Bye Brazil…Hello Barcelona!
by Lais Emy Sono, PLC Technician
I worked at TGW Brazil when I got the opportunity to work in another TGW entity. While two other colleagues moved to the US, me and three other Brazilians started at TGW Ibérica in Barcelona.
Thinking rationally, the change was an easy and right decision. Living another culture, expanding professional skills and growing up as a person was always part of our dreams (for all of us). On the other side, emotionally speaking, it was hard to leave behind the routine, family and friends. It is never easy to leave your comfort zone and experience something completely different. But I grew up hearing that the life is full of opportunities (unique or not) and challenge yourself is part of the game.
Decision made and baggage (a lot of baggage) ready. I was the last one to leave Brazil and arrived in Barcelona with my husband on December 8th 2016. The Brazilian team was finally complete with respective families. For Rafael Gonzales and me celebrating Christmas and New Year Eve were the first big experiences in the new country. In Brazil these are very festive holidays with a completely different weather. The hot days of our summer make Santa Claus suffer with his fluffy clothes and the New Year celebration is marked with a lot of people wearing white clothes on the streets. Here, the winter was starting, Christmas eve took place among new friends and not with family (as usual) and I confess it was a hard challenge to eat the 12 grapes during the 12 bell rings in the first seconds of the year, which is tradition in Spain.
At work we have been very welcomed. Different from Brazil, here we work with people with different nationalities, which makes the routine interesting. The projects are bigger with a variety of equipment and solutions that we were not used to see in Brazil. Marcelo Dias Bezerra for example, spent more than three months working at a fashion project and for him it was a very nice start. All of us already had contact with the projects and it expands even more our technical knowledge (in each specific area) and give us a real vision about what TGW can offer as a company.
As expected, the language is a barrier for us. Despite resembling Portuguese, speaking in Spanish is not always easy and fluid. Besides, Catalan is very present in daily activities, complicating even more our adaptation process. The winter is a little painful for someone who has always lived in a tropical weather and the excess of smokers is definitely a negative aspect. Luiz Fernando Junqueiro Lopes also remember how we miss the 24h stores in São Paulo (here they normally close during lunch time and on Sundays – very strange for us)
Despite this, the past few months have been an adventure. Barcelona is a beautiful city and the start of spring brings more life to the streets. Walking through the neighborhood, stop in a bar and drink a beer/coffee and seeing the sunset is priceless. To move inside and outside the city is simple and frees us from the need to have a car and offers us a better quality of life. And of course, the fact that traveling around Europe is so easy, is amazing. We all made some shorts trips inside and outside Spain, and we loved it.
Every change has a positive and a negative side, but we always win in this process. We grow up and learn how to value simple things. We miss people, places, flavors, but we keep absorbing all the experiences we can. Before moving to Europe we were just colleagues, now we are more than friends, we became a family. We support and help each other and we have fun together. It is a unique experience, professionally and personally and we are grateful for TGW to open this door for us. Slowly we feel more comfortable and adjust ourselves to the new life. As they used to say here: “poco a poco”
Un gran saludo from me (Lais Sono), Rafael Gonzales, Marcelo Bezerra and Luiz Lopes.