Monday, June 8, 2009

First day of work!

It was my first day of work today, and it went really well. I met my one of my coworkers near the train station so that he could show me how the train works for the first day, and it was a good thing he did, because the station was pretty big! The walk there, plus the ride, plus the walk to the office once we got off the train, was only about 45 minutes including waiting for the train. The office looks like this from the outside (it's the white one in the middle):It doesn't really have windows, but it doesn't feel dark or closed-in on the inside. First thing when I got there, we gathered up a bunch of people to go have "breakfast" since I hadn't had any yet. Everyone else pretty much just had coffee, though.

When we got back to the office, they got my computer all set up and introduced me to too many people for me to remember all at once. Then I had a meeting with my two supervisors to discuss my project because one of them was leaving in the afternoon to go to France for a UAV conference. Rough life, huh?

Most of the rest of the day I spent reading up on some background information for my project, which will be investigating the current state of augmented reality for low visibility conditions in air traffic control and taxiing and so on. Basically, when it's rainy or dark, what information can you show pilots or air traffic controllers to help them do their jobs better? And how should you show it?

Lunch was at a Chinese/Japanese all-you-can-eat buffet, which was chosen to accommodate my vegetarianism. I had strawberry sushi! Among other things, of course. It's going to be very difficult to be a vegetarian, and I'm trying to mentally prepare myself for the inevitable time when I'm going to realize I screwed up. If you've seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding, you know what kind of people I'm dealing with. "Oh, you don't eat meat? Ok, have some fish."

When I got home, I had my first grocery store adventure. It's hard to go to a grocery store that's completely unfamiliar and in a language you can't understand (there was only Catalan on the signs, and a lot of the food labels as well). I got what I thought was a lot of food, but it only came out to just over 15 euros!

On the way home from the grocery store, I got an alarm clock from a store run by two Indian guys. I was trying to figure out how to say alarm clock, and the closest I could think of was alarm watch, when one of them told me I could just speak English. Of course, I had an easier time buying an alarm clock, but I didn't really use my Spanish. That's one problem, if you could call it that, that I've been having: almost everyone around me speaks English! I'm going to need to make a special effort to work on my Spanish if I want to come home at the end of the summer able to say I speak it!

When I got home, I went for a short run with my host to Placa de Francesc Macia (add your own accents, etc., because I don't have them on my computer). And that's about it for today! They won't all be this long, I promise, it was just the first day of work, and my first grocery shopping, etc. Please keep reading, and leave me comments!

Buenas noches!


  1. Hi Car!
    It's so nice to read what you are doing, but are you sure you want it all on the internet?
    It sounds very exciting. Do you think you will enjoy the work or will it just be something to put up with so you can explore? Maybe carry around some cheese and crackers at all times in case of food emergencies.

  2. You should go back to the "store run by two Indian guys" and ask them how to say "alarm clock" in Spanish (Catalan). I bet they know.

  3. I demand that you post more images of awesome food type things that you are eating and can't be found in the US. Bonus points if the food is moving and/or aflame.

    This is a request blog, right?