Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Joel Marbach

Two weeks ago I decided to get back into interviews. So, I asked Joel, a friend of a friend who became a friend, if he was up for it. He said or wrote back, "Why not it could be funny!" 

Joel (on right) is a French man who lives in Rome. His home town is Guemar, Alsace. He speaks French, Italian, and English. If he were to purchase a T-shirt tomorrow it would be green.

How do you feel about the lifestyle in Rome? "I previously lived in Ireland then Scotland.. I have to say it’s completely different from the Scottish and Irish lifestyle. It’s probably closer to the French lifestyle, but from the South because it’s a bit mediterranean there.  So it’s ah, it’s more relaxed during the weekend, or the evening. In fact it’s a bit chaotic during the day and what they call Dolce Vita in the evening, or on the weekend. Also, it’s a lifestyle that’s mainly based on food I have to say. Cause it’s the main topic of discussion of people like either in the street, or at work, or with friends or so."

Do you like living here? "Yeah, I enjoy it a lot. I really like the city of Rome, so to walk, it’s really nice. It’s really good when you travel a bit in Europe, to see all the best things that a country has to offer. And Rome definitely has some really nice advantages such as the weather. It’s pretty......   I think the  downside or inconvienent bit of living here is the nightlife. It’s not as active as Dublin or in France for instance. (Yeah?) For sure. it’s not really a place where you can just walk and say look for a club. Because you probably will not find one, unless you’re in the good area for clubs. The city is so big, and there’s so many places that are more just like they call it in Italian, an area to sleep, like a dorm area. There’s just like people living there. There’s absolutely nothing to go out to, and if so it's just maybe a restaurant, or maybe to a little bar. That’s a bit difficult for me I have to say, but I’m getting over it."

Other than nightlife what is there to do here? "Well I’d say first of all do what the tourists do.. To see the monuments, to learn about the history. And I think for art, there’s a lot going around..... Then if you like sports there’s a good passion for football here and so. I like personally to go to the stadium every now and then. Also Rome is in a very good situation in Italy, to go and visit other cities. If it’s in the North like Florence, or maybe ah Bologna, Parma. Or in the South you’ve got Naples two hours away, Calabria three hours away. And you can be at the beach in half an hour, so in the summer there’s always something to do."

As a French man, how do you feel about the  Italian cuisine? "About the food? I think it’s really good, but I could say there’s not enough diversity because the Italians like so much their food. There seems to be little room for foreign restaurants. In Dublin it’s the opposite cuase the Irish food is not really good, or there’s not much variety in it. They’ve got a lot of Indian restaurants, Chinese, Asian, it's like France. You can literally find everything there. I guess  maybe not so much so as New York, but both are international... I think it’s good to have the choice...... The Italian food is mainly about the pizza and pasta. They also have some meat, some cheeses that are really good but it’s true that sometimes you would like something different."

Do you have a favorite restaurant? "Yeah, it’s the one close from home called ah Al Grottino. Where they do really good pizzas. It’s a really nice restaurant as we talked before there are some areas that are residential. So there’s not that many restaurants around, or clubs, or pubs, but they do really really good Roman style pizza for a really good price, like around 6 euro. The service is really good and it’s usually fairly busy. And you don’t often see tourists there cause it’s not close to the hotels or any monuments, which is also a good sign."

What did you study in college? " Ah, I studied business, marketing, and management. I made a mix of everything. It didn’t really point in a specific direction. I started to study in France in my region, and then I moved to Edinburgh in Scotland to finish. And then after that I did a course, it was about internet technology for e-commerce. They taught me a bit about the way business is going on online, about creating a website, about dealing ah with communication within the company."

Is that what your work is related to now?  "Yeah, it’s what lead me more or less to this job. Although I had to take another job before because I needed something to start with. I worked for Motorola, for the costumer service of motorola. It was okay, but after awhile you get a bit tired of dealing with people’s problems. And so I looked for jobs in Dublin. And I just happened to find this Italian company who was doing web media."

Can you explain that more? "We look at what people look for on the internet, and we produce content to satisfy these needs of information. So it’s really about many topics, about products, or services you could think about getting online. We ask people to write articles about the subjects, then our collegues in marketing do some campaigns, attract some traffic on the website, and that makes some benefits." 

Do you enjoy the work? "Yeah, I think it’s quite interesting. Cause you get to learn about a lot of different topics which I think people in their lives don’t necessarily do cause there’s always like two or three different things you like. Like, maybe you like sport or food, maybe you like travel, but say you wouldn’t necessarily read about like everything that's possible. In my job that’s what I get to do, obviously I’m more interested in some things more than others. But by reading about other things I was less interested in I got to learn things that fed my curiosity."

Also contributed: "Obviously there are things that you don’t like in the job. But it’s just like everything else in life. It depends on how you see it. If you focus on the positive sides of your job, or your life, or of your friends,  of people, you will see the beautiful things in it. If you look at the pay that could be higher, or if you look at your boss that you wish would be better in communicating, or more intelligent, or more beautiful, or whatever, you’re focusing on the negative. And by having this negativity you’re not going to enjoy anything. A positive outlook, it's very important about the job, but it’s very important for things in general."

Any other favorite cities? "Maybe the one where I lived for five years, Edinburgh. I went there just for a year abroad to improve my English and just to live something different. Then it was such a good experience that it just made me want to stay more. It’s not that I decided, it’s just that every year I said, okay I’ll stay another year. After my studies were finished, I studied something else, then there was nothing else to study, so I started to work... 

Any personal projects? "I have to say I’m doing a lot more reading. The funny thing is that I didn’t read a lot in the past because I always thought reading was a bit boring. I’d rather watch a film, or be with people, or like talk, or maybe go to the pub, or watch a football game. I guess for some people like me, the interest comes a bit with getting older or so. It’s like you start realizing that reading is not just something you do at school. For me that’s what it was, something you do at school. They force you to read some books that aren’t very interesting."

What are you reading now? "In fact it’s a book written by an American writer, Donald Walsh, who says or pretends he had conversations with God. And whether that’s true or not, at the end of the day that isn't the point. What’s interesting is the content....The book talks about the problems in the world in the way that it’s our fault if today we have people who die of poverty, and who have no food. Or we have people who are so rich that they don’t even know what to do with their money.....  It’s a bit hard for me to think that the world we have today could change and suddenly become like a paradise. You know, if we would like to do it, if the conscience of like everybody in the world would want to do something better it could happen."

I heard that the African Italian soccer players are booed, is that true? "Yeah just because of their color.. And that’s particularly sad, especially, well they wouldn’t boo them if they played for their team. The problem is the opposite team. The same who applaud a black player for scoring a goal, will boo another for being black but just for playing for another team so that’s how stupid it gets. It’s just like you get good players for your team you’re obviously really happy, and suddenly you forget about the color, if you’re someone who takes care about these things. It’s not that everyone does it, a few clubs, a few cities, but it happens."

Contribution:  "And the Eastern Europeans, the Albanians, the Romanians, the Yugoslavians, they call them gypsies normally, or like Zingari. (Zingari?) This is like the gypsy, like the people who live in caravans and camp. There’s been problems with them in Italy, a bit in France also. Obviously it’s not always the best people who come from these countries to Italy and they made themselves a really bad name. Especially the Romanian people who are often found drunk, found driving drunk, who sometimes  rape women, but that was more like two or three years ago. And so again for a lot of people who don’t think further, they classify all of the Romanians in this category. They think all Romanians are rapists, they’re all alcoholics, they are all like gypsies, they steal, they bring bad things to our country. It’s like to describe a society about a guy that you read about in the newspaper or something like that."

As we close, are you happy? "That's a good question. I think in my life there are a lot of good reasons to be happy. And obviously then when you get to the routine there are maybe things that you like or dislike. But like I said before, I think the happiness about life in general is about choosing to be happy and so. I think the best things also come to the ones who choose to be happy.....  There are people who are really unhappy. There are people who have a good job, but are not happy. There are people who have a beautiful girlfriend who are not happy, so I think at the end of the day it’s something you choose. It’s almost a lifestyle.

Thanks Joel.

No comments:

Post a Comment