Thursday, February 26, 2009

Settings changed

After that last post, I noticed that blogger still thought I was in Paris, so I've now changed the settings accordingly, which will make the timestamps more logical. I didn't write a post at 4:22am this morning, for example.

Awesome Pillow

I want this pillow. Wouldn't it be nice to wake up to something like this?
(found thanks to slog)

You call that a bakery?

I recently went past a bakery here in Brisbane. I looked at the food available, and it was a little depressing. Some of the items looked edible, but on the whole the window display was just a bit boring. I miss the more colourful displays found in the boulangeries of Paris. Not even a proper baguette within cooee of the place, and don't even try to find brioche (well, not at reasonable prices) or tartes aux framboises, or macarons. Gah!

Aurélie et Rafik, il faut que vous me sauviez. Venez ici toute suite! Je vous exige!

Monday, February 23, 2009

J'ai envie d'un nouveau portable.

My current one is getting old and the battery has seen better days.

Right now, I'm leaning towards the Nokia E66 or perhaps the Nokia 6210 Navigator. I'd like an N85* but I don't really want to spend that much on a phone. I want a phone with GPS, and I'd like one with wifi. I looked at the E71, but I don't really want or need a PDA, and I think the keyboard would be a bit annoying, not to mention small and fiddly.
Do any of my faithful readers have an opinion?
I can't get an iphone because Apple is annoying and I have an allergy to Apple products.

* The N96 looks good too, but I've read some bad reviews about it, especially considering the battery life.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Sir Terry

Everyone's favourite author (well, mine anyway) has recently been knighted.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Au revoir Paris

This is my last day in Paris. I'm not exactly happy about leaving, but on the other extremity, it'll be nice to be back in Brisbane to see people there. I'm not looking forward to the trek to the airport, as it will involve transporting baggage, which is heavy, and I know I'll end up with sore shoulders and arms. I hope my arms don't fall off again (they fell off when I took the big box to the post office last Wednesday).

I've also noticed that my flight time (well, CDG to BNE) is 23 hours, rather than the 25 hours that I initially thought it was. Phew... only 23 hours; that's less than a whole day.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Au revoir, mon appart'.

I have about an hour left in my apartment before I bit it farewell and adieu. It isn't the best apartment in the world, and the furniture isn't brilliant, but the location is fantastic, convenient to most places in Paris, and a lot of the surrounding banlieu, thanks to the efficient metro and RER systems. Then, for a short stint (2 nights to be specific) I'll be SDF (Sans Domicile Fixe, or Of No Fixed Abode) before heading to the airport for a short 25hr flight back to the land down under.

In other news, I think this type of sherrif should exist in reality.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Luggage update

Well, I've packed most of my stuff, and I think it's actually going to fit. Maybe in the end, I was a bit overzealous with my postage. Oh well, I prefer it this way to having too much stuff now.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Spring cleaning

Over the last few days, I've been ruthlessly sorting through everything I own, throwing lots and keeping just what I deem necessary. The reason for this is primarily the lack of space I have in my backpack and I need to either make it fit in my bag, throw it out, or give it away. I'm giving some stuff away, but most of the stuff isn't really all that useful. I've actually been rather stressed lately due to my concerns regarding the amount of stuff and the amount of space in my bag, so each time I throw something out, it's a relief because it means one less item that I have to find room for. It's quite therapeutic. I still think packing my bag will be a challenge, and I might have to become even more ruthless, but I'm beginning to think it's possible.

Trop Bientôt

My arms hurt. I have that pain that comes the day after a particularly strenuous activity.

I closed my bank account today, just another thing that highlights my inevitable departure. Quelle dommage. En fait, je n'aimais pas trop bien cette banque parce que je la trouvais très chere, et beaucoup plus cher que necessaire. J'espère que mon argent arrive où je voulais l'envoyer sans problèmes.

Well, I think I've officially run out of time to do anything significant in France now this time around. There are lots of things I wish I'd done, specifically places that I wanted to visit, but kept putting off for another time or another weekend, and now, il ne me reste qu'un weekend, and I can't spend it travelling around the countryside, malheureusement. I'll definitely have to return one day.

Je sais bien que la France me manquera.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The security never ends...

I've heard a security announcement several times in serveral different métro stations around Paris. The announcement is broadcast first in French, then English, followed by Spanish and includes the phrase, in English; "In the interests of terminal security..." and I can't help but ponder this. It's not really a terminal, is it? There are terminals at airports, but not in métro stations. Even the last station on a line is called the "terminus". Unless the word "terminal" in this announcement is used in the sense of "terminal illness", therefore meaning that the security is going to be with us until the end and there's no solution for it.

Bon voyage, mon colis!

I went to the post office today, finished applying a huge amount of tape to my cardboard box, and handed my box over to La Poste, along with 149.20euro, in order to have it transported from Paris to Brisbane. Apparently it might take up to three weeks. I won't hold my breath. I posted a 13kg package from Poland when I left there, and they told me that it would take about 1 month to arrive in Brisbane. I posted it at the end of February and received it in late June. With any luck, La Poste will be a little more efficient. The package I posted today was a little heavier than the 15kg I expected it be, weighing in at 22.48kg. My arms were certainly sore after carrying it from my apartment to the post office, which is fairly close, thankfully. I also discovered that, at 50cm x 50cm x 50cm, my cube is the largest box that La Poste will accept (the regulations state that the sum of the three dimensions must not exceed 150cm).

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Start off with some advice

If you plan to post a large amount of stuff, in a large carboard box, it's a very good idea to seal the bottom of the box before putting the stuff that you want to post into the box. In my defence, I wasn't sure that everything would fit, so I was testing it out first before I applied the masking tape. Once everything was neatly inside, I didn't want to remove it, which made taping up the bottom rather difficult, as it required ending the contact between the floor and the bottom of the unsealed box. I managed, and it didn't end up like some slapstick comedy with me lifting the box quickly, allowing everything to escape through the bottom, creating some sort of horrid wreckage with, possibly, a wheel or tyre rolling away into the distance. But none of that happened. I very carefully manhandled my box and I believe I have applied a sufficient amount of tape to maintain this position until the post eventually delivers the carton to me in Australia.

In other news, the bag that I want to take on the plane as cabin luggage is approximately 55x38x23cm and the limit is 55x40x20cm. I think it'll be allowed, sa long as I don't fill it too much, as it's a flexible bag. I hope the ruler I printed is accurate, as I didn't have a ruler, so I downloaded one off the internet and printed it out. I looks pretty good, and I actually suspect that its centimetres err on the side of caution if anything, which is promising for my cabin bag.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Just for the record

And so I don't forget and/or misplace the pieces of paper that I've written them on:

Mae fy hofrenfrad yn llawn llyswennod.
Hoverfraftim ağzına kadar ilan bilgisi ile dalu.
GĦandi id-dingi mimli bil-morini.
Moje vznášadlo je plné úhorov.
Mans kuģis uz pūkainā spilvena pilnsar nēģiem.
Мой коробль на воздушной подушке полний угрей.
мiй корабель на повiтряной подушце повен вугрей.

*edited: I should add that I'll send a prize to anyone who can tell me all the languages mentioned above.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Jesus is like an unpaid babysitter.

This is amusing, I like Ricky Gervais.

(Found via the Stranger)

Delicious dinner and crazy nutcase

I met Beth this evening for a walk through Paris before going to Snax Café to meet other friends, and we became rather peckish during the walk, so we decided to grab a bite to eat. We chose a nice, very reasonably priced, Chinese restaurant in the Chatelet/Les Halles area. It was the third time I've eaten food prepared by this particular restaurant, and all three times the food was delicious (the first time was take-away). However, the main reason I'm writing this post isn't to comment on the quality of the food, but on another patron of this establishment.

Beth and I were happily eating and discussing plans for the weekend, including who would and wouldn't be attending a dinner event she is organising, when a woman who was seated near us and dining alone, looked over at me and for no apparent reason said, rather venomously, "There's nothing for you in the Bible, mister!" and then while we were processing what had actually just happened, looked at Beth and said, "There might be something in the Bible for you!". We were a bit shocked because nothing we'd said up until that point warranted any input from other diners, especially input of that kind. Beth was quicker at recovering from the shock than I was and immediately asked the woman what she meant and why she felt the need to speak to us at all, but the woman then pretended to have difficulties understanding English, assuming that Beth and I were English-only people, so we switched to French (Beth's French is better than mine). After switching to French and asking her what the hell was going on, the mad cow refused to answer us. Beth and I then changed our topic of conversation to bashing Christianity in every way we could think of, while trying to add the word "hell" to every sentence. Beth asked me if I'd like more water, but apologised (loudly) for not being able to turn it into wine.

We left the nutcase to her meal and went on our way, though we were tempted to drop some insults in her general direction, but decided it wasn't worth the hassle.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Dia duibh

Tá mé ar mhuin na muice! Conas a tá tú? Cén chaoi a bhfuil tú? Cá a bhfuil tú?
Bhuel, tá Bearla agam agus níl Gaeilge agam. Níl a fhios agam. Agus tá a fhios agam taim Eireannach.
An raibh a fhios agat, nuair a bhí tu óg ni raibh tu buich na rudai a rinne gach duine duit?
(Tá sé liricí)

Cá bhfuil mo phionta?

Dlaczego nie?

Piszę teraz po polsku bo jem krówki i bo chciałbym pisać coś. Kiedy byłem w Gliwicach, Michał mówił że pub "Coś Innego" skonczył. Byłem w ten pubie dużo razy bo Coś Innego był pub nauczyciela angielskiego w Gliwicach. Ja byłem w ten pubie tylko bo miałem kolegów kto chcieli iść tam. Nie lubiłem bardzo atmosfera puba, bo atmosfera nie była bardzo ciekawa.
Teraz, to jest sklep rowary.

I hate it when this happens

While wandering around Paris today with a friend, I had a great idea for a blog post and I wished I had thought to note down a word or two to remind me of it. Blast!
This is why my posts are fewer in number that they would be in an alternate reality where Sean has a better memory for things like this.

Mon français

Je sais que j'ai bien amélioré mon français depuis que je suis arrivé en France, mais, quand même, je voudrais le parler mieux parce que je sais aussi que je fais des erreurs quand je parle, et ça, je n'aime pas. Mais, il y a quelque jours, je me suis rendu compte quelque chose. Je ne me souviens pas quand ça a commencé, mais j'ai arreté de traduire les conversations, et ça me fait très content. Quand on apprends des langues, on commence toujours par traduire, et c'est une grande amélioration quand on arrete de le faire, et je sais que je le fais toujours quand je parle polonais, même quand j'habitais en Pologne.
Bien que je viens de dire que le niveau de mon français n'est pas aussi bon que je voudrais, je suis content maintenant. Quand même, je dois dire que j'ai peur d'oublier cette langue après arriver en Australie.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Mon trajet

I recently found myself on an aeroplane, which is what happens when one decides to fly instead of drive, walk, ride horses etc. in order to transport oneself from one location to another. In this instance, I was flying from Krakow-Balice in Poland to Paris Orly-Sud in France. My flight was scheduled to take off at 20:10 and land at about 22:25. I checked in on time, after arriving at the airport at 19:00 and standing in the check-in queue for quite sometime, only to be informed that the plane had been delayed. By between 2 and 3 hours. This meant that we didn't take off from Krakow until about 22:40 or 22:45 or so, which was about 20minutes after we were supposed to have landed in Paris. We finally landed at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport at 01:00, because Orly-Sud was closed, and so we needed to take a detour in order to land. If the RER B had still been operating, this would have been fine and dandy, but the last RER B train from the airport to Paris leaves the airport at 00:53 on Friday and Saturday nights.
By the time we'd collected out luggage and made it on to the buses outside the airport, it was about 1:35 or so.
The airline provided us with a voucher for a restaurant at Krakow-Balice, and free shuttle buses from CDG airport to Orly or Porte Maillot. I took the bus to Porte Maillot and then got a taxi from there because the metro had stopped and I was tired and it's only 12euro from Porte Maillot to Chatelet. It was after 2am when I arrived at Porte Maillot, and I think I got into my apartment at about 2:30am or so.
The airline was nice and helpful, and I understand that problems happen from time to time - this particular problem was caused by a technical fault in the aircraft which meant we had to wait for another plane to be flown to Krakow - but I was exhausted by the time I got home, and didn't sleep well, so now I feel slightly jetlagged even though it was only a 2-hour flight and I didn't cross any time zones. I left Bielsko-Biala by bus at 3pm, so from the bus station in Bielsko to my apartment, I was travelling for 11 and a half hours.