Life in Paris, my universe and potentially everything

Not good…

…more than six weeks without any update. Sorry. There have been quite a few things going on and I guess I’ve just been using whatever time I had to spare for other things than blogging. But here’s at least some info on what I’ve been up to lately: August started with a glorious week of vacation in Spain, in case you have a Facebook account, you can even have a look at some of the pictures I took on that trip. It was a very fun and relaxing week and also the first one in I don’t know how long that I spent completely without an Internet connection. Feels funny at first but detox was a lot easier than I thought – reading a good book and hanging around the pool helped quite a bit.

One bit of big news that reached me in Spain despite the absence of internet is that my company will be closing the Munich offices (that I was supposed to return to by the end of the year) in the near future. This mainly means two things, one: it is true that bad news travel fast and two: that I might have to get more creative regarding my professional future than I thought.

The following week saw the return of two of old friends to Paris, Firas and Christian (who actually is an even lazier blogger than I am), which ended in a remarkable weekend including an unforgettable dinner at Chris & Paola’s place as well as a long night of going out, can’t really say I remember the last time I only returned home around 7 am…

End of August I finally made back to Muc and had another one of the weekends that just passed by awfully quickly, but at least I got the main thing done, and found all the documents for the insurance company who I hope will reimburse me for the stolen motorbike which still is gone and I guess I won’t being seeing again. But at least there’ll be a motorbike fair in Paris, so I might find my next motorbike there…

The world’s an evil place…

almost four weeks and no update, sorry about that – there’s been quite a few things going on, including visits by my brother, a few friends, the 14th of July and a trip to Munich to attend my high school reunion (“15 years later…”), but more on all this the next time, since I’m still not finished packing for my trip to Spain and have to get up to catch a real early flight in just over three hours.

So, back to the title: this week has been the crappiest I had in a long time with a few bad things happening, but the worst was that some f*ckers stole my motorbike sometime last weekend… :’( All I can say is that it really was great fun while it lasted. I miss it.

Fête de la musique

Ok, this is where I left off the last time – right before telling you about the “Fête de la musique” which was on Thursday the 21st of June. For those who are not familiar with the concept: the basic idea is “Music everywhere, i.e. there are plenty of music related events in most French cities and thus Paris in particular – this year it started around 5pm for me, with a band that was playing on the sidewalk of rue du quatre septembre, pretty close to where I work. “Playing” means that they continuously crucified about five classics (e.g. “Stand by me”) for three hours, afte which I finally left the office to meet with friends a little outside Paris.

The concert we were planning on seeing was in Boulogne-Billancourt, just outside the Périphérique, where my friend Suzanne lives, and announced as “Latin-Jazz”. The only catch for me was that while I’m not exactly the biggest fan of Latin music, I simply don’t like Jazz (my apologies to all Jazz fans – I don’t think it’s bad music, but just not made for me…). Lucky for me, the other four (i.e. Suzanne, Paola, Christian and Bart) were just as hungry as I was, and so we decided on having dinner in a restaurant next to the stage instead of standing in front of it – a change of plans I could totally live with… :)

Dinner took long enough for us to not only miss the Latin-Jazz performance but also the following act, a band who were also rather loud than talented, and I guess would call their music hip-hop, the short description we finally agreed on was “Suzanne, it’s official: your banlieue has been pimped”.

Last but not least there was a third band: Zéphyrologie, that we finally actually got to not only hear but also see. Since they actually were quite fun to watch I got one the CDs they sold after the show – and while I must say that the music was better live, the disc still makes up for a great souvenir…

Spock anyone?

No news about my life, universe & everything but quick info/question – you’ll find the “people search engineSpock mentioned on my homepage. Spock has been pretty hyped over the last months, but still is in beta and “invitation only”. I was so lucky as to get an account which usually comes with three invitations, but it looks like I have done something they liked or otherwise won the invitation lottery and recently found myself with quite a few extra invitations.

So long story short: if I know you in some way and you’re interested in having a look inside Spock let me know an I’ll be happy to send an invitation your way…

Time sure flies…

…when you’re having fun and also when you’re just plain busy. So much for the excuse for almost two weeks without any update in here, but there have been plenty of things going on, so here you go:

The weekend before the last saw a very good start since Christian had organized a surprise birthday party for Tina Turner (the 2nd person from the right in the picture below – and yes, that is her real name :) ). A very fun night all in all.

Suzanne, Paola, Astrid, me, Tina and Juan at Tina's surprise party
In case you’re wondering about the drinks in two of the ladies’ hands: the poison of choice for that evening was Pisco sour that we all got to know and love two years ago in Peru.

My friends Anna and Norbert had invited a few friends an me for dinner on their terrace the following day, one day before the elections in here in France. The food was delicious, but since I went there by motorbike I had to leave the wine to the other guys but still enjoyed the ride home afterwards, even though the Champs-Elysées were even more packed than ususal (yes, even 1 am and 2am) since the team bus of the French Rugby Team “Stade français” was there and they had just won the French championship, as I learned from my colleagues two days later.

The following work week was quite the ordinary except for a little mutual getting used to each other between my new somehow-yes-but-in-the-end-not-quite-but-almost boss (it’s complicated…). Anyway – Friday night I was invited to the farewell party of my old boss Antoine, which I think was the first time since I came to France that I was the only German person at a party I went to. On the other hand there were plenty of nice French people and more than enough champagne (about everybody brought a bottle), so I had a lot of fun that night and a remarkable headache the next day. Speaking of which: the next evening Vicky had invited to a dinner at her place with friends of hers and her flat mates, which also turned out to be a very good crowd and since the headache was gone by that time my resolution “no alcohol today” was quickly forgotten about… …and judging from the mix of languages spoken that evening, I really do have to learn more Spanish.

Sunday went by pretty quickly and yet another work week week started, with mainly two remarkable things, on the one hand a visitor from the Munich offces as Laetitia was here for two days and then Tuesday which finally was Antoine’s last day at Pangora before he was off to the US to start his new job. By chance I saw this ad for on the way home:

…and now guess where in the yoo-ess-and-ay Antoine is

As I’m off to bed now: more on last week, e.g. la fête de la musique, will have to wait until sometime the next couple of days…

Colours, finally.

Or colors, for those of you who live rather west than north of here. Anyway I finally got around to adding at least a hint of design to the two main pages, in German and English. In case you have a minute to spare please feel free go have a look and leave a comment to let me know which of the two colo(u)r schemes you like better (though I do of course reserve the right to overrule any of the votes :-P ).

Other than that there has been some partying, a good weekend, plenty of work, and too little sleep over the last few days. That combined with the inevitable after work beers we had tonight since my friend-colleague-boss Harald is in town, is why I’ll just drop into bed now and any further details will have to wait until the weekend, sorry…

Just one more thing, to prevent future accidents: the sorry excuse for a mug on the left in this picture is the standard size for beer glasses in Paris. If you want a serious one, be sure to order a “pint” (and try to pronounce it French):

Back and forth and over there

And once again it has been quite a busy week since the last update, this time busy means a bit of travel (hence the title). First I went to Munich for another long weekend which was quite enjoyable since I got to see some of my friends over there. Other than that I finally got around to installing the DSL line in my Mom’s home and all of a sudden surfing the web has become so much more fun. I really don’t know how we did it back then when ISDN was the fastest you can get. Before flying back to Paris on Monday evening I went to see a doctor (that appointment was the main reason for the whole trip) for a general check up and do now have the official confirmation that I’m in good health, so quite a good weekend, I’d say…

The “over there” was a business trip to Karlsruhe with my colleagues Emilie and Malik, for a day’s worth of meetings with the “new” colleages from Mentasys which turned out to very productive, thanks again the team in Karlsruhe for the warm welcome & great work. A more personal thing I was reminded of when we went out to have drinks yesterday night (this was mandatory after a train ride of almost six hours) was that while I really absolutely love the food here in France there are two small things I really miss, one is having a good selection of decent beers and good bread, but then, there are more than enough things to make up for this when you’re living here. As I found again today one of them certainly is having the quays along the Seine as jogging route – even on an ordinary Wednesday there are plenty of people out and about e.g. taking Salsa lessons or having a picknick on the Pont des Arts and the Eiffel Tower with the sparkling lights in the background. :)

Last week in numbers: 2, 3, 41

Those numbers are all anniversaries that took place since my last blog entry:
2: Paola & Christian’s second wedding anniversary: the two got married two years and one day ago in Lima, Peru (congratulations again!). After the ceremony they invited us to go on a trip and discover at least parts of Peru with them. P&C: thanks to you again, I’m sure I’m not the only one who had the most amazing time.
Paola and Christian in Machu Picchu two days after their wedding
(This by the way is what it looks like if you climb up to Machu Picchu one day after you got married…)
The forty-one goes to my cousin Reinhard – happy birthday! Already one year since I last saw him to celebrate his 40th…
As for the three: this is more about me and the French, I just finished my third year here in Paris.
Guess what...
Three whole years – who would have thought? Certainly not me, when I first came here I was convinced that I’d be going back to Munich after the fourteen months I was supposed to stay here. There has been a lot going on over the last three years, but I just can’t believe how quickly the time went by. Time sure flies when you’re having fun… :)

What a weekend

Well – after almost a week of having the dishwasher I can only say this: worth every cent it cost (ok, it wasn’t my money, but still…). Work has kept my pretty busy during the week, but at least I finally made it to the Ciné-Cité in Bercy again on Friday night and went to see Spiderman 3 (after missing I don’t know how many movies over the last couple of weeks). The movie turned out to be “just what the doctor ordered” for a Friday night, i.e. nothing unheard of but good entertainment and nice special F/X – what more could you ask for?

Saturday I finally got around to have a second go on the replacement of my notebook’s hard drive, and since I was “better tooled” this time it finally worked, I’ll spare you the gory details here, but it was one of those “don’t try this at home things”. The evening saw the first actual going out I’ve done in weeks since I finally mostly got rid of a cold that proved to die a lot harder than I would have liked, but so I followed an invitation by Christian (this one, not that one) to a barbecue and clubbing night on the “péniche” Le Quai, which also came as an excellent reminder that Paris is just a great place to live during Summer.

Speaking of Christian, he managed to be the big news on Sunday: on the way back from Fontainebleau he had an almost accident with his motorbike (thanks to some moron car driver he seems to have overlooked him) but fortunately managed to catch/stabilize the bike by putting a foot down which bought him a partially fractured bone. While that does of course suck, I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I am nothing worse happened to him or Paola who was on the bike with him – I’d rather not think about what all could have happened and can only hope he’ll recover in as little time as possible.

And a completely unrelated topic: my new boss and one of the new colleagues from mentasys are going to visit the offices here tomorrow. I’m really looking forward to this, it should be quite interesting and also provide a few answers to open questions, some of which might also have an influence on the question where I’ll be after my current contract here is terminated (so far it says end of this year – let’s see…).

Oh – and one more thing: some funny crap I just came across. Certainly not everybody’s humor, but even though I haven’t seen 300 IMHO still good for a laugh or two (“This is Cake Town!” :) )


Today it finally happened – after almost three years of abstinence I again live in a place that has a dishwasher, my flatmate Fabiano bought one that got delivered this morning, despite the fact that today is a public holiday in France. Given that the kitchen already was kind of full before, some major rearrangements of the kitchen furniture ensued, nothing that’s really fun, but totally worth it. So obviously I can’t complain about how today started, I got to sleep in and I’m so not going to miss doing the dishes…

The rest of the day will most likely see some serious catching up on my reading list and since I’m feeling saucy I’ll have a second go on the “upgrade my notebook’s hard drive” project, i.e. in case you don’t hear back from me in a while that went very wrong. :-P

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