Saturday, November 24, 2007

Geek alert!


Friday, November 23, 2007

Which is the third language around here?

I catch métro line 14 on a regular basis, especially during strikes as it's the fully automatic line. I've heard the announcement many times at the end of the line that says "Terminus. Tous les voyageurs sont invités à descendre." and then "End of the line. Would all passengers kindly leave the train." followed by the same announcement in Spanish. Many of the métro lines don't bother saying anything, but those other lines that do either just announce in French or French, English and Spanish. This is convenient for all those people on the métro who speak French, English and/or Spanish. One day, while in the métro/RER station Châtelet-Les Halles, on the RER A platform, an announcement came over the speaker system in three languages: French, English and German. I've paid attention to the announcements on all métro and RER trains and stations in Paris and I've noticed that on the métro*, they're in French, English and Spanish and on the RER, they're in French, English and German. Does this mean that Spanish (or Spanglophone**) tourists/residents catch the métro while German (or Germalophone**) tourists/residents use the RER?

* Except for Pont de Sèvres, the station at the end of line 9, which uses the language set of the RER.
** These words exist. Because I said so.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I have voted

I made the trek to the Australian Embassy this morning to cast my vote in this year's federal election. I say "trek" because with the strike I had to walk (briskly) for about 30 mins, from La Place de la Madeleine to the Embassy, which is almost next to the Eiffel Tower. A walk of over 4km. In drizzling almost-rain.

But I did my civic duty, so I hope that my vote contributes to the eviction of that horrible little creature currently running the Australian government. And if not, I just won't return to Australia for while.

Note: As you can imagine, being next to the Eiffel Tower means that the public transport to that area is quite good. This is true, except on days when the silly unions at the RATP and SNCF are on strike.

Note 2: The link above to the map of the trek doesn't seem to work, so I'll leave it there for the time being to remind myself to try to fix it, but in the meantime, if you want to see the path, go to maporama and put the following addresses into the "itinery" box:
country: France
address: La Place de la Madeleine
city: Paris
country: France
address: 4 rue Jean Rey
postcode: 75724
city: Paris

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Cas d'Affluence!

This is a photo from the metro station near my apartment (Chatêlet).

This is the section where the paths to the various lines diverge, and it's still a bit of a walk to the actual platform. The people here weren't moving significantly, and I tried to get to line 1, which is through the people and to the right, and I got through the first crowd, but then discovered another, equally large crowd some distance from line 1's platform, which would have meant a wait of about an hour, or at least half an hour, by which time I'd be late for my first lesson.

So I decided to walk to the next metro stop on the line (Louvre-Rivoli), which was also incredibly crowded. The next station (Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre) was also full of people, and so I decided to walk, as I only needed to get to Charles de Gaulle-Étoile. It also means that I now know that I can walk from my apartment to Étoile in about 35mins if I hurry and walk quickly.

Laird Sean

I want to be a Laird/Lord. And all for just $60!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

This could happen to me

I'm scared of this happening to me. I tend to open my mouth very wide when I yawn.

Some things I want....really.... they're not entirely useless....

Well, the first one is this automatic tea-bag dunker. It's quite useless and pointless but I want one all the same.

At the moment my slippers are a style that can only be described as "grandad slippers". I want these, as should any self-respecting Star Wars geek.
I also want this bacpack (Luke, I am your backpack) or this one (keep your things safe it will), this rubbish bin, and these pillows.

I'm not as sure about this. Do I really want/need a slanket? After all, I don't even have a couch on which to lounge while wearing one.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Another Grève

Another strike has been announced for Tuesday night and Wednesday. Apparently the trains will stop at about 8pm on Tuesday night, and it's anyone's guess as to when they'll be running properly again. I'm pretty sure line 14 will be normal, as it's the automatic line. I'd like it to be back to normal by Thursday morning, as I need to go to Saint Denis on Thursday, and to Meudon La Foret on Friday.

I also need to make my way to the Australian Embassy at some point over the next two weeks in order to vote.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I thought the UN was supposed to be a friendly group?

The headline of this article, "UN torture delegate to assess Indonesia", made me wonder why the UN is torturing delegates to Indonesia.