Friday morning. (I’m a bit behind on my writing — busy meeting w/ 15,000 attendees!)
First thing. I want my coffee. Oh, yeah. No coffee pot. Since the internet search did so well with opening the wine, there must be something about brewing coffee when the pot is broken/missing (owner said–“sorry, we only drink tea.”). And, yes, of course there were several options. After looking one last time in the cupboards to make sure I hadn’t missed the pot, I discovered some rather interesting little sieves. Tea leaf strainers that fit exactly into a mug. Combining that with the instructions on boiling, steeping, and straining grounds, I managed to prepare an acceptable cup of coffee.
The weather was very warm on Friday and Saturday. I have been using Uber to get to the IFEMA conference center. That works great and is inexpensive. The cars are clean (The car was a Tesla Friday morning!) and the drivers dressed nicely (nice slacks, freshly laundered/pressed white shirts) and very polite. There is such a crowd and confusion at the end of the convention day, that I was afraid the Uber driver would never find me, so I have been taking a taxi back to the apartment. More expensive, cars not so well kept, and drivers in t-shirts and shorts. Not surprising Uber, Lyft and other independent groups are doing so well.
This meeting is the European Society for Medical Oncology, which is the counterpart for the American Association for Cancer Research. Several cancer organizations collaborated on this meeting. Every major pharmaceutical, and many I had not heard of before are in attendance–most have espresso machines, which is quite convenient. 🙂 Samsung Bioepis is one biosimilar company near my booth. Good traffic, communications are difficult. They all speak a bit of English, since everything is posted/advertised in English, but only the researchers can/will engage in discussions. That’s good for us since we’re a research company. I’m not sure how the pharmaceutical companies bridge that — I am guessing they have multi-lingual reps in the booth.
Saturday, I arrive back at the apartment quite tired. A couple is waiting at the keyed entry gate at the street and they follow me in when I unlock the door. We are greeted by several children running, laughing, scootering, kicking balls. Must be some kind of party. I’m not quite sure what it was; certainly a lot of families congregated by the pool with tables of food set up. When I unlocked the inner door to the elevator, I was greeted by a pre-teen who was practicing her rollerblade 360’s in the tiled foyer to the elevators. I smiled at her and thought she must be escaping from the younger kids outside. I decided to change clothes and go in search of a coffee pot.
I was successful in finding a grande espresso pot (stovetop variety) and was quite pleased. I walked home a different way to give the party a chance to wind down and found a bar with sidewalk tables. Perfect! An ice cold cerveza (therveza) and I was feeling refreshed and more relaxed. When I got back to the apartment, I watched “Big Bang” in Spanish (quite hilarious) and had a very good night’s sleep.
Sunday in the booth the traffic was still quite good. I have given away almost all the ‘gifts’ I brought. I have a few more stylus pens left to give out on the last day tomorrow. I am looking forward to tourist activities the rest of the week before heading to Amsterdam.
Buenas Noches from Madrid!