I woke up Bangalore time despite having slept quite late the previous night (Jet lag). I headed out to buy some groceries along with my flatmate, Maxime and as usual, I got very overwhelmed and ended up buying more than I could carry home. I treated myself to Indian breakfast and lunch that morning and began checking my emails only to get an invite for a beer with Carlos and Jacob. I was finally getting the hang of using google maps and managed to meet them at Salzburg, a cafe only two roads away. Carlos is a warm and friendly Mexican engineer who worked with Schlumberger and is fond of Indians (Now, that’s a little bit of an understatement). Jacob is a Mexican too but from the US. His passion and confidence about his pre & post MBA career was pleasantly refreshing. Jacob introduced me to Patatas Bravas (popular spanish dish) and the rest was history (including my blossoming friendship with these guys that died a premature death, thanks to my wedding ring that Carlos promptly noticed).
That evening, Maxime was cooking dinner for his family and so, I wanted to make sure I gave them their space (like I was instructed by Jay regarding cultural sensitivity, etc) and so I headed out after eating some homemade salad and a little guacamole that Maxime made. After walking around cluelessly (again!!), I gathered some courage to ask for directions in Spanish without realising that I might not comprehend the response. Anyway, I finally managed to find Carlos and Jacob and we took a bus to Belushis where we met Marco (Carlos’ flatmate, who is interning in Barcelona) and his friends. Belushi’s is an american pub which was loud and crowded. Jacob bought me a shot of tequila and insisted that he pay for it. American ‘men’ness I thought.
We later headed to a bar called ‘No sweat’ where I met a few people I’d only spoken to over Facebook earlier. The bar was loud and dark and so, I couldn’t make much sense of what most people were saying. I was starting to get bored and wanted to head home but stayed on just to see if it would get better. After everyone had finished their round of drinks, we headed to the streets of Gracia where the festivities were still on in a small way (Well, it was already 2am!!). I met lots and lots of IESE people there and I bonded with the Japanese over my broken Japanese and I realised that playing to my strengths was helping me break my shell a little bit. Always works. I wondered if there is something I could take away from this for my post MBA career – take something you’re passionate about and also good at (I haven’t made up my mind about which one it is – the auto industry or match-making) and then weave your story going forward.
It was 2:40am and I had been cheek pecked (The spanish way of greeting, which can be tiring when you’re meeting a large group) by Jordi (who was happy high) enough number of times to know that it was time to call it a night. So I asked around to see who was in the mood to head home and everyone gave me a dirty look because apparently I was the only one!! So, I took a chance and checked with Frida as usual and then we shared a cab back home (she was now officially my cab partner) with Markus from Vienna who was happy high enough to keep us entertained through the walk to the cab.