When I was asked to contribute to this column of these beautiful ladies, I felt honoured of course but I was also filled with horror as I had no idea what to write about.
I have a travellers blog and it is already hard enough to come up with material every month! Anyways I racked my brain and thought about countless themes that would made me look cool, savy, with a savoir-faire attitude but I must admit that none of them topics were as cool as my pal Enrique’s contribution!!
Girls wanted to hear something about Istanbul (where I live) but I thought I should write about how I met my brother from another mother and his then girlfriend, which is not a funny story but rather tragic? Or maybe a little funny.
Actually the story begins in September 2002 me taking a job at a company called interpreter-on-line in Barcelona. I was in love with my catalan girlfriend back then and we were having this on-off relationship.
Of course, the minute I took the job she dumped me. Again. I had already accepted the job, which was interesting, I was about to finish my translation studies and they offered a translation service on the phone to the ‘guiris’ in Barcelona. I do not recall now what the guy’s name was but I do remember very well that he was a squint. You never knew where he was looking, was he talking to you or the person next to you…remains a mystery to me!
Anyways, the workplace was situated near the penis-tower Agbar. Up to that point I did not do any negotiations regarding salary or work conditions at all. I showed up together with 6-7 poor clueless souls. We were going to do 2 shifts, one morning and one afternoon. The lazy bastard I am, I chose of course the afternoon shift. However, now comes the pathetic part. The guy, let’s call him Jordi, told us right then and there that our services would be paid with an 1 EUR per hour. We thought that this guy was joking. 1 EUR? There are children in Asia or Africa earning better wages than this!! But we were promised lavishly paid salaries the coming months so what options did I have? Of course, others were much more smarter and left the party. I shared my first shift with this dude, who claimed to be from Switzerland but being Spanish/Catalan but lived in France . It was quite confusing! His name was Enrique. After one week, without a single phone call we received our first call finally on Friday. The guy on the phone was calling for the job interview and he wanted to make something sure.
– Listen, I applied for the job but I think I understood something wrong. Can you help me to clarify a point? Me: -yeah sure, Jordi is not here but I will try to help you. What do you want to know?
– They told me that they would pay me 1,50 EUR but I think I got that wrong. What is the hourly salary?
– No, no you got that right. They offered you 50 cents more than us. They pay us 1 EUR.
– Are you joking? Seriously? That is ridicoulus. Don’t wait for me to show up! Jerks!
And he hung up the phone. Those bastards were offering him 1.50 EUR and they told us only 1.00 EUR???? What the fuck?? They were screwing us big time! I was pissed off. I turned to Enrique, and I said:
– Listen, I was not going to tell you this but I won’t be here on Monday. Screw this job. I’m leaving.
Enrique: Oh yeah? me too.I was going to leave tonight but didn’t want to tell you either. Now that you mention it let’s go home now.
That is how we left. There was noone to inform. We left the door open and just left. I was staying at a hostel in Calle Princesa but had no money and no job. Enrique offered me to stay with him in his parent’s flat. We showed up and his girlfriend Anna was surprised to have a Turkish stranger that was going to stay 2 weeks!! This is the moment our friendship started and it’s been lasting more than a decade…