Graduation in the South of France; Other Things…

To continue from where I left off last time:

Saturday: We scheduled a visit to the Calanques. The initial party of ‘we’ included 2 of my (now ex-) classmates, and 2 Finnish guys in the new cohort of my Master’s program, and then we met up with a larger group of people later on. I mention the Finnish guys because it was nice to hear that accent again. (And nice to chuckle inwardly.) We went to Marseille first, grabbed a bite to eat, filled up our water bottles, and then began the hike. It was a relaxed hike, because even though we were climbing a mountain, the road to the top was a gradual, sometimes winded, slope. So it was nice. And we got to one of the highest peaks in about 1 hour, where we proceeded to take pictures, and then we started to go back down, this time to the water. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about at this point, it means you did not click the link above. Go back and click.) The descent was fine for the most part, but then when you start getting closer to the bottom, it gets steeper and more dangerous. I was so afraid of falling and ruining my bag and exposed legs, and of getting dirt on myself. I mean, I think that’s the worst that could have happened, as I don’t think I could have rolled and rolled and rolled into the water.That would have been a long roll, and a rocky one, so my clothes/hand would have caught (on) something. That said, on our way out, we did encounter 2 ambulances going down to the water, apparently something bad had happened to someone. It’s quite nice that they have specialized ambulances for this particular type of terrain and in saying that, I hope whoever they came for was okay in the end. Anyway, so we went down to the water. Did I go in? Nope. Still can’t swim. But it was beautiful, and very clear. I sat on a rock and read a book. (And I was astonished, as I saw a girl who proceeded to get completely naked from the waist up, and then, apparently having no intentions of getting into the water, sat and read a book. Like me. But I was wearing a bikini top. So there. Still astonished. Okay, I wasn’t that astonished. Just a voiceless monologue of “Heh. That’s odd”, because this is not something I see everyday.) After we had relaxed a bit and those who wanted to swim had swum, we began the hike back up to level ground. It was as treacherous to get out as it was to get in, but no one fell, so yay.

After we got back to Marseille, (the initial party of) we decided to have dinner at a restaurant near the port. I don’t exactly regret it, but it really wasn’t much to write Mother about. It was also our fault for eating in a tourist area. (The banter was live, though.) I had always wanted to try bouillabaisse, and I had been warned, that bouillabaisse ought to contain *at least* 6 different types of fish, and the real thing is usually expensive, ~€100. But I saw this one on the menu for €16. In fact, it was appetizer + main course + dessert for €16. So I chose the bouillabaisse for my main course. Quite bleh, tbh. So bleh, that I don’t remember the name of the restaurant. No need. And, really, everyone’s main meal was just as bleh, and mine was one of the best tasting. But! The starters and desserts were 👌. I had escargots and garlic sauce as my starter, and <something else which I can’t remember but was really nice, maybe ice cream?> for dessert. During dinner, one of us found a match on Tinder, and proceeded to make plans to meet up briefly. We went to the vieux port after dinner, and waited for him while he chatted with this person, but then he came back to us and said it probably wouldn’t work out, because she was going back to her country on Monday, this was Saturday, he had no intentions of leaving his bed on Sunday – she wanted him to go with her and her friends to the beach -, etc. Ah well.

Has anyone reading this ever heard of Sailfish OS, or the Jolla phone? Well, I saw one. And I want one. For experimental purposes. Sailfish OS is an open source OS which has its roots in MeeGo. MeeGo is an OS which Nokia was developing inhouse, and then ultimately decided to abandon, in favour of adopting Windows OS. And here’s the story of how that happened, if you’re interested in such things. Would MeeGo have been a success if Nokia had stuck with it? I don’t know. I’m not a techie, and I do not know these things. But I think it may have been more interesting. Anyway, so Jolla runs on Sailfish OS. You have access to Android apps, and there’s a cmd terminal. I only handled it for about 5 minutes so I can’t say more. It looks nice, though. (Go Finland!) I might have liked to test the camera but there was no time.

Speaking of cameras, I have recently become mildly obsessed with instant cameras, you know, those ones that print out pictures as soon as you take them? And now I want one. I want one but I cannot get one right now because I don’t have a job to pay for it, and it is more important to pay rent than to pay for a camera. I mean, it would be nice to have both, but whatever. These days, I feel like my life is … never mind. Back to cameras. I like the Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic, and the other cameras in the Fujifilm Instax Mini series. I wish I could have one of those right now, then I would spend my days taking pictures of people and making them happy when I print out the picture to give them, because this way I can forget my sorrows for a damn minute.

That said, I have begun the process of trying to volunteer in places. First as a web master, then as a bartender. Sheesh, bar tending has always fascinated me but I never got the chance. My goodness, if I am ever a bartender, I would be so slow, because I will wash the glasses very thoroughly, ALL THE TIME. None of that mild swishing business I see going on. Goodness. Then I will make sure your drink is not spilling down the side of your glass when I’m handing it to you. I think I may be too finicky to actually be a bartender, perhaps I should stick to being a webmaster, and/or an archivist at the library 😦

Speaking of libraries and related things, I am currently reading Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, and… I have to say it isn’t a very easy book to read. I mean, if you sit and read it in one go, it may be somewhat fine. But that’s not me. I take breaks. I’m still in the first pages though, so maybe it will get better. But I’m not sure about the storyline, even. (I understand it so far, but still…) Also, this has nothing to do with the period in which it was written, as I’ve read older books which did not stump me like this. What does this make me? 😦

I went off on a number of tangents, didn’t I? Sorry. The rest of my French holiday included more winding down than getting up to no good, but I’ll be back to write about it anyway.

Waiiittt. Before I actually leave, there’s this thing called 10q, and there’s a website for it, http://www.doyou10q.com. It’s basically a thing where, every year, you spend 10 days reflecting on the past year and making plans for the next year. It has its origins in a Jewish practice, but anyone can do it. It’s probably one of those used-to-be-exclusive-but-has-now-become-part-of-pop-culture things. I did it last year and it was really nice. Why? Because you answer ‘deep’ questions, one every day, for 10 days. Questions like “Describe an event in the world that has impacted you this year. How? Why?”, etc. Then at the end of 10 days, you get a chance to edit your answers, and then they (the web administrators) lock away your answers. You can’t see them any more, till next year. In exactly one year, the ‘vault’ will be opened, and you can go back and reflect over your answers, and see how much (if at all) you’ve grown, changed, etc. And then you start the process of answering questions again. Rinse. Repeat. Today is Day 7 already, so hurry and create an account if you think it’s interesting. Tick tock.

Whew. I’m done. Sorry for the long read. À tout!

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