Thursday, January 31, 2008


I went to a polyglot meeting last night. Polyglot is a group/website where you can meet people who speak languages. Ideally, meet people who speak the language you want to learn and who want to learn the language you speak. Every Tuesday evening there's a meeting for polyglots at Snax Kfé, and it seems quite popular. I spent most of the evening speaking French and English, but I had a short conversation in Polish and also said one of my only sentences of Mandarin Chinese. And no, it wasn't *that* sentence.
I had fun, and the chance to practice my French was great too, so I'll definitely return, and I hope to become a regular.
I was introduced to this website/group by an Irish colleague who has been going to the functions for a while now, and has met a few friends there, some of whom where at her birthday evening (not party) on Saturday night.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

J'aime bien le son d'AC

I like the sound of AC.

I have had many AC's recently. I haven't actually compared with other teachers to see if my number is normal or if I just have de la chance. For those not in the know, AC stands for Annulé Compté (cancelled and counts) which means that I don't have a class because the student/s has/have cancelled, but they didn't give enough notice so the school still charges for the lesson, and I'm still paid. They're much better than ANC (Annulé non compté) which results in me not getting paid. They're more common for individual lessons, of course, as in group lessons it's more likely that at least one or two of them will be able to make it.

I have a 2-hour AC this afternoon, which is nice. I have a 2-hour block of sitting at home, while still getting paid.

My best AC was on the 26th of September, when I had a 6-hour individual lesson cancelled.

I like being paid to do nothing.

If all the world's a stage...

... then life is a bikini parade!

D'ac. J'aime bien Christa Hughes.

J'ai acheté une nouvelle marque de café aujourd'hui. Maitenant j'ai Lavazza et Segafredo. Les deux sont marques italiennes, et les deux sont formidable. Pourquoi je l'ai acheté quand j'avais du café?
Evidemment car je ne peux boire du café de Segafredo que dans les matins, et je peux boire du café de Lavazza dans les soirs (ou aussi dans les matins si j'en ai envie). J'ai acheté le Lavazza plutot pour les soirs, et après je rentre chez-moi, après avoir travaillé.

J'aime bien mon moka.

Jusqu'à maitenant, j'ai bu un café de Segafredo et un café de Lavazza.

Monday, January 21, 2008

New setting

For those of you who haven't noticed, there's now a slideshow of my photos in the right-hand column of this blog. It's under the heading "My Photos".

Sunday, January 20, 2008


"Préparation au foie gras de canard aux pommes" is amazingly delicious!

All the taste of tortured, diseased duck liver mixed with apples!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Work Today

I have three classes today. All three of them are individual lessons, and the second one has been cancelled. The student cancelled yesterday, which means that she didn't give enough notice to the school, so I still get paid for it, which is nice. I like getting paid for not working. My best instance of this was when I had a 6-hour class cancelled, back on the 26th of September.
Anyway, the first two lessons of the day take place in a town/suburb called St. Denis, which isn't a very nice area, to put it mildly, and it's annoying to get there. It takes about 30mins to get there and back, so it hardly seems worth it now for just 1 hours of lessons (usually the lessons are at least 90mins, but the lessons are ordered/bought in blocks of hours, so sometimes you have a 1-hour class at the end of a student's block of hours). I have to remember that I'll be paid for 2.5 hours, while only teaching for 1 hour out there, so I'll get home much earlier.
The third class for today is not far from Etoile, so it's fairly easy to find.


Wyślałem email do szkoly gdzie pracowałem w Anglii w lipca 2007r. Myślę i mam nadzieje że będę pracować tamte jeszcze raz ten rok.
Dużo kolegów będą tam pracować też.
Teraz jestem bardzo śpiący, więc idę spać.
Na ra.

Je suis qui je suis

je fais comme je sens
je vais essayer
de te retrouver.

Je suis chez-moi maitenant. J'y suis rentré à 20h20 et ce matin, je suis sorti à 8h. Je suis fatigué. J'ai mangé de Special K et maitenant je bois un thé (avec citron au lieu de lait ce soir).

J'ai eu 4 cours de 1h30, et après j'avais finit, je suis allé, directement, à l'école pour ma leçon de français, où j'étais seul car les autres ont piké*. J'avais besoin de penser pendant toute la leçon.

* piker, c'est une nouvelle verbe que je viens de creer. En anglais, on dit "to pike".

Kwa de 9?
Ce soir, j'ai envoyé un courriel à la femme qui cherche les formateurs pour Lines. Je pensais beaucoup, mais j'ai enfin décidé à travailler à la Maison Downe. Kat, je sais que tu voulais que je travaille à la Bois-de-la-Reine, mais sauf toi, tous que je connais vont à MD, et on dis "c'est meilleur le diable qu'on connait que ceux qu'on ne connait pas". Et plus de merde comme ça.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What coffee?

When I was in a supermarket in Vienna, I noticed the woman in the queue in front of me buying a certain brand of coffee. Gastro Kaffee. I don't know if the word gastro has a different meaning in German, and part of me hopes that it does. On the other hand, if it doesn't have a different meaning, it's an amusing brand of coffee.
To those of you who speak German and/or lived in German-speaking parts of the world, have you encountered Gastro Kaffee before?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Sean has a Flickr account

I decided to go with Flickr instead of Picasa. No, that's not quite true. I had decided to go with Picasa but Picasa advised me to choose Flickr. I tried installing Picasa's program on my computer, but the installation program only ran in Polish, and while I speak basic Polish, I couldn't be bothered working out what Picasa wanted to do, and what the different options were that I was required to select during the process. I tried downloading and installing the program several times, but in the end decided that it was trying to tell me that Flickr would better serve my needs.
I wanted to use Picasa because it's a google program, whereas Flickr is a yahoo program, and I usually prefer google. I might change over to Picasa sometime in the future, we'll see.

Anyway, the crux of this is that my Vienna photos (or at least a large portion thereof) are available for viewing HERE.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Mon dernier jour à Vienne

I had planned to visit the Riesenrad (Big Ferris Wheel) at Vienna Prater and the Technical Museum. When I arrived at Prater, I discovered that the Riesenrad was closed for repairs, and the whole Prater was closed for either the winter or renovations or something. I had also slept in and didn't have enough time to justify paying another entry fee for a museum, so I skipped on the Technical Museum. I would have had enough time if I hadn't gone to Prater first.
So, I had some time to walk around Vienna. It wasn't as windy on Monday, so it was quite pleasant to wander around the streets. I found a British/Irish/American supermarket, so I thought I'd wander in and have a look around. Lo and Behold, they stock Irn Bru! Of course, as it had been many moons since my last Irn Bru I had to buy a can. And drink it. Irn Bru, for those who haven't been fortunate enough to try it, is a delicious beverage made in Scotland. I must find a store in Paris that sells it. Lizard, if you need some, I know it's sold in the confectionary store that you walk past in the ANZAC Arcade on the way up to Central Station.
Now, if only the supermaket in Vienna sold deep-fried Mars bars too...
I then met Florian for a late lunch in a cheap student eatery. The food was good, though the "vanilla" dessert turned out to be "strawberry" - some horrid false advertising (only a choice of one dessert - fixed/set menu thing).
After lunch it was time for me to head to the airport (Flughafen Wien) and from there head back to Paris. The airport was fine, though they really need to do something about the advertised free wifi access - it kept dropping out, giving me a poor signal, etc... to the point where I just gave up as it kept timing out in google and gmail.
The flight landed in Paris, about 15mins later than scheduled, and I returned to my apartment and went back to work on Wednesday. I prefer being a tourist.

Another post about Vienna.

This is a post about what I did on my Sunday in Vienna (the 6th of Jan).
Florian and I spent a large amount of time Sunday morning in his apartment playing a game called Atomic Bomberman. It's an old game, but highly addictive. I'm not very good at it, but Florian's better and this helped me because we played a team game. I have installed the game on my laptop, but it doesn't work properly, so it's frustrating to play.
After spending most of the morning blowing up virtual characters (and our virutal selves), we went off to see another museum. Today was the Kunsthistorisches Museum, specifically the section with the crown jewels. I liked the collection in this museum, though nothing was written in English, so it was lucky that I had my handy personal translator/interpreter with me.
After the museum, we went to a cafe with wifi where I indulged my addiction to email and other online things. I had a piece of Sachertorte at this cafe, my first piece ever, and I'm annoyed that I didn't try it earlier - it's delicious. The Sachertorte is a famouse Viennese speciality, so it's important to eat a piece when you're in Vienna. Especially if you're a fan of chocolate and sweet things.
After the net and Sachertorte it was time to return to Chez Florian for the evening.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


The distance from Paris to Vienna is about 1000km, which is about the same as the ditance from Brisbane to Sydney. Here though, there's another separate country between them, Switzerland.

It's faster to fly from Brisbane to Sydney than it is to fly from Paris to Vienna (and vice-versa) because the presence of the Alps means that the plane can't fly in a direct line between these two European capitals, and it takes about 2hrs.

Vienna, Saturday the 5th of Jan

We slept in and had a lazy morning on Saturday.
At about 1pm we headed out to a palace/museum thing called Belvedere. I didn't go into the museum part, but the buildings and grounds were interesting. The grounds, of course, would be more impressive in warmer months as the ponds are emptied and groundskeeping work is carried out during winter.
After the Belvedere, we went to an Austrian restaurant for lunch and I had a Wiener schnitzel, as I was in Wien and really had no choice in the matter. It wasn't a cheap restaurant, though not overly expensive either, and the food was great. The waitress was a bit rude, so I didn't tip her. Okay, so I didn't tip her because I don't tip, but even if I were a person inclined to tipping (which seems to be the norm in Austria) I still wouldn't have tipped her.
In the evening we went to see an Opera at the Wiener Staatsoper (Vienna State Opera). We saw an opera called Werther. The performance was great and the Oper is an amazingly beautiful building. Plus it was cheap - only 3€50 for a ticket, as we opted for the standing area. It's cheaper than going to the cinema, and Werther was much better than The Golden Compass.

More Vienna

I had intended on posting more details while in Vienna, but a lack of regular internet access prevented me from doing so, and because I'm slack, it's taken me a few days of being back in Paris with decent net access to finally get around to writing about the rest of my stay there.

So, my second day in Vienna:

I started the day buy wandering along Mariahilferstraße, which is Vienna's main shopping street/district. I went there to buy some blank DVD's, as I'd been told that they're cheaper in any country that isn't spelt "France" because there's a high tax on memory and electronic storage devices here. This was true. About a week before I went to Vienna, I bought a spindle of 10 blank CD's in Paris, and I found that I paid the same for the 10 CD's as was the price in Vienna for 10 blank DVD's. So I bought a spindle of 25 blank DVD's there.
After that, I went to see the Hundertwasserhaus, which I'd seen on my other 2 trips to Vienna too, but it's a cool building and it changes with the seasons, so as I'd seen it in early spring and summer, I was hoping to see it in winter, with a covering of snow, but alas, the snow had melted in that area and it just looked the same as when I saw it on my first visit. It's still impressive and funky though. I went to a small restaurant for lunch near the Hundertwasserhaus where I had difficulty ordering because my German's not too crash hot and the waiter's English was less than perfect, but I managed to order a nice meal in spite of the language barrier (it's actually fairly easy to order food, and I recognise enough food words to order without worrying about the meal). It was fairly obvious from my initial exchange with the waiter that my German isn't my usual method of communication, yet he still offered me a German-language Austrian newspaper to read with my meal, and then got quite embarrassed when he realised why I turned the offer down. The meal was nice though.
In the evening, I went to the cinema with Florian (who had spent the day studying). We saw The Golden Compass. It was okay, but I wasn't as impressed with it as I should have been. Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig and other names are associated with this film, and the actors play their parts well, but I felt the direction lacked something. The film also didn't finish, and the last ten minutes or so were spent installing cliffhangers to encourage us to see the inevitable sequel, which annoyed me. I haven't read the book on which the film is based, but I've been told the book/s is/are great.
After the film we went to a small Turkish restaurant for dinner. The food was okay, and it was cheap enough so overall it was a decent experience.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Vienna 1

Vienna was cold and windy today, which made it a good day to do indoor sightseeing rather than traipsing round outdoor areas. It also snowed lightly, and there's still a cover of snow over much of the city from the recent snowfalls, so it looks different this time compared to the other two times that I visited this city.

I went to an art gallery this morning in the Museums Quarter called the Leopold Museum. It was interesting, and mostly modernish art, or at least from the early 20th century. There was also an exhibition of photographic from one artist who takes photos of abandoned industrial sites, or industrial ruins, in countries that were formerly behind the Iron curtain, mostly from the old DDR (GDR), but also quite a few from The USSR, Romania, Yugoslavia and Mongolia, and a couple from Poland.

Afterwards I wanted to quickly check my email and find some possible addresses of wifi hotspots in Vienna, this being the city with the highest number of hotspots in the world, apparently. I've found a few addresses, and there's one close to where I'm staying, which is probably what I'll consider using if I want to check it tomorrow, as I don't feel like carrying my computer too far. As a last resort, I guess there's always McDonald's. The net café that I found, which, as far as I can tell, is the only one in the centre, was incredibly expensive – more expensive than the netcafes that I was using in Paris before I got the internet connected in my apartment. It was 1.50E to sit down and then 9 cents a minute thereafter. Eeek. I definitely won't be going back to that café, no matter how much I feel I need to use the net.

I took a few photos on my travels, and rather than insert many of them here, I think I'll bite the bullet and sign up for a flickr account or something. I know people who use flickr and picasa. Which is better? Which should I choose? I don't want both.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

I'm in Vienna

I'm in Vienna. That's Vienna, Austria, not Vienna, France. The Austrian one is bigger, nicer, and more interesting. Technically at the moment I'm in Korneuberg, just north-west of Vienna, but it's close enough, especially if you're not in Europe, to think of it as Vienna.

I'll be staying in Austria until Monday evening when Skyeurope will take me back to Paris, France. Then, I have a free day on Tuesday and I go back to work on Wednesday. I don't actually want to go back to work. I don't mind being a man of leisure, but my bank account is insisting that I feed it.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Bonne Année!

Happy New Year everyone!

I wish you all good luck, good health and good courage* in the 2008!

By the way, I didn't really write this at the time shown - I edited it to look more appropriate :-)

*It works in French. (Bon Courage)