El Ultimo Dia a Trabajo

It all came together in the end.

I had breakfast with my department…at 1130. Thats almost lunchtime in England. Anyway, there was SO much food. It was a feast and a half, no cunjoos with food, like in training, you could eat until you were full. There was donuts, pastries, coffee, orange juice.
So we were all talking, and they were asking if I could speak spanish, I was like yeh a little but. And they go give a speech in Spanish. So I gave on.

Gracias por todo. eso es. (thanks for everything, that is all)

Because it was in the canteen, everyone was coming and going obviously, and word spread. Our department have set the bar for a going away breakfast for the interns :p

They also gave me gifts! Yes I know, gifts! So it was a samsonite rucksack, goodbye card, scarf, pens, travel purse thingy, of course, all with the Amadeus logo on it :p

Sandra (my favourite spanish teacher) gave me a pen. 😀

I sent my farewell email to all trainees, my dept and my class teachers:

The time has now come to say Goodbye to Amadeus and Spain and head back to England to finish my studies. I will definitely miss this year that I have spent in Madrid where it has become a home away from home.

Special Thanks to

Corporate Purchasing and Group Travel Management. Miguel, Javier, Jesus, Chester, Susana, Mar, Marcos, Shunji and Carmen. Working amongst you guys has been an honour, and remember, its very important to keep the draw filled with chocolate.

My Spanish and Arabic Teachers, Sandra, Javier and Fayza, And my fellow students with special mention to Renee and Gabriella, for Wednesday lunches will never be the same again.

And of course the Trainees, who its been an incredible adventure to travel Spain with you, meeting and knowing you all.

Thank you all for making this Year Epic and one to remember forever.

So replies:

From my Senior Manager:

Hi Laila,

Great thanks for your help this year!
You are an awesome person with a bright professional and personal future ahead…in brief, a true genius in the making!
…so keep going at the university (and in life), never give up!
Never stop learning and carving your way! …wherever it leads you
be brave my friend

All the best!, Javier

An intern:

Simple and beautiful email, totally ur style!

I will miss you too! 🙂

GooDLucK & take care!

I bought mithai for work people from the butchers near work. In my heart of hearts wanted to give to the kaamwara e.g. nelly, canteen people because you know its nice. I gave to nelly she was really thankful and gave me a mango yogurt (my fav) on her. I was touched.

I went to lunch with interns. You know… a standard lunch at the Turkish place opposite the Chinese Buffet.
They have me socks! It was Anna’s idea. Too awesome for words.

So thankful for everything.

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Day 344 – 134.06.2012 – Muchos Cosas (Many Things)

Today was an interesting day, many things happened, and many surprises.

1. I got an email from reception saying that I had a package for me. But I hadnt ordered anything so I was thoroughly confused. Turns out the package was from GO and was a belated Birthday gift. I was suprised to say the least, mainly because my birthday was 4 months back :p. But nevertheless I was very grateful. The gift was very me, and I will use all the things.

[Picture to be uploaded later]

2. Me and VD had plans from Time back for her to teach me how to make Tortilla Patatas (which is my all time favourite spanish food). Anyway went round hers after work, and I learnt. And it was so cool, and so much fun. A certain amount of Sukoon-ness. And I am very grateful for the book, very thankful, and I will use it, I promise.

[Picture to be uploaded later]

3. So breakfast this morning (Day 345), because it was my second last day I thought I would treat myself to breakfast. It was so cool, the canteen woman knew my name!!!! I have never told her my name, I dno how she knew, but thats still cool. So there was this new thing they had which was a pastry with cream/custard in it. I asked what it was (in spanish of course) she said creme y …. I dont know what she said after. But she explained it was basically just cream. It was Good. Very Good. Con ColaCao, Muy. Bi.En.

4. Improptu meal, people came when I invited them. Honoured and a half.

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Day 340 – 10.06.2012 – Toledo

Usually, Toledo is one of the first places people visit to the town and whatnot. It happened to be my last.

Its a really nice city, really pretty, if you havent seen the rest of Spain before. Apparently Toledo was the captial of Spain at one point, and is big on Cathedrals and churches. I didnt go into any of them, mainly because I think I have seen enough for now, and in my opinion there really wasnt a need. I’m not big on Architecture.

I got abit lost just strolling, so there was some Brown (skined) man standing outside a shop, I asked him where I was on the map (all in spanish of course), and he explained, and started a conversaton, where are you from, da da da, standard. I asked him, he goes India, I was like ooooh, my grandmother was born in India. Anyway it was really cool speaking in Spainsh and bonding over the Indian-ness.

I got bored, so started to head towards the bus station, I thought it would be really smart, and I thought I figured out a short cut. I didnt. However, I saw a fast food joint that did…..BURGERS!!!! and FRIED CHICKEN!!!! Yes I know, one year later, I found one. The dude was from Pakistan, and I ordered a chicken Burger meal. It was expensive, it was 5 euros, But So Worth It. So So So Good.

Got the 130 bus home, I got the one that stopped at all the small villages, like literally, but there was quite a few hijabis around, gettting on and off the bus. So there are a few of us around, we are just hidden at the moment. But Soon, we shall take over the world. Mwahahahaha. Ok I’m done.

All in all it was a good day, except I would highly recomend going to Toledo first, then the rest of Spain, because its not as good otherwise.

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Day 333 – 03.06.2012 – Corazon 2012/ Mawlood de Imam Ali

So about a week ago, I get a message saying that there is a game at Santiago Bernabau, Verteran Real Madrid players against Veteran Manchester United players. I checked the prices of the tickets and it was only 10 euros! Absolute bargain for aweosome seats. I sat on the bottom, 2nd row. So I could actually see everything without squinting. It was incredible. Like actually.

Lets start from the beginning and add some Musings…
Was at Gregs metro station, and there was a random hijabi, of course I gave her The Nod, and a silent Salam. She replied. We have a connection, a mutual hijabi understanding.

The metro was rammed, like actually, it was just full, even though this wasnt even a proper game. Anyway got to Bernabau stadium, and the only time people take the stairs is on game day. And this line is deep underground, thats my exercise done for the next month…

So I saw Zidane, Figo, Sheringham, Cole, Van der Sar. You know…Casually. :p

At the beginnning they had these parachuter people, come down and land on the pitch and they were carrying the Manu, Spanish, and Real Madrid flag. The fans went crazy when the Real Madrid flag landed.

Anyway, there was an event at IE starting at 8pm for the Mawlood of Imam Ali. Kick off was supposed to be at 7.15. It didnt, i started at 7.25. So I left 20 mins into the game to get to IE in time. Proper attracting attention, but lets be honest…life goes on.

So IE was really good. People proper say salaam to me, and know who I am, was chilling with my friends. Speaking (broken) Spanish. They were family, it was Home. Best Mawlood ever. Partly because I went in Kswisses, Africa trousers, and a dress top. Mwahahahah, no churidar. mwahahahahaha.

All I can say is…Alhamdullilah.

You are the father of Qamr Bani Hashim, so why shouldnt the moon light up on your night

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Thoughts become words.

Absolutely Baking. Its about 26 degrees, its hot. But its all good because houses or flats here are built to withstand heat. So its not actually that hot inside. But outside, its hot. Actually at this point in time, its more humid.

At work, there are language classes, so i take Spanish (for obvious reasons) and Arabic (for well…a laugh). I think Arabic is just fun, its serious, but not overerly serious. Will deffo miss the class. I think the joke of the year is Ma’a

So I was thinking about going back to Valencia. But in hindsight, I think not, mainly because I dont like lots of people on a beach with me. Becasue 1. they are dressed inappropiately, and 2. I think i have become spoilt this year, whenever I have gopne to the beach its always been empty. Barca, San Sebastian, Valencia, Conil. You get my drift.

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Day 320 – 19.05.2012 – The Fam Come to Madrid

Nuff Said.

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So a couple of friends of mine went out to dinner, and of course the whole menu was all in Spanish, and so it wasn’t as easy to find something I could eat (for me it takes some time translating from Spanish to English, then working out of I could eat it). I cannot eat meat (Carne), chicken (pollo), ham (jamon), some fish, so when going out to eat in a Spanish place, it is very difficult to find something I can eat, because they do not understand the concept of being a vegetarian. So when I go out to eat, my usual order is literally Spanish Ommelete, which is Egg and potatos cooked as an omelette, it is really really good. Or Patatas Bravas, which is essentially chips with a ‘spicy sauce.’ However, in this case I was luckily enough that they had actual Veg on the menu, which was some sort of Aurbergine Tapas, and another mixed Veg one. It was Gooooood.

So my friend asked me, do you not feel constricted that you cannot eat everything, and do you not feel like you want to rebel at all. I think it’s a fair point. I mean, there is a lot we, as Muslims cannot do, we cannot drink alcohol, go into McDonalds order anything on the Menu, go grocery shopping and not checking the ingredients on the smallest of things like Chocolate in case they have alcohol or gelatin. But I answered her in all honesty, I have never felt the need to eat pork, or drink alcohol.

And I explained that everything in Islam is all about God. We are Big on God. Our aim is simply to serve God. So for example Alcohol, even in its minute quantities can take you away from God, you lose sight of the true meaning of life.

I never leave my house without a few things, you know standard things like phone, wallet etc. but also my Mohr (Turbah) and compass. My motto is ‘If its time to pray, its time to pray.’ I would like to think it has worked out quite well for me so far. You see I have a new aim in life (amongst many others) that I aim to pray at some Cool places. As has been blogged before, on a mountain, on a beach, in palace gardens, in a park in perfectly random cities across Espana. To add to my growing list, on a beach in Cadiz, and roadside (literally) somewhere near Arcos de la Frontera and on a train going from Malaga to Madrid. On the train, my friend asked me what these things are. Firstly, I feel honoured enough that they are comfortable asking me such a question. I think its an honour when non-Muslims ask me about my faith. Secondly the answers have been heard before, the compass points to Makkah, and the Mohr, you place your forehead on it, so that you are praying on something natural that God has made.

Hats go off to my 2 friends that I travelled with, despite being non-Muslim they never once made me feel uncomfortable about me praying, they even encouraged it. I will be forever indebted to you, ensuring that I pray at some Awesome places.

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Day 313 – 12.05.2012 – Andalusia Round 2 – Awesome Andalusian Adventure

This all happened so last minute, by last minute I mean I got told on Wednesday, on Thursday it was potentially happeneing and on Friday adternoon tickets and hostels were booked to leave Friday evening. Apparently it’s the Andulusian way to take it easy and take it as it comes.

Day 1 Sevilla

Took the bus and reached Sevilla for Fajr, standardly praying at the bus station. We waited for AP because she got the bus after us, and then headed to the hostel, causually stopping to take photographs.

Watching the Sunrise over Las Setas

You know…Just watching the Sunrise, and the colours change in Sevilla…

Checked into the hostel, and yes we are a variety of nationalities.

Headed towards a cathedral, Mass once again.

Big up to JP Dos

The next major thing to see was the Alcazar, which was in my opinon a fake Alhambra, similar design and everything but still very cool. It’s the Alhambra on a much smaller scale. Casually napped in the gardens, because of lack of sleep.

The Alcazar

Appreciating Nature and Whatnot in the Gardens.

There were loads of tourist groups going round, and many Germans, anyway some were drinking slushies, and it looked Gooood, especially since it was so hot. So slushies we bought.

There was some sort of famous hospital thingy, but it was basically an Art-y thingy that we had to pay for…so we said…no

Some Street

Went towards the university which was an Old Tabacco factory, and had another nap sitting up on a chair (I was so tired, we hadn’t slept properly), I was really fresh after that, the nap did me good.

That is the courtyard of the University, Aston has Nowt

Yes its hot.

We went to meet KJ (who is a friend from university, she is studying in Seville Uni), went to grab lunch, at some awesome Tapas bar, which had loads of Veg options. We got a big plate of Patatas con Ali-oli for 11 euros which was an absolute bargain.

We walked to Plaza de Espana (which was where some scenes of The Dictator was filmed), around the sides, it had all the signs of all the cities in Spain. Standardly took a picture next to Madrid. We went to the Park which was adjacent to Plaza E to just chill because it was ridicusly hot.

Just getting Hotter.

We headed towards the river, but we were getting tired so headed home to freshen up and have dinner. Tapas was outside near ‘Las Setas.’

Path next to the river

Andulusians are known to be very laid back, easy going people. Its no wonder they are, its so hot here, its impossible to physically do anything productive in the summer. It was 40 degrees when we there and it was just plain hot.

Everyone is out during the evenings, not just old people but families and kids, because it’s the only time its actually cool (but its still very hot).

Day 2 Sevilla/Cadiz

We got up at 9 had breakfast at the hostel then headed off to Las Setas to go on the Mirador. In every city there is a Mirador (Viewpoint) where you can see the city. It was only 1.30 which is a bargain, I have paid much more to see much less.

Then we went to Heculus, checked out the statues,

then went back on ourselves to go to the Southern part of Sevilla which was more traditional and less touristic. We went via the Ceramic factory and Monestary.

Pretty-ness…do you like the bin :p

We are so small

Had a general stroll (because that’s what we do) and grabbed some food at a tapas place. We had to get the taxi back to the hostel, because we needed to catch out bus to Cadiz. The taxi was surprisingly cheap it only cost 7 euros when in Madrid it would cost us much much more. We grabbed out stuff from the hostel and walked unusually fast in the heat to make the bus. We made it with 5 minutes to spare. That’s Big considering I didn’t think we weren’t going to make it.

In Sevilla there are loads of ‘gulleys (alleyways)’ and its very cool in them, so we would try and walk through the small small streets to stay cool.
Guess what…I’m going to Cadiz….!!!!


On Cadiz bus I slept, and it was only 90 minutes to get there. The hostel was ridiculously near (thanks to the red line we didn’t get lost), saw the Beach, it was so nice. Fresh air just seeing the sea like that, was just too good.

There were many people on the Beach so we decided not to go and did some sightseeing, you know the casual Cathedral and Plaza and whatnot.

Cadiz is a very small city, and we realized we were going to fast through the city, and went even slower than slower. We went to the Tower and they had the 360 telescope that Da Vinci invented. She went through the history of Cadiz. Very interesting and Telescope was Too Cool.

Again food time…Standard Tapas, but it was good tapas, it was so cheap only 2.50 per tapas and I had an Aubergine type on and a normal veg one. So Goood. #HayAlgunasSinCarne?

We ‘set off’ towards the beach to see the sunset but it was cloudy so you coudnt see the sun go down, but it was still cool. You could see the city reflected into the water. Casually prayed Maghrib on Cadiz beach.

O Lord, on the Day of Judgement, the sand will testify that I prayed to you.

We went towards the lighthouse, but it was closed.

Went though Barra de la Vina (some part of the city), had frozen yogurt (which I had never had before, it was Goood), saw the navy ship from afar, then went home.

Day 3 Road Trip

We left Cadiz after 10 after picking up our rented car from the Train station, went through the new town in order to get onto the motorway.


We had a choice. We had to end in Malaga, but we could either go the mountainous route, or the beach route. The Beach route included Tenerife (the most southern point in Spain), head towards Gibraltar then towards Malaga. We decided the mountainous route, because lets be honest a beach is a beach.

We were heading towards Vejer de la Frontera, saw signs for a beach on the way (which was near Conil de la Frontera) , and took a little detour and checked out the beach. There was very few people (well it was Monday morning, its understandable), it was so cool, took many pictures (obviously).

See the Sea…

Playa de Conil


Went towards Vejer de la Frontera, and its known for its ‘Pueblos Blancos (White Houses). It was proper on a mountain, and the logical thing to do is to climb it in 35 degrees. We had a general wonder, checked out the castle, got lost, got unlost, then headed to wards Arcos de La Frontera via Medina-Sidonia.

Vejer de la Frontera

Vejer de la Frontera – Pueblos Blancos

Casually prayed Zohr Roadside.

Patch of Grass where I prayed Zohr and Asr

Again, casually climbed the mountain in Arcos de la Frontera, grabbed some food, and did some general exploring and headed towards Ronda.

Arcos de la Frontera

Yes, heading towards the mountains

On the way to Ronda there are many small villages like El Bosquo. I think it was like Manzaneres el Real with the whole National Park thing, but I think it was quite far away and the signs weren’t really helping so we couldn’t really find it. We had a general stroll (do you see the pattern), and we had an Orange incident. Loads of Lemon Trees around.


On the way to Grazalema. Some sick Mirador. Words cannot describe how beautiful it looks. The camera really didn’t do it justice, it was just spectacular. Its Proper Nature.


Grazalema is a city which is sort of built into the mountains, Standard Pueblos Blancos, but still very cool. We had a drive through tour (since we didn’t have time to get off and explore by foot). It very much reminded me of Lord of the Rings how the houses are built into the mountains like Rivendell.

In hindsight when putting the pictures up, it doesnt quite look like Rivendell…but the concept is still there (?)…


All this time, we were literally driving through the mountains, the roads were really windy and just so cool. (don’t worry it was perfectly safe), the views were just spectacular.

Just a view

We got to Ronda parked the car and walked to the Old Town bit, where the main part was the Bridge. It was literally built in a valley and was the Height was Long.

Famous Ting

The Viewpoint (Mirador)

Food Time. Dinner was prawns with chips and salad. Delumpsious. Then had a casual postre (desert). I was really cheap only 10 euros for the whole thing, so cheap compared to Malaga.

Casually prayed in a Car Park.

This Turbah has travelled Spain

Off to Malaga via San Pedro, we didn’t realize how long it would take. But we got there eventually. The room in the hostel was a Huge room. It was wasted on 2 single beds. Not that I am complaining, a solid sleep session.

Day 4 – Malaga

Woke up at 745 to leave for 830 to return the car. A solid breakfast which was Veg omelete, it was abit of an overdose of veg in proportion to egg, but it filled me up hard core.

Had a general stoll round the old city, and climbed up the Castille (Castle). A solid view, we could see all the cruise ships and the beaches. It was only 60 cents to go into the castle (taking advantage of being students), honestly it was pretty similar to all other castles I have been to the mirador, the city, the moutains, the sea. I guess the novelty sort of wears of but nevertheless it is very cool. And I am very grateful.

Me thinking I’m being all artistic and all.

Tree, Malaga, Castille

We went down the other way round, which wasn’t an inclined plane at all, and so it took twice as long, but we had time.

Picasso lived in Malaga for abit, so we went to visit his house and the museum…


Went to a Kebab place to grab some food. I got told that there are loads of Moroccons in Andulusia (logically cuz Morocco is just there). There was a mosque nearby (apparently), but we didn’t have time to go because we had to catch our train to get back home.

Adding to the list of places prayed: Outside a McDonalds in Malaga train station.

Waiting for the train we were gearing up for the 7 hour journey back to Madrid. To be honest it was quite a luxury, it was a train, so no buses, and 7 hours is perfectly acceptable on train since I have done worse on a bus. At least this way you can stand up have a stroll etc…Also I got to pray on a train, but the cool thing was I was standing up, actually facing qibla as opposed to sitting and doing so. That was certainly an experience…the art of balancing while praying. Now that is something.

You know…a Sunset…

Been an Epic 4 days, it feels like we were out there for much longer. Bare got a tan…the standard gloves. I have prayed at places I would never have dreamed of. Thank you God.

AP, AC, KM, you were awesome company, thanks for being so considerate and just generally being Awesome. They were such good company, at times, yes there was no conversation going, but I would think that we were just content in each others company.

Thank you Lord. I guess its just about being patient, I mean after 11 long months I got the trip of a life time. Thank you.

Quotes of the trip: ‘I could eat’… ‘set off’

In general, I would like to think there were less people on Monday and Tuesday, just on the streets and on the roads. This is mainly because it was bank holiday for just Comunidad de Madrid on Tuesday (I took Monday off).

People in Andulusia, have a certain accent when speaking Spanish, so they don’t pronounce all of the letters. I understand some Spanish, but their accent, man its difficult, you have to figure out what letters they missed, translate the word into English, then attempt to reply in my broken Spanish.

For 4 days I didnt check emails, twitter, fb, nothing. It was utter awesomeness. Just allowing the world, and just appreciating nature and the amaizing views I was seeing


FYI: Unemployement 50 percent for youth in Andulusia!!! 50 percent, that means every other graduate is unemployed!!!


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Day 300 – 29.04.2012 – Day 300. Nuff Said.

So in honour of the 300th day of me being in Madrid, or in Spain in general, this is a Post.

Ok so I think I should write more than that, but what to write…

Firstly, (ok I think this is going to sound like a speech), I would like to thank (oh it So sounds like a speech), the one, the only…..God. God is an absolute Legend, and I appreciate everything He has done for me. Everything I have done this year, and I couldnt have done it without him. From the trips I have gone on, to the people I have met, to the general Madrid Times, Allah (saw) is surely the guiding me this year.

Secondly, I would like to thank my parents, for just being so Awesome. I mean there are really no words to thank you. But thank you. (PS. I hope you like your birthday present, I apologise it was a joint present, but you know… ‘Sharing is Caring’ :p)

So on Tuesday and Wednesday its bank holiday (yes i know, once again), and I have taken Monday off, so therfore its a 5 day holiday. Woop.Pee.Doo. We were going to go travelling, but it wasnt meant to be, I cant complaing, having a 5 day Jamming session at home. Reminds me of uni…

Finished season 1 of 24 yesterday, that was a Sound season, too many twists. Solid Series.

Bare having Interfaith discussion on Sametime. (Shi’i vs Catholic), the questions are never ending…

I’m so happy God gave me inspiration (or Wah’y as I like to call it :p) to create this blog, once I leave here, there shall be no more posts, but I would like to think I will go back and read it, a fair few years down the line.

Sorting out my stuff, I realised I have accumulated a lot of stuff this past year. Most in the form of souvenier type things. Let me explain, its all random brochures or leaflets or maps or postcards, that I have kept in order to make a scrapbook once I get back.

So you may wonder what I do, as in while I ‘Jam’ so to speak. My other Blog bit.ly/GeniusITM is going Alhamdullilah quite well, and I have been using GIMP (free photoshop) to create some stuff. See below.


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Day 299 – 28.04.2012 – The Avengers!

Ok so Ive never been a comic book fan, with the exception of the Beano. I didnt even know what Marvel Comics were until all the movies came out. I’m not a Huge fan, but they are good movies. So before the Avengers came out, I watched the Hulk and Thor so i understood a little of the back story.

Anyway, I went with SO, DS and ZT, it. was. immense. and so so so funny. I appreciate humor, it was very well written and produced. Highly recommend it.

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