It’s You, It’s Really You Speaking In Madrid


by Burt Dubin on September 23, 2012

It’s You, It’s Really You Speaking in Madrid

“Hide your heart from sight, lock your dreams at night; this can happen to you ”

It’s not just a gig; it’s a 2 day event and you’re the speaker. With a fat, five-figure fee, too. Here’s how it happens: You are an expert, a productivity expert, a productivity expert who speaks. A productivity expert who speaks and trains. You’ve presented and trained for USA clothing manufacturers. You’re known in this field.


Confezioni Mario de Cecco, the big Italian work clothing manufacturer
is enduring productivity breakdowns in their subsidiary in Spain. You’re booked to present a 2-day seminar for their middle managers in Madrid.


You get a flight from your airport to JFK. There, Iberia Flight IB6250 departs at 5:50 PM for Madrid. You relax in your spacious Business Class seat. A flight attendant brings you an aperitif. (Tough duty but somebody’s got to do it.)

As soon as your flight is at cruising altitude, dinner is served. It starts with the Spanish classic, gazpacho. Then rapa a la brasa (grilled angler fish) This is followed by metauri (roast lamb) served with plato de baile (mushrooms, brown rice and asparagus). Dessert is a simple flan and café con leche. A cozy blanket is provided. Soon you are in dreamland over the Atlantic.

6 hours later you awaken. Your desayuno is a tortilla espanola, (a Spanish omelet) and more café. You ask yourself, is this really happening? Am I dreaming?


You check in to the Villa Magna, Madrid’s top business conference hotel. (As always, you arrive a day early to get used to the time change.) You’ve rested well on the flight so you don’t need a nap.


After you shower and change you fulfill a lifelong dream: you go directly to the Museo Nacional de Prado, Madrid’s great museum. There you feast your eyes on Goya, Rubens, Velazquez, El Greco and so many more classic paintings. You can hardly believe this is happening to you.

For your luncheon, you go to La Terraza del Casino. There you order crema de la fabada asturiana (Astorian bean soup), followed by a rare specialty, jambon Jabugo (cured ham from acorn fed pigs). This is served with menestra al dente (mixed vegetables).

You then stroll through Parque del Retiro, an oasis of greenery, on your way to Cibeles, Madrid’s most famous fountain. Needless to say, your camera is clicking everywhere. After this, it’s Convento de la Descalzas Reales, the 16th century convent in the heart of old Madrid.

You return to your hotel to meet the Confezioni Mario de Cecco Madrid Managing Director. He invites you to dine with him at Asador Fronton, a top shelf Basque bistro.

He recommends you start with pimientos del piquilla, followed by chuletones de buey, (huge steaks that you share.) Then panchineta, (a delectable pastry.) You find yourself loving this exotic experience.


For the next 2 days you present to the English speaking managers. You are well received. Your insights and strategies are exactly what they need.
In fact, the Italian work clothing maker wants to rebook you.

Your flight back to JFK doesn’t depart until early evening the next day. So you have a day available for sightseeing.


After a simple desayuno, hot rolls with butter and jam, and café con leche, you walk to the Parque d las Vistillas, at the end of the Puente da Segovia viaduct. You are awed by the view of Madrid from this mesa.

Then it’s Ermita de San Antonio de la Florida. You see some of Goya’s breathtaking frescoes. (Goya is buried here.) You pinch your cheeks. (Am I dreaming?) You’re loving a life lesser mortals can hardly imagine.

You proceed to Plaza de Lavapies and its steep, narrow lanes, its bohemian array of cafes and shops. There you have a simple lunch, merluza (hake) and a glass of strong cider. Ready for a bit of a rest, you stroll over to Plaza Tirso de Molina. You sit on a bench among the flower beds, and watch the children at play.

Then it’s Teleferico de Madrid, the cable car ride across the Manzanares (river) and the magnificent views of the southern side of Madrid.

Back in your hotel you take a nap before departing for Barajas, Madrid’s international airport. You mostly sleep for the 8-hour return flight. Thanks to the time change, 10 hours later it’s early morning the next day and you’re back at JFK.

A couple hours later you are on your flight back to your home town. You are returning with memories, precious memories, memories no one can ever take away from you. You are forever enriched. You are grateful for having chosen this career and this lifestyle. You reflect back on the decision you made years ago to enter this incomparable business.


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