Friday, August 14, 2009

Last post from Barcelona :(

Well, this day is finally here. It's Friday night, and I'm finishing up packing my suitcases. I didn't post last night because I went out to a celebratory dinner with my friend and some coworkers and was too tired when I got back. So here's a quick summary of yesterday and today, and then some reflections on the summer.

Yesterday I went to work and finished up my revisions on my report. Everyone who was there (only 8 of us) went out to lunch together, because today was the last day of work for 3 of us, and more are finishing within the next month or so. For some reason (probably because it was 6 guys and only 2 girls), we ended up spending a lot of the meal talking about gross things that people have eaten or seen people eat on TV. Needless to say, I did not enjoy that conversation. But the food was good and we did manage to talk about some other things. After lunch, my supervisor pointed out that if I finished my work that afternoon, I didn't need to come in on Friday. That was awesome, because I knew I would be able to finish my work that afternoon and was looking forward to going to the beach today, but still it sort of freaked me out because I hadn't mentally prepared for yesterday to be my last day. Luckily for my peace of mind, I remembered that I had a few things that I had to drop off at work today that I had borrowed from coworkers, so I still had an excuse to go. That probably sounds weird, but I have really enjoyed this summer and the people I worked with, so it makes sense to me.

After lunch, I finished my revisions slowly and then went home before going out to the dinner I mentioned above. We went to a fancy restaurant on Passeig de GrĂ cia and I had a salad with truffles in it. It was not as excellent as I had hoped, but the bread there was delicious. Afterwards, we went to a bar called Dow Jones, where the prices of drinks go up and down like stocks according to how many people are buying them. At certain points, the market crashes and all the prices go down. We agreed that a bar like that would probably do well in Boston/Cambridge.

Today I got little presents for my boss and my supervisor, wrote thank you notes to them, as well as my other supervisor and the director of the company, gathered all of the things I had borrowed and my beach stuff, and went to work. I distributed everything and checked in for my flight tomorrow (sad), and they gave me a big card that everyone had signed like they give to everyone when they leave. It was really nice to read what everyone wrote, and almost everyone had written in Spanish, which was a nice challenge. Then I went to the beach for the last time before I leave. Since it's late summer at this point, the water is really warm and nice. There were a ton of kids there, and I was sitting near an especially adorable little boy who kept filling his bucket with sand and then dumping it out. I also finished my book (Life of Pi), so I could finally return it to the library, only 4 days overdue. Then I came home and worked on packing and eating and talking on the phone and showering. All hard work.

So here I am, at the end of my summer in Barcelona. It's been great overall, though I did spend a larger than usual amount of time being sick. I am really sad to go, which was something I was not sure would be true. As I've mentioned, there are a lot of things that are better about Boston and the US, such as way fewer people smoking, but there is something about Barcelona and Europe that is just really enjoyable. I know I can come back and visit, but I also know that it won't be the same when I'm visiting as it is when I'm living here. But who knows? Maybe I'll get to live here again sometime. I'm going to miss my coworkers a lot, and I'm hoping at least some of them will come visit in Boston. My supervisor told me I'd be welcome back if I ever wanted to come back and work here again, which was really nice to hear both from a not-wanting-to-part-with-Barcelona standpoint and a professional you-did-a-good-job-with-your-work standpoint. I'm going to try to keep in touch with people at work when I go back.

By popular (ok, one person) demand, I'm going to try to keep posting when I get back, at least for a little while. The plan is that I'm flying back to Boston through London tomorrow morning. I get into Boston on Saturday afternoon. Then on Sunday evening I'm flying to Houston to do some robotics training for a week. I fly back to Boston for good on Saturday morning, and I'm going to go home for a little while during that week. It's a lot of traveling, and I will be relieved when I can just stay in one place for a while. Still, though, it's nice to have all these opportunities. And on September 1 our lease starts for our new apartment! Very exciting!

Now I should go to sleep because it's very soon that I have to wake up for my flight, and I have to put the finishing touches on my packing. Buenas noches for the last time!

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