Merry Christmas

To those who celebrate it, Merry Christmas; to those who don’t, Seasons Greetings/Happy Holidays (and if you don’t have any vacation at this time, well… have a nice day anyway).

I’ve been having exams for the past couple of weeks, and for some reason, for the first time in my life, I had no motivation (or fear, really) to study for my exams. That was odd. I did manage to study though, just not as much as I’d have liked – and I think they all went okay apart from the last one, which everyone found difficult anyway, so it’s not like the difficulty stemmed from the fact that I didn’t study.

This post is already looking quite disjointed, but then I hope you find it a tad enjoyable, if nothing.

After I got back from the Uk in November, I went to Brussels the very next weekend. I had applied and been invited by Careers International to attend a career fair, and accommodation was supposed to be gratis, in Sheraton. Of course I accepted, how could I turn down a free night in Sheraton? The career fair itself was successful, I think. At least I got 2 interviews, and I have a follow-up interview scheduled for January. So that’s good, no?

After the career fair, a couple of people and I decided to explore Brussels for a while before we got on our trains. I had Belgian waffles, and chocolate, and saw a Tintin store (remember him? The Adventures of Tintin?), and the statue of the peeing boy, Manneken Pis (I still don’t know why that thing is so popul…wait. I just googled. Now I know. Apparently he even has a female counterpart too. Tor). I think that was quite a fun experience for me, being that I only had a couple of hours.

After Belgium, I had quite a number of assignment deadlines, and one interview, and I managed to handle them (yay me). Then disaster struck. One, I didn’t get one of the jobs I interviewed for, and I had gotten to the last stage already. Two, another one I interviewed for, was cancelled. As in they cancelled the position. That was sad, but not as devastating as the one I didn’t get. Next, my laptop stopped working. I can say right now that I do not have a functional laptop, but thankfully, I have an e-reader, which is what I used to study for exams. One day I set an alarm before going to bed, because I was supposed to have a meeting in the morning, and a presentation afterwards. The meeting was at 9:00. Guess what time yours truly woke up? 9:08. Why? Because my phone, whose battery was at 85% before I slept, decided to die for no reason during the night, hence the alarm didn’t go off. You know how I said I was going to get a Nexus 5 because I was tired of the stupid phone? Well, in the Netherlands, it costs almost twice the original Google Play Store price. This is because consumption tax here is really high, and I’m guessing that’s also why we don’t have a Play Store for Netherlands. Anyway, I decided to get the Moto G by Motorola/Google. If you follow tech news (I don’t, but it always seems to be around me), you might have heard of the Moto G before, and you’d have seen that it’s new, and the reviews are awesome. Time to get the phone, I placed an order on Expansys NL. They sent me a message asking for verification of stuff, and I responded to the message, and even called several times. No one picked up the phone, no one responded to my email. Well played, Expansys. So I kept looking anyway, and then I found Handtec Uk. They had the model I was looking for, but it was out of stock. I typed in my email address so they’d send me a notification when they finally had it, and the day I saw the ‘in stock’ notification, I placed my order. They asked for verification as well, but they were prompt to respond to my messages and concerns, and my package arrived the day they said it would. Guess what? It was also a lot cheaper than Expansys. LOL. Anyway, so I’ve got a new phone, and I couldn’t be happier. Honestly. The phone is not perfect, of course…to cut costs, they had to make the camera and speakers more than a tad shitty, and the phone came without earphones or a wall charger, just a USB cable. I have never been exposed to such ‘peasantry’ in my history of phone purchases, but it is very excellent value for money anyway, so I can’t even complain. The pictures are decent in optimal/natural light, and you can use HDR for nighttime pictures; also, I’ve still got the earphones that came with my Sony phone, so it’s all good. Now, all that’s left is a new laptop. I want a Macbook Air, or something just as slim. The only ones I’ve seen that fit the bill are made by Samsung, but then I’m not sure how Samsung laptops behave, I mean, that’s not exactly the brand you think of when you want to get a laptop. Ah well..

After my exams ended last week, my friends and I took a road trip to Berlin. We found a really cheap, fully furnished 4 bedroom apartment near the ‘city center’, where ‘cheap’ = 15 Eur a night, per person. There were 5 of us. On our last night there, we had to move to another place, so we found somewhere called Design and Style Hotels, also close to the center. We got 3 rooms for 68 Eur in total, so that’s less than 14 Eur per person. You would think for that price, it would be shitty, but nonono, I dare say my room in that hotel was much, much better than my room in Sheraton. (Maybe I shouldn’t compare, since DaS appears to be really new, and Sheraton is quite old, but) I was very impressed. The customer service was also quite excellent.

Okay my word count has gotten too long. If you managed to make it this far, I’m sorry it was this long. Happy Holidays people!

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