Monday, June 30, 2008

Je vais partir en Angleterre

Oui. Je serai en Angleterre jeudi soir. Je vais prendre l'Eurostar et j'y vais arriver vers 17h30. Vendredi, j'irai à Cold Ash, la petite village où se trouve l'école où je travaillerai cet été.
L'été dernier, j'y étais et mes colleagues m'ont dit que facebook était bloqué, pour quel raison unconnu. Ce n'était pas un problème pour moi car je ne m'étais pas déjà inscrit, mais cette année j'ai peur d'être incapable de regarder mon profil, et de ne pas être capable de jouer du Scrabulous pendant six semaines! Quelle horreur!
C'est possible que les informaticiens à l'école ont changé d'avis, et qu'ils ont debloqué le site facebook. Que j'éspère.
Sinon, ne vous inquietez pas, je jouerai du Scrabulous sur fbook dès que je pourrai.

Football noise

Spain has just won the Euro Cup 2008 (football/soccer for those who haven't been following it). Germany lost the final. Nat is probably happy, as it will be quieter in Berlin tonight than if Germany had won, but I think the Germans in Paris would be fewer and quieter than the Spaniards here, so I think I would have preferred it if Germany had won. I would like to get to sleep tonight, and it's not an option in this weather to sleep with the windows shut, so I guess I'll just have to put up with the sound.

Groan... why couldn't a quiet country have won? Like Iceland, for example. I'm sure there wouldn't be too many Icelanders in Paris, as there aren't many in the entire world, so it would be a more peaceful win.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

This reflects my experience in Ireland

In most countries, road signs are used to help motorists get from one place to another. In Ireland, it's not so simple. Sign-posting here is heavily influenced by Einstein's theories (either that or the other way round) of space/time and works on the basis that there is no fixed reference point in the universe, or not west of Mullingar anyway. Instead, location and distance may be different for every observer and, frequently, for neighbouring road-signs. The good news is Language: Ireland is officially bilingual, a fact which is reflected in the road-signs. This allows you to get lost in both Irish and English.

(I didn't write this, I copied it from the interweb, but I can't work out who originally wrote it)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Open letter to the other occupants of my building

The lift is small. It hasn't got any windows, nor any other form of ventilation. The trip from the RdC (ground floor) to the top floor (6th) takes some time. I appreciate being able to breath oxygen during this trip, which I, and many other residents, make frequently.
Please DO NOT smoke inside this lift! It's disgusting and obnoxious, not to mention rude and selfish (which, it seems, I have just mentioned). Another resident of this building attacked the ashtray with sticky tape, in the hope that it'd give you the hint, but that doesn't seem to have worked. For fuck's sake, stop smoking in the lift!

L'ascenseur est petite. Il y a ni fenetre ni ventilation. Le voyage du RdC au sixième étage prend du temps. J'aime bien pouvoir respirer quand je suis à l'interieur, et j'y suis souvent, comme beaucoup d'autres habitants.
Merci de NE PAS fumer dans l'ascenseur! C'est immonde et détestable et egoïste. Quelqu'un a déjà mis du scotch pour condamner le cendrier, en ésperant que cela dissuade d'éventuels fumeurs d'enfumer l'ascenseur, mais je crois que ça n'a pas marché. Merde! Arretez de fumer dans l'ascenseur!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Poor Kermit

I guess Jim Henson's demise affected Kermit too:

For more info, click here.
(Thanks Crispin for alerting me to this issue)

Open letter to my fellow RATP passengers.

Why oh why can't some people who choose to take the métro wear deodorant? And if they choose to inflict their ghastly body odour on fellow passengers, do they have to choose my train?

Some questions to ponder before passing through the turnstiles:
1) Have you heard of deodorant?
2) Have you used it within the last 24 hours?
3) Have you ever encountered a shower?
4) Have you had a shower recently?
5) Have you seen soap at any point in your miserable existance?

If the answer to any of the above 5 questions is "no", then YOU FAIL!

6) Do flowers wilt as you walk past them?
7) Are you capable of stripping paint by merely standing near the wall?
8) Do you wonder why people seem incapable of breathing in your presence?
9) Do your friends refuse to stand downwind?
10) Are only people with severe headcolds or serious sinus issues capable of standing within 100 metres of you?

If the answer to any of the questions 6 through to 10 is "yes", then YOU FAIL!

Please people, it's not that difficult. Apply some personal hygiene to yourself, and then the rest of us might be able to bear travelling in the métro in summer.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Am I a frickin' walkin' guide book?

In the last two days, several people have stopped me and asked for directions. Normally this doesn't happen, so normally I am free to wander about the city without being harrassed by random tourists.

I don't mind helping the odd tourist out here and there, but 4 times in 2 days? Really people!

Three incidents involved friendly people, but one wasn't actually a tourist, but a native Parisian who needed to find his way to the Bibliothèque Pompidou. I gave him clear directions to the Centre Pompidou, and he said, rather condescendingly, that he wasnted the BIBLIOTHÈQUE, not the CENTRE, and then, noticing my accent in français, said, also condescendingly, booook. Stupid twit. I told him that I'd never heard of the Bibliothèque Pompidou, so he'd have to find it himself. It turns out the Bibliothèque is part of the Centre, and therefore my directions were accurate and useful. Stupid git.

The first chap today to ask me for directions accosted me on rue des Halles and asked for directions to the Notre Dame, which was simple enough from that position. I don't know why he thanked me many times before I'd actually finished giving him the instructions, and then walked off in the correct direction, also before I'd finished. Oh well, at least he was polite. He was Japanese though, not French, and therefore it isn't surprising that he was more polite than the Parisian nitwit in the above paragraph.

The second person today was actually a group, though with a spokesperson. They wanted to know how to get to the Forum des Halles, and we were mere steps away from Les Halles at the time, so that was also easy. I got the feeling though, that they didn't exactly believe my instructions, but I think they followed them anyway, and shouldn't have had a problem.

The first of the bunch (yes, this is in a weird order) wanted to get to Rue de Rivoli from Bd de Sébastopol, which, considering it's an intersection, was also easy peasy.

But seriously, do I look like the Paris Janet* on legs?

Maybe it's Kat's influence. The incidents yesterday occurred while Kat, Nat and I were walking to the Pompidou, and the two today happened while I was walking to the RER with Kat. When I'm on my own, people rarely ask me. I think I'll blame Kat.

* Janet = Lonely Planet

Monday, June 23, 2008

Pompidou! Third Time Lucky

Finalement, j'ai réussi à entrer dans le centre George Pompidou. C'est la troisième fois que j'essayais d'y aller. La première fois, le centre était fermé à cause d'une grève, et la deuxième fois c'était un mardi, est le centre est normalement fermé le mardi, mais je ne le savais pas.

In English: I finally succeeded in entering the Pompidou Centre, Paris' modern art museum. It was definitely a case of "third time lucky" because it was the third time I'd tried to gain access; the first two being unsuccessful because of a strike and because it was a Tuesday and the centre is always closed on Tuesdays (though I wasn't aware of this before I tried to enter on a Tuesday).

I went with Nat and Kat, who are currently in Paris. Nat leaves tomorrow, and Kat will stay for a few more days.

I enjoyed a lot of the art in the museum, specifically the red rhino (see below) and several Magrittes. The building itself is also very cool, of course. I also appreciated a straw aeroplane that had lots of knives, scissors, and other sharpies stuck in it, all of which were handed over to the security checkpoint at the airport in Rio (or maybe Sao Paolo - it was definitely in Brazil).

For more photos, click here.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Ils s'en vont, et je n'aime pas ça

Another friend is leaving Paris tomorrow. That's the second in only 2 weeks, and the 4th this year. 3 of them have gone "home" and one is French and has left to try living in Taiwan for a while.
Je pense que la vie change trop vite, des fois, j'aime bien les changements, mais aussi, des fois, je ne les aimes pas. Pas du tout. Je sais aussi que j'ai fait la même chose ; Ça fait le troisième pays dans lequel j'habite (je ne compte pas Angleterre, car j'y étais pendant seulement six semaines). Quand même, je ne le supporte pas.

J'éspère que leurs aéroglisseurs soient toujours plein d'anguilles.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Me? Sarcastic?

You're Totally Sarcastic

You sarcastic? Never! You're as sweet as a baby bunny.

Seriously, though, you have a sharp tongue - and you aren't afraid to use it.

And if people are too wimpy to deal with your attitutde, then too bad. So sad.

Etz Limon

I went to the cinema this evening to see Lemon Tree, an Israeli film. I didn't realise in advance that it was based on a true story, which makes certain aspects of the film a bit sadder than I'd previously thought. It's a good film, and I recommend it if you live in a city/country where the film's been released. It's a little anti-Israel, pro-Palestine in some ways, yet it was partially funded by the Israeli Film Council. I liked the ending of the film because it didn't clarify everything, in the way that many Hollywood films are wont to do, but finished with scenes suggesting how the conflict progressed.

A quick update

I'm still alive.

It's been a while since my last post, and a lot of things have happened since then. I was just too busy and/or tired to get around to writing blog entries. At the time, I planned to write the posts and backdate them, so that the posting schedule for May would be accurate, though right now I don't think I can be bothered.

I have photos from all the places I visited in May on my picasa site, so you can follow the link to see the pics if you're interested. Since Ireland, the places were: Copenhagen, Stockholm, Strasbourg, and Mont Saint Michel & Saint Malo. Mostly only good things happened, and I enjoyed all of those places. Of course, not everything went according to plan, the biggest annoyance being camera-related; I left my camera in the seat pocket of the train from Copenhagen to Stockholm. Fortunately, I'd downloaded all the pictures onto my computer the night before, so I didn't lose many photos. I now have a new camera, which is nice, but it was an expensive thing to do. There were other travelling issues, but they all worked out for the best in the end (things like almost being late for a scheduled train departure, etc...).