Sunday, February 29, 2004


Just back from London and I didn't realise when I left to go there that I was going to get a chance to practice my Spanish (studied it for 4 years and then never used it)...or my French....which is an even sadder state of affairs (something like 6 years of studying and can't remember a word!). Actually found out that I can understand quite a lot...when they don't speak too quickly....nice. Why? Oh well, this was a work thing...collection of people that do my job from the Banks around the world so we had 2 Mexicans (more about one of them later ;-) ), 1 Colombian who now lives in Brazil (by way of Canada and France...also very sexy but married....boooo...although in our group photo he's got his arms round me so that might raise a few eyebrows), 1 Brazilian, 1 Indian (now in Hong Kong), 1 Canadian (now in the US), 1 Brit (now in the US....MEEEEE!), a few other Brits, someone else from Hong Kong, someone from the Middle East and a Frenchwoman. Quite the International gathering! Had two days of traning by some guy that is an e-sales expert. The training was OK but I was quite impressed at how much I knew and how far ahead of the others I seemed to be when talking marketing things. Nice...although we're not in competition with each other.....

Second half of the week was spent discussing issues that affect us all. Each Bank presented successes/initiatives for the coming year. Interesting to see that, although we're in such a different state of market development, there are a number of areas where we're all struggling. And I picked up a few interesting ideas that I might have to test out here!

Low part of the week....a presentation on how to put a marketing plan together. Yawn. I can do those in my sleep.....not kidding, there are times when my mind is racing so fast that I can lie in bed and by morning I've planned the year!

Went out for Sunday tea with my parents, grandmother, sister and bro-in-law. I was totally shattered and don't think I said anything intelligent. When I'd arrived at Heathrow there was someone to meet me and he took one look at me, grabbed my bags and insisted I take it easy cos he was worried about me. Same thing happened when I got to the training centre. Guess I must have looked like death (didn't sleep on the plane at all which is unusual for me).

One night we decided to escape the training centre so we went down to Chinatown for food. Useful having a Chinese speaker with us....we got the best table in the restaurant!!!! Followed that with a visit to the Sports Bar in Regent Street...nothing's changed there! Highlight of the evening was getting free travel home (the ticket office was shut) and finding a copy of the Sun on the funny watching two Brazilians pouring over the pictures of topless women and talking excitedly in Portuguese. One of them took the paper off the train with him....I can only imagine why......

Weather was crap (to be expected). What I didn't expect was that it would be colder than Buffalo. No kidding! It was really, really cold for London. And it snowed three times...although that means it snowed as I walked to breakfast and had stopped by the time I got there (like 2 mins later!). Poor Latinos were suffering...not used to the cold and not really having the right clothes to cope with it. Had to keep rubbing Mexican's ears to keep them warm...EARS I said!!!!!

So...wanna hear about him? Mmmm.....tall, dark, intense in an incredibly sexy way. Seemed really quiet in the meetings but totally opened up at night. Claims he was shy about his English....which is sort of understandable apart from the fact that it was pretty close to perfect! So weird but we got into the "are you happy?" conversation on the first night. You know the one...talking about life and dreams and what we really want. Can't even remembered what started that...guess we just clicked. He wants to move to the US/Canada to practice English and improve the resume.....yeah, come to Buffalo babe!!!!! LOL. Friday night we got totally drunk and...errr...snuggled up together. That'll do! Actually we were trying to stay up all night....he left about 4 am and I was leaving a few hours later so we were just gonna party all night. Only problem....London closes down and St Albans (where we were staying) is dead by about midnight. So we could only manage to party to 1am....after a few rounds of table football during which Mexico beat Brazil (and Hong Kong and Canada and the US.....damn he's good at that!)...and we got to admire to his hip action....Latinos are such sexy movers...mmmmmm (!!). Drank far too much vodka and wine...and tried to go to a restaurant that turned out to have shut (it was on the Internet so that says something)...I ended up asking two bouncers for a recommendation for food!

I HAVE to go to Mexico and Brazil....been meaning to for the last 4 years but now I have tour guides lined up....just gotta work out how I get work to pay for the trip......

So now I'm back in Buffalo and it all seems like a lifetime ago. Funny how that happens. Next meeting (in person) not for another 6 months. Very sad :-( Slightly nearer is going back to work tomorrow and coping with my boss who, I think, is flying in from Vancouver for the week. Means I gotta get some sleep. Work's not all it's cracked up to be!


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