Tag Archives: Madrid

June 2

Every time I go to Madrid, a little part of me wishes it could stay there, enjoying the sun and the food and the company of one of the most endearing group of people I know. I simply love that town and the friends I have there, and I can’t wait to come back soon.

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I just watched Kung Fury and once I finished, I bought two t-shirts and invited the director to guest star in my podcast. I kind of lost interest in recording new episodes but if he agrees, I would happily resurrect it. Let’s see what he says. In the meantime, watch the film if you haven’t done it already, it’s funny, it’s brilliantly made, and it’s probably much more interesting than most movies produced by Hollywood these days.

Speaking of funny, Kat has been craking me up with an impersonation of Mr. T that is neither accurate or well crafted but that still gets me every single time. I went to bed last night with a sore jaw, thinking I have never met someone who could made me laugh so hard so often. I guess I’m lucky.

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May 28

Good news and bad news.

The bad news is that I was inform today that my project was not among the winner of the scholarship I applied to a couple of weeks ago. It’s a bummer because I truly believe it would have been an amazing project to take on but fuck it, that’s just the way things are. Better luck next time.

The good news is that Kat and I are traveling to Madrid for the weekend and the weather forecast looks like this:

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I REALLY CAN’T WAIT.

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May 12

I have been meaning to write here for a few days now but I simply couldn’t find a way around, I was either too busy working or too busy watching TV at home with Kat. Most of the times, I was too busy watching TV at home with Kat. We signed up for Netflix last month (in addition to our existing HBO subscription) and we have been having a great time in our couch, going through episodes of Bosch, The Fall, Games of Thrones, Broadchurch, and a few documentaries thrown in for good measure. We do love seating there every night to watch TV, it’s one of the things we do best.

When I haven’t been busy staring at the telly, I have been at work, trying to put together a proposal to apply for a grant awarded by a Danish organization to advertising professionals that want to undertake a year-long research project around a topic that can bring new perspectives to the advertising industry in Denmark. My boss suggested me to give it a shot so I decided to go ahead with it. After talking to a few people in the business, and pondering the kind of project I would enjoy doing, I finally settled on a topic I genuinely believe could be interesting to explore, mostly because I don’t know anything about it and also because it could give me the opportunity to travel around and talk to really smart folks.

My deadline is May 26 and so far I have most of the research done and a rough outline laid out, so all I have to do now is start writing. That is usually the trickiest bit, though. I spent a week going through articles, books, videos and academic papers, taking notes and trying to figure out what exactly the focus of my proposal was. It’s such a broad topic that it has been hard to narrow the scope down, but I think I have finally found a way. Maybe. I will start writing tomorrow and hopefully I will have a first draft ready next Monday, if everything goes well. Then it would be just a matter to make a few corrections, proof read and send it out. Wish me luck.

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Yesterday, I got an e-mail from the Venezuelan Embassy letting me know my new passport had arrived. This shouldn’t be an event, but in my case, it really is. You see, early this year I lost my passport so had to apply to a new one, but unlike most countries, mine takes forever to process such paperwork. It’s just the way it is. The estimate processing time was 3 months but surprisingly, it only took them a month to go through my application, make a new passport and send it back to Denmark. That is fantastic news. Why? Because before losing my passport, Kat and I had booked a trip to Paris next week and a trip to Madrid the week after, both of which we thought we were going to need to cancel as soon as we heard how long my new passport was going to take.

But then yesterday, I miraculously received a notification informing me the document was ready, and today I just went to the Embassy and picked it up. Which means I will get to go to Paris with Kat next week and see AC/DC playing at Stade de France. My first AC/DC show! I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am about this, and how much I am looking forward to visit Paris with Kat. I’m happy to go anywhere with Kat, really.

But Paris… va être parfait!

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December 18

I have spent almost 40 minutes trying to get tickets for the AC/DC show in Madrid and I can’t still get the fucking website to work; after much struggle, I managed to secure a ticket for the Paris show but Madrid has been impossible. It has always baffled me how ticket companies fail miserably to do the one single thing they are expected to do, time and time again. I mean, a major band announces a big tour and a pre-sale for a show in a massive stadium, they get people excited about it and then, when the time comes to finally put the tickets on sale, the whole thing crashes within seconds? You gotta be kidding me.

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To add insult to injury, if you ever manage to actually get any tickets after refreshing compulsively the browser window, waiting in a virtual cue for hours, filling up forms over and over again… when that finally pays off, the greedy motherfuckers still charge you a service fee, as if the purchase experience has been flawless and the service provided impeccable.

It reminds me of Transport for London during winter, every year it snows and every year they find themselves not knowing how to deal with the situation accordingly. Yet they charge you a fortune for an Oyster card. Fucking ridiculous.

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So it was Kat’s birthday yesterday and we had a great time. Early morning she unwrapped her presents, then in the evening we went with her parents to have dinner at Magasasa, our favourite Chinese restaurant. As always, I ordered much more food than I could eat. Kat gently tried to warn me against ordering noodles but I thought that massive portions of crispy chicken in sweet and sour souce, beef in black beans souce, pork, rice, beef with Pa Choi, deep fried wan-ton with chili souce, and spring rolls was not enough so I just went ahead and ordered a big plate of fried noodles with vegetables which, of course, we had to take back home with us (at least Kat won’t have to cook lunch today).

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After dinner, Kat and I went back home and had cake with champagne, watched an episode of Masters of Sex, and then had some more champagne and more cake after. Like it should be. It was wonderful.

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December 16

“So, how did the Christmas party go?” I hear you asking. Well, dear curious reader, I’m happy to inform you that our 80s themed Christmas bash went well, with most of my co-workers making a decent effort to dress up for the occasion. There was an Indiana Jones, a Mr. T, a hair metal band dude; a very convincing Maverick (Top Gun) played by Mette, who dressed up in a pilot’s suit and walked around the office while the film’s theme song played through a wireless speaker hidden inside her bespoke helmet; and then there was me in (almost) full Run DMC outfit. As you can see, my beard could have been better but hey, it still did the job.

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I left around midnight but I heard the party went on until five in the morning, with some of my co-workers actually passing out in the stairs of the building and others deciding to crash on a couch in the office until the morning after. It’s always like that. Last year, one of the guys working in the office got too sleepy halfway through the party and decided to have a nap in the toilet. He woke up at 4am, just when the last guys where about to lock the door and leave the office, following a series of missed phone calls from his son (who also works in the agency) who was desperately trying to find out where the fuck was he. Typical Danish Christmas party behaviour.

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We’re starting to plan our summer holidays and it seems that next year we’ll be heading to Croatia. Kat and I had talked about going somewhere warm, ideally on the seaside, and we both have heard really positive comments about Croatia, which apparently is not only stunning but quite affordable, so in the end that’s what I think we’ll do. The basic plan is to fly to Split and from there, take a bus or a ferry to some of the surrounding islands. I really can’t wait.

To top it all off, AC/DC has finally announced their European tour and I have decided to go see them in Paris, Madrid and Roskilde. Although Kat is only attending the show in Denmark, she’ll be joining me on my mini rock tour, which is fantastic. We both like Madrid, and she’s really excited to show me her favourite spots in Paris, a place she knows quite well, as her mum used to live there a while ago. We have already booked our flights and we’re just waiting for the tickets to go on sale this week. I think we will have an amazing time.

Oh! And speaking of AC/DC… on Sunday, while I was studying Danish in the living room, I heard the sound of a guitar coming out of the kitchen. I walked there and what did I find? Kat, listening to “Thunderstruck”, while making us blueberries and Nutella pancakes. She just blows my mind, every time. My friends say I should put a ring on her, and you know what? I think they’re right.

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July 15

Greetings from seat 16F of a Norwegian Airlines flight, destination Copenhagen. We are on our way home after spending a wonderful weekend in Madrid, probably one of the nicest holidays I’ve spent in a while.

Last night we saw the EELS and I have to say, what an amazing evening it was. I have seen the band once a year, on every tour since 2010, and although I was always more inclined to their heavier performances, with plenty of distorted guitars and uptempo beats, this year’s show stands proudly at the top of my list despite its mellow nature. What we saw last night at Circo Price was one of the most beautiful displays of musicianship i have ever witness, anyone who has been fortunate enough to catch the EELS on their current tour will tell you that.

The mighty Mr. E proved once again that he’s not only a great composer and performer (the sound of his voice was fantastisk) but also, one charming host. He’s funny without trying too hard and keeps the audience entertained with perfectly timed interventions that, even if they have been scripted, still come across as legitimate burst of genius.

And then, to top it all off, there was Kat. She’s really not a fan and barely knew a couple of songs, but there were certain points during the show in which I couldn’t be more happier to have her sitting next to me. She made an already wonderful evening pretty damn special.

(I turn off my iPad, try to sleep, we land. Kat’s dad picks us up, we go home, buy burgers and fries for lunch and have a nap. We wake up, I go to pick up some stuff at my place and Kat goes to her mum’s place for coffee and dinner. We come back home, I pack my bag and leave it ready for tomorrow while Kat eats peas and watches the football game. I finish packing and go back to this post)

After the show, we grabbed dinner at Pizza al Cuadrado, one of my favourite pizza joints in the entire world. Ok, that might be a bit of an overstatement but trust me, the pizzas are GOOD. We were meant to meet Rafa again but we miscommunicate and in the end we missed each other. Bummer.

After dinner, we went back to the hotel and hit the sack around midnight, only to wake up five hours later to jump on a cab and head to the airport to catch an early flight back to Copenhagen. We get here and it’s relatively sunny but soon it gets cloudy and slightly windy, just the way it should be here in Denmark. After those 35 degrees in Madrid, these twenty-something degrees are all the heat I need, at least for today…

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Off to Iceland tomorrow. I’m really looking forward to it but at the same time, I wonder if it’s been a good idea to go on my own for two entire weeks. I tend to get a bit nostalgic and heavy-hearted when I spend too much time with myself. Hopefully, this time around things will be different; I actually have plenty of reasons to be happy these days and this might be a chance for me to reflect upon what has happened lately and the plans I have for the near future, catch up with the book I started reading a couple of months ago and basically try to get inspired by the Nordic landscape, which I’ve heard it’s mind-blowing.

I’ll keep you posted.

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July 14

Weare having a blast in Madrid, which is why I haven’t been able to keep up with the diary the way I would like to. Kat is doing great in the meet and greet department and we both have enjoyed walking around the city with my friends, who have done a fantastic job showing us around and making Kat feel at home. I will post some pictures of our trip when I get home…

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Germany, world champions! No matter what everyone says, they played better than any other team throughout the tournament and unlike Argentina, Brazil or Portugal, their victories were powered by the performance of a solid team, not one miraculous superstar on which everything seems to depend on. After twenty eight years, they finally get to take the Cup home. Well done.

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TONIGHT WE ARE GOING TO SEE THE EELS LIVE!

I really can’t wait to see those lads on stage. I heard the venue is reallynice and we got great seats so I think we are really going to enjoy the show.

Off to meet Rafa for breakfast at La Bicicleta, catch up later…

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May 10

After postponing it for weeks, I finally sat down today and bought my tickets to Reykjavík and Bergen, where I plan to spend 10 days in July, including my birthday, something I’m quite looking forward to. Birthday on my own in Iceland… that’s gonna be interesting. These days, I try not to travel on my own and usually just visit places where I have friends I can hang out with but this time around, for some reason, I was quite excited about the idea of going North all by myself.

For a long time, I have been thinking to go to Iceland so Reykjavík was in my plans right from the beginning but then a Norwegian friend suggested me to go all the way to Stokmarknes, a little island in the northern side of Norway where she spends the Summer, so I decided to throw in Norway in the itinerary, too. However, I realised it was not only a bit expensive to get to Stokmarknes but also kind of problematic in terms of flights availability, as the airlines don’t fly there every day and there is no direct flight to Copenhagen, which meant I had to fly to Tromso and from there back to Denmark so in the end I thought that would be too much of a hassle and decided to do Bergen instead, a city that my friend Carlos says is wonderful and from which I could fly straight to Copenhagen for less than 600DKK. A total bargain.

So, this Summer it will be Madrid with Kat to see the EELS and some of my very good Spaniard friends, then back to Copenhagen and flying the next day to Iceland and after that, Norway. It’s been a long time since I haven’t been so expectant about a holiday trip; I’m going on my own, with only a vague idea of what I want to see, to a couple of cities in which I know absolutely no one. I suppose this means there is potential for this to be a fantastic, once in a lifetime experience, or a dreadful trip I wish I’ve never made.

It would be impossible for me to know for sure at this point in time, of course, but I have the feeling this will turn out to be fucking great…

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May 7

I’ve spent most of the last 36 hours refreshing the EELS website to see if the tickets for the Madrid show have finally gone on sale; they were supposed to be available yesterday so I woke up at 7am to check and there was no link, then I checked the venue’s website and there was nothing there either. It’s now May 7, the tickets are still on hold and I can’t stop myself from refreshing the tour page every five minutes. I hope I can buy them soon because all this uncertainty is making me very anxious.

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Go ahead, make a #firstworldproblems joke out of it. I don’t care.

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Yesterday, Kat introduced me to the WORST film I have ever seen: “Ilsa, Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks”, a 1976 sexploitation women in prison film, which is the first sequel to Ilsa, She Wolf of the SSAccording to Wikipedia:

Ilsa is Kommandant of a Nazi prison camp, who conducts sadistic scientific experiments designed to demonstrate that women are more capable of enduring pain than men are, and therefore should be allowed to fight in the army.

Trust me, it’s worse than it sounds. The plot (if there is one) makes no sense whatsoever, it’s poorly edited and the acting is SO hideous that at some point I just had to tell Kat to stop it and switch to Eurovision. Go figure. I mean, if you rather watch wannabe music stars perform weak unknown songs instead of a movie packed with naked girls with big boobs, you know there is something terribly wrong going on. What really shocks me is that Kat says the first film is even worse than the one we watched last night… I really can’t imagine how that could be possible.

Anyway, we switched to Eurovision and it was just as I imagined it would be: slightly better than average performers singing songs I’ve never heard of while trying to look convincing in their pretentious outfits. People love it here, though. In fact, everyone seems to be going mad over this whole Eurovision thing, something that I fail to understand. But hey, I’m neither European nor visionary so clearly this wasn’t made for me anyway. In the end, Kat and I decided to vote for a folky duo from The Netherlands, who eventually got enough support from the audience to make it to the final, next Saturday.

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That’s right, I actually took part in this crap.

Denmark is in the final, too, and the event is taking place in Copenhagen so expect a collective alcohol overdose if whoever is representing the country ends up winning this thing again. I will keep you posted.

UPDATE:

8:35pm – We’ve just got tickets to see the EELS in Madrid this Summer! :)

I got distracted watching the first episode of “24: Live another day” and when I remembered to check the website again, the tickets had already been released and all the second and third row were sold out. Most seats in the front row were available, though. I assumed the locals know those seats are way too close to the stage, which can compromise the view sometimes, and as I have never been to that venue before I decided to play it safe and went for fifth row seats instead, which is still pretty close.

Originally, I was going to get these seats but the system refused my request and automatically relocated us to the fifth row. Stupid computers.

Originally, I was going to get these seats but the system refused my request and automatically relocated us to the fifth row. Stupid computers.

I’ve seen them front row before anyway (in Madrid, back in 2010, and last year in Copenhagen) so I just wanted to get good seats for Kat to enjoy the show properly. After all, it was me who convinced her to go see them so the least I could do was to try to ensure she was close enough so that her first EELS gig is as cool as possible.

All she has to do now is learn some of the songs so she can mumble along some of the lyrics, we only have a couple of months to work on it and the clock is ticking…

 

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