If I could name one aspect of my job that I love, is that I am fortunate to have the opportunity to meet new people all the time. And mostly great people.
I used to be part of an Asia Pacific team that had loads of fun Asian people and after changes happened, we landed up being part of the Emerging Markets merged together with Latin America. The first time I met all my Latino counterparts, it was quite an experience. We were all in a room together and had to stand up, introduce ourself. It went something like, I'm xxx from Peru! I'm xxx from Argentina! I'm xxx from Mexico! I'm xxx from Ecuador! Venezuela! Puerto Rico! San Paolo! Korea! Australia! India!... I started giggling and whispered to my teammate that it felt like we were watching Miss Universe.
Till today, I can't recognize all of them, get confused on the geography of where they originate from and just like we Asians all look the same i.e. Chinese=Japanese=Korean, we thought that the Latinos all looked alike. It isn't a myth when they say that Latinos are beautiful.
I try to get to know a new face each time I see them and remembering the name alone or trying to pronounce it is a challenge. But they mostly speak perfect English and two or three other languages and conversations flow easily. I am grateful for the many opportunities that I had since young to travel all over the world and those experiences allow me to converse easily with new people and never running out of topics to talk about. This time around, I proudly shared about Singapore and the rest of Southeast Asia and I got to know more about Brasil for example which sells Haivianas for only USD$10!
Since most speak Portuguese or Spanish (asides from English), they all try to teach me how to speak Spanish and omg, it's a beautiful language. B.T learnt a bit of Spanish in high school or college and we were planning to learn Japanese together (a refresher of sorts for me) using Rosetta Stone but haven't had time and apparently, Spanish is really easy. It's hard to get the correct pronounciation and hearing the true natives speak, it's a really sexy language just like French!
Of course, I get taught the wrong and cheeky things for example, "Carino" which means 'Honey' but not the edible type and I said, Oh, so if I ask the waiter for 'Carino' to go with my pancakes? Will that work? Obviously, everyone roared with laughter. -_- Carino means 'darling or sweetheart' so oops. Te amo carino. Now I like that. Texted that to B.T and he should understand that!
The most used Spanish word at the drinks party landed up being (of course) Salud which means 'cheers'. And many other words that they tried to make me remember but to no avail. I think I suck at languages :P
I do love my job. :)