back home to get it…and then ride them fro again. I think I used “fro” correctly there. If not, please advise.

    Then, I got lost in the buildings…again. The thing is a freaking maze.

    It appears that I shall have an office–but it’s WAY far away from everyone else in this section. I think a very real part of my job is to occupy real estate in the never ending quest for office space within the Palais…I guess that’s the way it goes. I don’t mind though. It’s on the ground floor, but it does have a window. And I have an office mate–he seems to be British. The worst part, as you can imagine, is trying not to get lost between “my” office and the rest of the offices. For the rest of this week, though, I’ll be occupying the desk of someone who is out sick for the week. So, here’s hoping she didn’t leave any germs lingering at her desk!

    I’m relieved to learn that there is a more-significant legal aspect to what I’ll be doing than I thought. Basically, the people in this section are working within contracts that have to comply …there is a Legal Affairs Office, but they are in New York and not always available or are otherwise busy. They’re hoping to be able to draw on my legal background–BUT! I have no experience in employment or really anything in commercial law, which I think are the areas most directly implicated. It makes me more than a little anxious.

    So, I was happy to return home today.

    I’m still having to adjust to people talking around me in a language that I can’t even identify (all the Scandinavian and Germanic languages sound the same to me–and I have no idea what it is). Plus, it’s not uncommon to hear someone speaking an Asian language…and I just don’t understand. For me, that’s a big, interesting deal. But, for now, it is bed time. Maybe I’ll dream that someone is telling me what to do in German. Hashtag–nightmare.

  • Passport in Transit!

    Today I checked the UPS site and tracked my package. My passport (with the visa I need) is on its way! I should get it by Friday. Then, all I need to is to pack and get a flight out.

    Theoretically I can start as soon as the 8th…but that seems a little too soon. But, depending on the travel issue, it’s feasible. There has been some creative itinerary planning (planes, friends’ flight benefits, a train, etc.), but I am finally confident that this internship is a reality. Whoop-whoop! Yeah…that was a double whoop. Deal with it. (Not in an offensive way, but in that way that Lem and Phil said it in that episode of Better Off Ted–if you don’t know this show, do yourself a favor and put in your Net Flix cue.)

    Since the internship is a real deal, I’ve stopped going to classes. I will resume probably in May to finish up my last quarter. Then I’ll be graduated, up to my eyeballs in debt, and unemployed. Hopefully someone will want to hire me? Hopefully? IDK…we’ll have to see. But, really, please hire me.

    In other news, I’ve been really into Gloria Trevi’s and 80s music lately. I’ve discovered that “Rock Lobster” by the B-52s is ABSOLUELY absurd…I think “rock lobster” may be innuendo (per Urban Dictionary), but I’m not sure. So, if anyone alive when that song came out, lmk if you think there’s any innuendo there. (Note: Rock Lobster actually came out in 78 or 79…not really the 80s, but close enough). Interestingly, a part of the instrumental in “Rock Lobster” sounds a lot like the instrumental part of Shakira’s “Escondite Ingles.” It’s an interesting comparison.

    If you have any other recommendations for songs that are of the same general nature of the B-52s music, I’d love to hear’em (possibly without the dolphin calls, though). In the mean time, keep it real! I’m sorry, I don’t know a more appropriate way to end that. Again, deal with it. (Again, in the Lem and Phil Way)