Semaine 11

Monday: Another compulsory ‘electives’ class week.  This time, it’s crowdsourcing. Look it up if you don’t know what the term means, you might learn a lot if you’re so inclined. It’s my most interesting class yet. By interesting, I mean I went to sleep and woke up with 1.5 business ideas in my head, and that’s the reason people go to school, isn’t it? To be able to think creatively and come up with solutions to the problems of mankind, and all that noble stuff…

Anyway, as always, there’s a report or project to be done, and submitted by Friday. Suffice to say it involves making a compelling video, among other things. I’ve never been a good actress, and I have these facial mannerisms that don’t look good on video. Not that they look good in real life, but watching them on video makes me cringe.

Tuesday: The internet has conspired against us all today, but the class is still interesting. Did I ever mention a course that I have to take, one that is a game, but a graded game? It’s a business game, you and 4 other people are directing a company, and you have to make different decisions (whether to outsource back office operations, or borrow money, etc), and when the results are computed, you see where you stand in terms of profits and share price. Well, as for our own firm, share price has been dropping steadily, for the past 3 quarters. Oh and there’s a report to be written too. Everyone wants a report L.

Wednesday: Time to go to Paris. Train takes 3 hours to arrive in Paris, awfully long. I slept about 2 times during the trip, and of course I also enjoyed the view as best I could. Before I left this morning, I checked the weather forecast for Paris, so I would know how to dress. 10 degrees, okay, not so bad. I dressed appropriately enough. As we were arriving Paris though, I noticed the weather seemed strange, as if it had been raining, but the weather forecast predicted 0% chance of precipitation, so what was going on? Anyway, I got off the train and my teeth started chattering almost immediately. I wondered what the heck was going on, because my body was fully covered, it was just my face that was exposed. And my body wasn’t even feeling cold, I think. Anyway, I decide to get a cup of hot chocolate at the vending machine before I continue my journey. Wahala. I put in money, the machine gave me my change, I selected my drink of choice, but nothing came out. I had to ask for help from a dude getting a chocolate bar beside me, and then he used his own money, and helped me get my drink. I attempted to pay him back but he was having none of it, bless his heart. Oh he’s black like me, he’s from Sudan, he speaks English. Matter of fact, I talked to an average of 10 people in Paris today, 8 of them spoke perfect English. Perfect. Not like in this my town where they all act like the English language is some sort of taboo. I speak a bit of French, and I keep learning more everyday, but in situations where I’m stressed or pressured, all the French I know goes flying out the window, so if I ask for help and you refuse to help because I do not speak your language, well then… bless your heart , dear one.

So I had to take 2 metros to get to the Finnish embassy, so I bought 4 metro tickets, for going and coming. I’m a very silly person, because as it turned out later on, I only needed one for all my journeys! … but I can’t fully be blamed, I’m just beginning to understand how this works. Anyway I got there earlier than my scheduled appointment time, which means I finished earlier too. According to the nice lady who attended to me at the embassy, Finland is cold, but it’s dry, instead of humid like Paris, so 2 degrees might actually feel like 10 degrees. Amen Lord, Amen. I wanted to go right back to take the metro back to Gare de Lyon, but I saw a beautiful building, and decided to go closer to take a picture. While I was there, wondering if I should take a picture and go in the building or just take a picture and leave, a couple with a kid asked me if I knew where the Eiffel tower is. No, I don’t, I don’t live here, sorry. The woman says oh its okay, and goes on to ask where I’m from. She’s from Brazil. While we’re having this conversation, the man is checking his map, and he finally finds the Tower. We can even see the top from where we’re standing, but it’s 50% obscured by fog. Ah well. I look at the time, and decide to make a run for it. Let it be that I too, have seen the Eiffel tower up close, maybe not personal. I ask a policeman for directions, and the way he gives the directions, I think its just really close. Well, to him it might be, because he’s always in a patrol car. For me however, it turns out to be a 20 minute walk along the English Channel on Quai d’Orsay, and I’m walking briskly so I can get back and take my 2 metros to Gare de Lyon, so that I don’t miss my train. Just as I’m about to give up on my quest and turn back, I see it, from the entrance of a museum (no time to actually walk further to the tower itself). I just stand outside and take pictures, and then when I’m done, I decide that I cannot afford another 20 minute walk, and there must be a metro station somewhere close. I know there’s a bus to Gare de Lyon, but I don’t want to take the bus because there might be traffic, and I like the metro anyway :D. Yeah so I find the metro station, and make it to Gare de Lyon with about 30 minutes to spare. The rest of this story is a breeze, another 3 hour journey, I slept, read a little, ate, listened to music… Arrived at my station, took the bus again, and another, and got home. Now I’m exhausted, I need to sleep. Class again tomorrow, I need a break! Well, technically, today was supposed to be a break but seeing as I couldn’t spend it resting because of this trip, I need another.

Did I mention that out of about 10 strangers (no exaggerations) I talked to in Paris today, 8 spoke PERFECT English? Perhaps I shall consider settling here.

Thursday: I’m so neck deep in work, that I’m forgetting minor deadlines. How did things get this complicated? Anyway, as I get to my room and head up, exhausted, I spy a poster inviting me to some sort of event. I usually give these things mere cursory glances, but for some reason, I look at this one, and see it is an invitation to a ‘Nouveau Beaujolais’. A Nouveau Beaujolais is a celebration of new wine, not unlike the Nigerian Ibo New Yam Festival. Basically, the farmers have harvested their grapes and made the wine, but just before they release it to the market for sale, they give people a ‘first taste’. Well, that’s what I went for, and while I’m sitting alone, sipping my wine and crackers (yes, I do have friends, but all of them had engagements, and frankly, I think I needed the solitude…), this fine gentleman comes to my table and asks if I’d like to join him and his friend, and I do. What could it hurt? I’ll be out of here in 45 minutes anyway.  We end up talking business, as it turns out his friend is interested in IT. So much for solitude *face palm*, but it was an interesting conversation (else I’d have excused myself 15 minutes into the conversation). Well, I leave in 45 minutes, because I need to sleep and wake up early, my reports can’t or won’t write themselves :(.

When I get home, I feel funny for a few minutes…apparently my alcohol tolerance is very poor, I suppose this has something to do with the fact that I weigh very little. Or not, because I know a number of skinny people who drink like fishes. Like, you can start out trying to get them drunk for whatever reason, and in a few hours, you will notice that you’re the drunk one, meanwhile they still have all their wits intact. Ah well, c’est la vie. Oh and I only had one glass of wine, so it’s not like I went overboard or anything.

By the way, today, I spotted a Nokia 3310. Unfortunately, the picture I took has the face of the owner in it, and I wouldn’t want to put her face up on a blog, it’s impolite (I think), and seeing as I’m trying to be anonymous and all, well…

Friday: So for my electives class this week, we had to develop a business idea that required funding, and put it on kickstarter.com. If you put something on there, you have to develop a video, as well as a ‘sales’ pitch, as per you have to explain why you need the money. We decided to go with a student share platform. Unfortunately, I cannot put the video on here, but it was a mildly funny one. All the different groups came up with interesting ideas though, and I can say that this class is my most useful so far. No disrespect to the other classes, but you know, till date, I’ve still not used the dy/dx I learnt in high school and university. Oh wait…my programming-disguised-as-MIS class teacher said something about an integral during the last class, but it was just in illustration, I hope. Programming is bad enough, so let’s stick to it, shall we? As much as I like calculus, there’s no point including it in programming, if you don’t want some of us to black out. Please and thanks 😀

I usually look forward to the weekend with so much glee, but this time, all it reminds me of is the work I have to do. That notwithstanding, I am going for a wine tasting in Marseille tomorrow. Can’t hold me down, yo! That said, given the experience I had on Thursday, I will have to take really tiny sips, so that I don’t come home totally useless, borne by my poor friends. Unless they’re tipsy too, then we will all be finished, I think. I hope my parents never stumble on this blog, I plead the 5th in advance.

Cheers to the weekend 😦

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Dunno what building that is, looks military. The Air France building is close by too, but on the other side of the road.

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Dunno what these are either.

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I didn’t enter, didn’t have the time.

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View from across the English Channel, as I was rushing to the metro.

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Saw this in front of the museum near the Eiffel tower. Called Musée du quai Branly.

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My Beaujolais night.

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Awesome cake. Avert your gazes, weight watchers. 😛

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