Internship Stories – “Dos Besos”

One of our amazing intern’s, Erica, is interning at an international events and meeting planning company, with locations in Spain, Portugal and Brazil. Erica came with a strong level of Spanish and was up for the challenge to have her placement work both in English and Spanish.  Like many interns on their first day, she had a very fun story to share with us!

Intern, Erica with her teammates at her work placement.

Intern, Erica with her teammates at her work placement.

The first days of anything typically are filled with similar emotions—excitement, anxiety, fear. My first day as an intern was no different. After all, how couldn’t I suffer from such things? I am in a foreign country surrounded by new sounds, flavors and customs. So many things rushed through my head as I rode on the metro: Would my boss and colleagues greet me by extending a hand for a firm handshake or come close for two kisses?  Would they speak Spanish or English to me?  As my thoughts flew from topic to topic, I looked up to find myself at my last metro stop: Torre Arias… a whole 40 minutes earlier than intended. I couldn’t be that employee. So, with my extra time I decided to scan the surrounding areas where I´d soon be spending a lot of time.

As I meandered around like a little confused puppy, I spotted a little place called the Green Tavern, and before you immediately jump to the conclusion of alcoholism to wipe away my nerves, let me tell you that “café y desayuno” or “coffee and breakfast” were clearly displayed in the window. I decided to check it out. I ordered café con leche, or coffee with milk, and a fluffy, delicious looking croissant oozing chocolate. I guess the server could sense my apprehension because she gave me a shot on the house—of orange juice. Oh, taverns. I sat down and quietly ate my breakfast. I felt like one of those seemingly depressed, old men in the airport as they eat at bar, only accompanied by an iPhone or laptop. Looking at my clock, I realized it was the perfect time to head over to work, early enough to be considered responsible but not too much time to where “try hard” would be stamped on my forehead.

This part of my day is actually probably my favorite. Let´s preface: I am from good ole Indiana where cows roam and corn grows, okay? It´s not actually that rural, but you get it; I am used to knocking and ringing the door bell when necessary. These buzzer things were a borderline enigma. I stood there for about 2 minutes, and then decided to proceed as if it were similar to a home phone. Stay on the line, or in this case, hold down the buzzer, until the other party has time to get to it and respond. WRONG. It´s more of a door bell tactic I learned. But, anyhow, luckily it wasn’t too awkwardly long of a buzz.

Soon enough, all of my questions began to find an answer. A petite, brunette girl named Aurora opened the door for me and started talking to me *in Spanish* as she showed me my desk and computer area and then led me up the stairs. There, I met all my other colleagues and found that they would all give me dos besos, or two kisses right smack dab to the lips. Just kidding. Left cheek then right. Things were going smoothly, mechanically that is, until right as I think I have things in control of the dos besos, I basically intermingle noses en route from left cheek to right with Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome. I proceeded to sit in on a conference call *still all in Spanish* and felt the sweat beads forming. Luckily, after about 10 minutes, my perspiration subsided and I could focus on the task at hand: acting like I could understand everything that was being said. From then on, my first day was smooth sailing, and hopefully I´ll be able to say that about the rest of the internship! After all, you know what they say, “You can´t have a rainbow without a little rain.”

– Erica

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