Thursday, June 12, 2008
We are moving to Madrid!
Well, some of you already know as we have sent out about 100 invites yesterday for a bye bye party! Yep we are moving back to Europe. Truth is, after 15 years in the good old US of A, I kinda miss Europe.
I came to the US in 1993. I was doing my PhD work in a lab at MIT (the Research Lab of Electronics or RLE). I met Nathalie who was attending Wellesley college. I immediately was taken by her, it took a little while for me to convince her that I was the one. After months and months of courtship, the Beauty decided the Beast wasn't that bad after all (she thought I was a bit obnoxious at first, no way :) we dated and we got married after 2 years. We went back to France and lasted only one year. Something about France rubs me the wrong way. I think it is the rudeness. Don't laugh, I know I have been known to be rude even insulting (still am) but something about civilized behavior now pleases me.
This is where Madrid comes in. The conversation with my lady went something like this:
Me: "honey, let's go back to Paris".
Me: "come on! I miss Paris, I am Parisian, I miss the urban experience."
Her: "I don't like the people, Parisians are rude, and I don't like the weather"
Me: "yeah I can see that"
Her: "I would prefer Madrid, people are nice in Madrid, they are open, they welcome you, and the weather is great"
You have to know that I am actually half spanish, fluent in the language (so is Nathalie) and I have lived 3 years in Madrid, she lived for one year. I have family there, my parents live in Madrid and the Baleric islands, I have cousins, second degree cousins, many second degree uncles and aunts, and generally a whole bunch of good people that I enjoy being with. All that and the food is SUPERIOR, God, I love that ham! (oh! all that and as icing on the cake their tax situation is better: they have done away with their wealth tax :)
So, Madrid it is.
I have been scouting Madrid for a place to live. I think I may have finally found something in the RETIRO (salamanca: Serrano), which is a very Madrilenha experience, kind of like living next to Central Park in NYC. A very urban experience. Our kids are 9,5,5,2 and the 3 older ones will definitely pick something up in terms of language and culture. The little one will get to play in the Retiro by the Prado and I am sure he will at least get the "music" of the language, the tone.
I must admit I was taken aback by how expensive living is. Renting is out of control and buying is a no-go proposition. So to find something nice in the center of Madrid was no walk in the park. On the very positive side was the reception by my family and friends. Indeed you immediately feel welcome, they introduce you to their "pandillas" and it always feels nice.
For my Spanish friends: estamos encantados de venir a pasar unos anhos en Madrid. Nos hace mucha illusion a Nathalia y a mi. Para los que leen este blog y viven en espanha y tienen negocios que tienen que ver con el open source, estoy dispuesto en ayudaros. Decirme los que esteis alli y ya veremos que. Hasta pronto.
For my ATL/US friends: we are coming back. This is a short term arrangement. We just bought land in ATL and we are building a house. So this is a 2 or 3 year affair, we are ATL bound. See, Nathalie will grow roots here, like a typical ATL tree, and before her roots get too deep, we needed to do this move and go see something else, it will be good for the kids to experience something else, the American lifestyle is too good and too easy :) let's throw them for a spin. For those of you that are soccer fans, you are always welcome (Matt Asay comes to mind :) let's go see some Real Madrid games, should be fun!
And that's it. Hasta pronto!