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01 October 2007

6 years! WOW!

so, last night was the TheAngel's, well... last night. he flies back to puerto rico tomorrow morning and has another job on wednesday. to celebrate this, he wanted to have a few beers this morning after work. we showered (independently, of course, jeez) and met up at the hotel bar around 8:30AM. i have to say, TheAngel has made leaps and bounds in his communication skills, maybe he read my post about it. i still didn't understand, like, 50-70% of the words he was throwing at me for the 3 hours we sat at the bar, but i got maybe 80% of the conversation. he mimed, he searched for better words, it was great. i was so proud of him, but that man is LOUD!!! the dayshift TAs onsite have commented on it before, and maybe i just got used to it at work, but he was bellowing up a storm. it was more than a bit conspicuous being that loud at the bar that early in the morning.

i kinda feel bad too. he mentioned several times how much he liked working with me. honestly, the guy drove me nuts. he was loud, overbearing (when it came to the labor), and the language barrier was significant before he took my tips. i said more than once that i'd be glad to see him go. then he went and pulled the "mother teresa" routine and decided to like me. jeez! so, now i feel like an ass. apparently, he didn't know as much as i was led to believe. from what i could decipher, he has an electrical background. about 13 years ago he was shocked by 14,000 volts, and it put him in intensive care for 2 weeks. the arc went through his left hand, across his heart and out through his left foot, severely damaging his left hand and leaving him with an ever-so-slight limp. so, since our crew was solely mechanical, he was learning on the fly; how to take measurements, sequence of events, etc. no one told me this. he said he really appreciated my patience with him, when i was just biting my tongue thinking he was an arrogant latino that just liked to push the labor. after i learned that, i felt bad, but also, whole-heartedly told him, it was a pleasure working with him as well. sometimes all it takes is a little context.

anyways, while we were pseudo-conversing, a guy strode up to the bar asking for a coke. a coke is 6 trinidadian dollars (TT$6) and all he had was TT$100. since the bar had just opened, they couldn't break a bill that big, so i paid for his drink to save time for him and the bartender. (yeah, i buy guys drinks to start conversations. baby steps... baby steps... next, girls, maybe). so, i find out this guy, TheStevie, is from switzerland, and he's a teacher. they are on autumn break right now, and he's down for two weeks visiting his one and only trinidadian friend. his friend was sleeping, and TheStevie was bored, so he went to the bar for a drink. we talked a bit about the swiss tennis player, roger federer (oh yeah, TheEllen suggested i read "How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships" by leil lowndes, and i actually used one of her sections right there with the federer thing, i rock!!!), and i found out he coaches the swiss ladies' handball team (his team lost in the finals last year). i found out that that swiss typically speak up to four languages (swiss-german, french, italian, and english). this guy was pretty cool. then he asked about me, why i was in trinidad. i told him it was for work, what i do, etc., and he asked how long i'd been doing that. i told him this is my first job out of college and i'd been at it... oh, lemme see, well HELL!!! i've been at it 6 years today! so, TheAngel and i had something else to celebrate (or mourn, depending, again, on the context).

so, TheStevie left, TheAngel and i had one more drink, and i went to bed around 12:30PM. after all, i did have to get up for work at 5:30PM. i just wanted to make sure i got this post in on time, so as the story was still relevant. recorridos seguros a ElAngel y hasta luego (translated: safe travels to TheAngel and so long).

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