Thursday, December 27, 2007


I haven't written about Geneva yet. I went to Geneva for the weekend before Christmas; 21st to the 23rd of December. We caught the train from Paris Gare de Lyon at 20:10 and arrived quite late in Geneva because the train had to take a detour via Lyon because of an accident that had occurred on the track between Paris and Geneva on Wednesday. A truck collided with the train. The apologetic announcements in the train pointed out to us that it was the truck's fault and therefore we weren't eligible for a ticket refund. It was annoying because the train had to sit at Lyon for a long time before we could progress to Geneva, but we got there in the end.

I won't go into too much detail about the trip, but it was an amazing weekend. It was the first time I'd left Paris since I arrived here at the end of August, so I was really desperate for some travel time. I went with a friend called Paul, as we both wanted to see Geneva, and we had to make it that weekend because he was busy beforehand, and he left Europe the day after we returned - the 24th of December. He was an exchange student in Paris and now needs to be back in America to finish his studies. Paul organised everything, which made the trip easy for me - all I had to do was show up in the right place at the right time with my luggage.

Geneva was a nice city, and it was interesting to see, especially the UN buildings, which is a huge complex. Unforutnately the weather wasn't wonderful. It didn't rain, which was good, but it was overcast until just a few hours before we needed to be back on a train bound for Paris (again via Lyon). I was very cold, and there were times when I wondered if my hands were still attached even though I was wearing gloves.

All things considered, I had a great weekend, and I'm glad I made the effort to go on the trip. And thanks, Paul, for organising it all.


I'm planning to install Ubuntu 7.10 on my computer. I've had a few positive recommendations about it, from people I know here who work in computer and/or IT fields. I'm going to set up a dual-boot system, as while I don't really like windows or microsoft, I don't want to delete it until I'm absolutely sure that I don't want or need it. Plus, if I don't like Ubuntu, or if I can't make it work, I need and OS to fall back on.

Any comments or ideas?
Have any of you who read this experience Ubuntu?

Joyeux Noël!

Merry Christmas everyone.

I hope you all had fun. Mine was a fairly quiet Christmas this year. I had dinner with friends at their apartment on Christmas Eve, as that's the main meal/celebration time in many European countries, including France and Poland. It was a nice evening, and I got home late, so the late evening combined with my tiredness (I hardly slept on Sunday night) meant that I was exhausted by Monday night, so I slept in on Christmas day, not waking up until 10:30ish. I meant to wake up earlier so that I could talk with my family, via Skype, while they were unwrapping presents, but I missed the event, so we spoke later. It was probably a good thing because the connection was horrible enough later, and would have been frustrating while they were unwrapping everything.

I hope your Christmases were fun, and now it's time to think about plans for Le Jour de l'An (New year's eve).

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

And now a photo.

I realise that I haven't thrown any photos in here for a while, so here's one that some of you may have seen already.
I bought, at the insistence of my mother, a christmas tree (or saturnalia tree, as I prefer to think of it). I bought it, put it in the corner of my apartment, and put the decorations on it.

Il y aura encore une grève!

Les syndicats de la transports en commun ont décidé, encore une fois, à faire une grève contre les changes des régimes speciaux de la rétraite. Le mercredi 12 décembre 2007. J'éspère que le site de RATP ne changera pas avant mercredi car je dois aller à Meudon, la plus difficle place à se trouver où je travail. Aussi, j'ai des cours de français les mercredis soirs, et s'il y a une grève, la prof n'y arrive pas.

Maitenant, le RATP dit qu'il y aura 60% du trafic assuré dans le métro, et plus que 80% assuré dans les bus.

Też, jeszcze nie wiem czy lubię mieszkać w paryziu. Myślę że Tomasz miał racja kiedy on mówił że paryż nie jest aż tak dobry. Czy to nie będzie lepszy, myślę że będę iść do miaste tomasza.
Nie mam dużo kolegów tutaj, nie mam kolegów kto mówi po francusku i kto ja spotkam często, więc myślę że mój francuski jeszcze jest zły.
Pogoda jest straszna tutaj teraz.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

New Door

Most apartment buildings in Paris have two doors on the ground floor. The first door has a combination lock and basically just allows you to get to the letterboxes. The second door is the intercom door so you need a swipey thing or someone to buzz you in to unlock that door. This means that you need to give everyone the code for the front door if you want them to visit you, friends and tradespeople.

Anyway, the front door (the one with the combination) doesn't work terribly well here. Usually you only need to push, rather than enter the combination and push, but it's random. More often than not, it's in the "just push" mode. It's actually still fairly secure because people ing eneral just assume that it works, and then assume that the next internal door works too.

This brings me to the second door, which has never worked. The electronic lock was broken and permanently open. My Italian neighbours told me that this was a preferably condition to before it broke completely when the button to open it from the inside often didn't work, which meant you had to return upstairs and press the buzzer to buzz yourself out. This sounded like a scary fire-trap situation, so I agreed that completely broken was preferable. Anyway, a new electronic lock has been installed and is now in operation, so I have to swipe myself in and if anyone wants to visit me, they'll have to call my intercom for me to buzz them in.