Storytime with Manu

Summer cinemas, a place for cheap tickets, mediocre movies, snacks and a lot of fun. Silvio, our flatmate Robin and I got to enjoy all of these things not only once, but, you guessed it, twice. The second time we went, all of the things listed above fit perfectly. A movie with the title "Doctor de la Felicidad" which means “The doctor of happiness”. Weirdly though in German it is translated into "Ein Arzt mit gewissen Nebenwirkungen". However the French movie is about a doctor telling people that they have certain illnesses they don't actually bear, just to make a lot of profit. To clarify why it is called the doctor of happiness, I'd have to spoil the whole film, which I'm not motivated to commit to. In general a really fun movie to watch, even if you're only able to understand a quarter of everything, which is not too embarrassing since Robin, whose parents are from Latin-America, couldn't understand most of it.

So now you're probably going to ask yourself why I wrote about the second movie first. Good question, easy answer. While the second movie requires everything for a night filled with enjoyment, the first one is more likely to be described as disturbing, not recommended for children, strange or as some people would say art. I'm not going to get into details, but let this be said. A love story that revolves 80% around the event of a British couple having their first time after marrying with loads of weird flashbacks explaining their story. It can be objectively said that, watching two people approaching each other awkwardly for more than an hour is just a painful experience. We were also very surprised by the fact that the movie was rated to be watchable for kids aged 7+, which seems reasonable since there wasn’t any blood, violence, drugs or whatsoever, but if I watched this movie at the age of seven, I would probably have had to process nightmares and weird thoughts for at least a month. So if anyone wants to see an uncomfortable to watch piece of “art” go ahead and check out "On Chesil beach"


But let's move on to a more enthusiastic topic, work. I haven't really written a lot about my work in Seville in this Blog , mainly because I thought there’s nothing too exciting about it, but it turns out that four incidents happened over the time that actually could be considered very funny.


1.    Young river, old man

This story took place when I got the honour of introducing an about 50 year old and his son to kayaking. After the regular briefing, which includes how to use your paddle, how to deal with big ships and fishermen and so on, we got to the point of how to enter the kayak. This is actually quite a simple task, but still after clear instructions a lot of people get it wrong. In this particular case actually everything went right, he used the correct technique, got into the kayak and just as I thought he was safe, he fell into the water just as beautifully and hilariously as in a children’s cartoon. After that we tried it another time and everything went well. Even afterwards we had a big laugh at what had happened and it went all well.

2.    Young river, even younger intern

During the time of working with Joao from Portugal, we got to supervise a group of people trying out the advanced version of kayaks that are available in the club. To fully understand this you only need to know that there are different levels of difficulties for kayaks. Therefore the most stable ones, which I got to use most of the time for beginners or tourists, are very hard to capsize. Then the level just goes up with the kayaks getting slimmer and harder to stabilize, but at the same time also faster. Till that time I didn’t really have any experience with the more advanced ones, but since my fellow intern didn’t seem to have outrageous struggles navigating them, I thought why not give it a shot. Well it all came down to me failing miserably twice. The first time I figured that I could make it easily, but fell in after trying to somehow paddle twice. The second time I thought that it couldn’t be worse than that, but I was proven wrong and entered the water even earlier. In the end it was still a fun experience and everyone who was involved had something to laugh about.


3.    Enjoy the ride

A lot of times my boss Carlos sent me by bike to get small things like copies, tape, candles… at nearby stores. This usually works out great since I can use my bike and am capable of using Google Maps. A few days ago a similar situation happened, only that almost everything I needed to work failed me. It all began with Carlos introducing me to how to repair holes and cracks in kayaks, which I really liked doing and I guess I was pretty good at. The process of repairing is pretty simple. First you smooth out the affected spot, then you mix up some polyester, put it on, wait until it’s dry, put on some fibre, then two times polyester and even it out again. As you can see a lot of polyester is used in the process, which means at some point I had to get some more. Only problem is, that you can only buy it seven kilometres away from the club. Now seven kilometres doesn’t sound far and actually isn’t. But if you take Google giving you the option of either driving on a highway or riding over a 60m hill, almost no air in your front tire, no gears that can be switched on your bike and a temperature above 30 degrees Celsius into account you can imagine how happy I was when I completed the task and found a gas station on the way, where I could refill some air. Till that point the story seems kind of funny, but not too much. This all changed the next day when we found out that Carlos had sent me the address for the wrong store. That means I could have just driven to a store two kilometres in the centre of Seville, but chose to do a twenty kilometre ride for nothing but a good story.


4.    Penguins in Seville

The final and also my favourite one is about a Scandinavian penguin escaping his natural heritage. But isn’t it way too hot for penguins in Seville, you might think. Damn right it is, but obviously it didn’t stop this one. Of course the penguin is just a metaphor for a person, a 19 year old from Sweden to be exact. Now what makes this person a bird that can’t fly, is pretty simple, it just takes some black clothing. And when I’m saying black, I’m talking black cap, black shirt, black long pants and even black shoes. At first I was already sceptical if it would work out, but when he showed up asking for some water half an hour after entering the water I was sure it couldn’t end well. I showed him where he could get some water and rest since he seemed pretty done for the day. Well turns out that water ended up in the river since he threw it up there ten minutes later. In the end like with every story it turned out good and as always everyone had a good laugh.


Apart from these events also interns from the UK and one from Italy arrived. Unfortunately I won’t have too much time to spend with them, because of us leaving, but I’m sure they will have a great time in Spain. In general I can say that I am more than happy with the whole experience at work. My co-workers were always extremely welcoming and pleasant to be with and also the work itself was very interesting and just enjoyable to do. Since my last blog will be less serious and mainly about me and Silvio taking part in a project we thought of, this last part of this blog will just be a list of things I really enjoyed having in Seville that I will definitely miss and also a list of things I am looking forward to when coming back to Austria/things that I found annoying there.


Things that were annoying/I will look forward to in Austria

·         Water without chemical aftertaste

·         Food revolving less around meat

·         Having the option of paying separately

·         Flat landscapes/mountains

·         Bad English level

·         Sleeping in your own bed

·         Doorknobs being built in the most uncomfortable way (in the middle of the door)

·         Having to use a fan all the time

·         Having the worst sleep rhythm

·         Paved roads

·         Meeting all friends and family

·         Salzburg bike riding

·         Having a proper orientation

·         Traffic lights everywhere, even when they're not necessary

·         Enjoying some more rainy days


Things that I will be missing


·         Always good weather

·         Separated bike lanes

·         People being nice and open

·         People not caring about red lights for pedestrians or bikes

·         Cars stopping at every crossing

·         Stores and restaurants closing later

·         Cheap pizza to an amazing quality and almost the same price everywhere

·         Churros

·         Tortilla de patatas 

·         Bigger variety of fast food

·         Being able not to care about traffic rules while bike riding

·         People being less stressed out about everything

·         Meeting people from different parts of the world everyday

·         Daily dose of Uno

·         Feeling like the work you do has an impact

·         Always something new to explore



Write a comment

Comments: 1
  • #1

    Manu's troll (Sunday, 16 September 2018 21:50)

    Love it. Thanks for the stories, Manu


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