Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A nice walk in Metz

I love walking, so yesterday I decided to go for a nice walk, under the sun, the weather was nice, fresh air, some wind. In Metz, there's a trail I like to take, starting near my place, taking me around the city centre.

I started walking along the Canal, towards what we call the Plan d'Eau (here the Moselle river is looking like a small lake, surrounded by large lawns and play areas), then along an amateur harbour, continuing towards the old city, a wonderful place indeed! ^^

After that I took a part of a trail called "Circuit des Remparts" (Ramparts Trail) which takes you, as you can guess out of its name, along the old ramparts of the town, walking along the river Moselle or Seille, immersed in nature inside the city. That's really very nice. I ended the Ramparts Trail at the "Porte des Allemands" (Germans Gate) and then to the rail station. It took me about 2 hours, and it everytime I'm walking in my city it reminds me how beautiful it is. Well, that's not something I forget but I'm still amazed, even after 27 years ( I was born and raised in Metz, left and came back a few times since the age of 19).
Here are some pics.

==Greetings from Metz, France==

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Flat hunting is on

So I've just started to look for a flat, as I'm living with my parents right now I'm looking forward to living alone again.

It can be quite hard since I have a low budget and don't want something too small (I'm not neither looking for something too big), but thanksfully in France there are some social aids for unemployed people which will help me a lot.

I visited a first flat on Friday afternoon, but it was way too small, like you put 1 table, 4 chairs and 1 bed and that's it, I don't like to sleep with my head in the fridge (I might exaggerate a bit but you got the idea), but the landlord asked for my budget and will send me a mail if he got something bigger.
Yesterday, I was supposed to visit another flat, on the ad it was written 30m² (so good size), for 310€/month, close to Metz's railstation (so good spot), the appointement was set at 3:30pm, but at 3:45pm still no one, I called the tenant but got directly the voicemail, I'm still waiting for her to call me back to set another appointement...

I do hope I'll find something soon, or maybe will I soon find a job somewhere else! ^^

==Greetings from Metz, France==

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bratislava's Blue Church

All along my travels I've seen many attonishing places and buildings, some of them were unexpected and awesome. Bratislava's Blue Church was one of them.
When I was living in Brno, I went often to the Slovak capital city to get planes, but it's only last november, while I was on my way to a short trip to Brno that I took some time to discover more of Bratislava.

A friend living over there at that time advised me to go and see the blue church. He told me it looked like a big cake and it was quite something, worth seeing.
I had the good idea to follow his advice, got kinda lost on the way (I'm not very good at finding my way anyway), it's a bit out of the very center but very close.

And it was wonderful! If you're in Bratislava or around you should consider going there, it's one of a kind church. I was really amazed by both the outside and the inside. Here you can find some more pics.

Some facts found thanks to Wikipedia:

Its real name is Church of St. Elisabeth (Slovak: Kostol svätej Alžbety, Hungarian: Szent Erzsébet templom), it's a Hungarian Secessionist (Jugendstil) Catholic church located in the eastern part of the Old Town and is consecrated to Elisabeth of Hungary, daughter of Andrew II, who grew up in Bratislava's Castle (pozsonyi vár).

The one-nave church was built in 1907-1908, after the plans of Ödön Lechner. The so-called Hungarian secessionist style forms dominate in the church.
The ground floor of the church is oval. In the foreground there is a 36.8 metre high cylindrical church tower. At first, a cupola was planned, but was never constructed; instead, a barrel vault was built, topped by a hip roof. The roof is covered with glazed bricks with decoration, for the purpose of parting.
The main and side entrances are enclosed with Romanesque double-pillars, which have an Oriental feeling. Pillars are also located near the windows.
The façade was at first painted with light pastel colours. Later the church got its characteristic blue colour. A line of blue tiles and wave-strip encircles the church.

==Greetings from Metz, France==

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Could be a good track...

Back in France and job hunting I'm trying to follow every possible track.
After my experience in dublin, I'm thinking I could search in the video games industry, as translator or localisation tester.
I already applied at Nintendo, Ubisoft and Sega, and Nintendo has just replied to me: they'll soon process with my application. I also wanna have a look at all firms doing translation and localisation testing.
Hope this will work out soon, don't wanna stay unemployed too long...

==Greetings from Metz, France==

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Aaaah, Paris...

I came back from hell Paris yesterday afternoon, back in Metz and job hunting life!

This was quite something, Sunday was nothing special, watched TV, surfed the net. On Monday, I went to my 2 first exams, on lunch break I met my ex flatmate/workmate who was taking the same competitive examination. We were working  and living in the same place in Dublin, and we're trying now to get same job! That was nice to see some familiar face!
The exams went ok, we had a translation French to English, I hate this, when I am talking in English I am thinking in English but when translation, as it's not my mother tongue, it's hard sometimes to get away from French...

As Tuesday a big strike was planned, I decided to book a taxi when coming back to my hotel, I phoned around 15 taxi companies, ruined my credit for nothing! They were either fully booked, or they did not take any bookings on striking days. So I went on-line to see what was the forecast for the suburb train and metros I had to take: there was a few trains planed for the part from hotel to connection station, then the metro I had to take was driving normally. But it was forecast, I would have worried less with a taxi. So I woke up at 6:15am, didn't take my breakfast at the hotel (I thought I'd rather loose €4 than getting late), got a nice guy helping me pulling my huge suitcase to the train station (yep I was travelling with heavy luggage: 1 suitcase of 24kg and one of 11) and another one lifted it in the stairs (there are very few stations with lifts or rolling stairs in Paris), didn't pay any ticket since the doors were open and anyway the counter was closed and the machine didn't accept coins, notes and electron bank card which was all I had. But I was quite worried as you often need a ticket to exit the stations.
So I had a train at 7am, got squizzed in an over packed train, got insulted since I wasn't getting off at each station. But I was in the middle, there was space on the left and on the right, and even if I got off my suitcases would still be in the middle, and sorry I don't lift down and up 35kg of luggage at every station.
When I got off, I could exit with other people who had a ticket, then could buy a metro ticket and ride to the examination place without problems (except the suitcases but as always there are nice people helping me).

So I arrived there at 7:30am, nice, since I was due at 8:45am for my exam... Got time to breakfast at McDonald's, took my exam which went well. I'll get the results on Dec 16th, if I pass I'll have oral examination late February/early March.
After this, I went for lunch. I first waanted to go to MacDonald's and take away since I could hardly see me handling the tray and my suitcases, knowing it'll be full around noon. So, I ended up in a restaurant, I was in the "business park" La Défense, so if you're ever over there I can advise you "Bistrot Romain", it was very nice, better than a fast food since they open the door for you when seeing you with all your crap, I can sit,  eat good food, quite cheap. I paid €20 for a three course meal, very good, the service was excellent.

Then, I headed to the train station to take a train home. I had booked a train leaving at 4pm but it was cancelled so I took the one leaving at 2pm, after 1h30 I was eventually in Metz! But with the strike, the demonstration and the soccer match (France vs Luxemburg), the buses not striking were stucked in traffic jam, so I decided to take a taxi as they could avoid the roads stucked. It was cheap (around €7) so I'll keep this in mind if one day I don't want to go home on foot after a night in town.

So I'm quite happy to be home (I would also be happy to go back to Dublin), now I can enjoy some time with friends and family, start job hunting again, flat hunting might start soon as well.

==Greetings from Metz==

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Quite a trip!

I have to tell you my trip from Dublin to Paris, it's unforgetable!
So, yesterday I went to bed at 8:30pm, but had some trouble sleeping, woke up at 1:30am, and left home at 2am, with 2 suitcases: 1 over 20 kg and 1 around 10kg.

While I was walking, close to aircoach station, on the opposite sidewalk, 2 dogs began barking at me, I had the bad idea to stop here to rest my arms and to switch suitcases, and then I saw the dogs running accross the road towards me, I can tell you I quite panicked and forgot the heavy weight I was pulling and started to run.

Then, I got my bus, got to the airport, with Aer Lingus you can have up to 20 kg of luggage, knowing I was in overweight I booked 3 extra kilos, but I was fearing to be even over 23... and I was 24kg and something, at seeing  this I thought ok I'm gonna ruin myself now, but the girl at the check in desk just gave me my boarding pass! ^^
After that, I wandered in the airport, took my last Burger King breakfast (BK doesn't exist in France) and bought a book, it was cheap and I need to increase my collection of books in English. The fly went ok and that's where the fun is starting!

First the airport (Roissy Charles de Gaule) is very big, so it takes some time to go to the luggage delivery. Then, there was a bunch of people bloking all the space next to an exit, at seeing my face and hearing me sighing, one of the blockers was almost yelling at me, saying I should just say excuse me, I wanted to ask her if she had a brain she could use to realise that coommon sense and politeness would make them leave some space for the other people, but all I could say was: "Fuck off!", in English but I guess she got it! ^^

Then, as the suburb train from airport to Paris city was off, I had to take an over packed bus, stuck between suitcases, for 9€, riding standing up... I thought with tenderness about the aircoach I had in Dublin, "luxury" bus, several stops, confy seats, baggage hold for 8€...

Then, I kinda struggle to find the metro, at my step down metro station I had to connect with suburb train, so I was happy to have rolling stairs to get to the upper floor, so I bought my ticket and then struggled to go through the tiny doors, got some help though! And then I saw there's no train today! Gotta take a bus, but to get on the street there are stairs! Great! Hopefully, some guy helped me out (there are some very nice people, even in Paris ^^ )

So I took my bus, and after on my way to the hotel a guy help me and pulled my big suitcase to the hotel, and I guess he wanted to go my hotel room too, but no! And luckily, at the hotel there's a lift! I'm on the 5th floor so I'm very happy about it!

Now, I'm settled in the hotel, found some restaurants around and will rest, since tomorrow I'll have to use my brain! ^^

==Greetings from Paris==

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A return to Ireland could be likely to happen...

Yesterday, at the end of my last working day, I was talking with my team leader and he told me he had heard good feeback about me, which is always nice to hear.

Then, I went and say goodbye to the Project Manager who was always trying to steal me from Project 1 to work on Projects 2 & 3. He told me he might ask me to come back after my "break" in France if big project is coming... Wow, nice piece of news! ^^ But that's a "if", so I'll of course go on looking for other jobs (I just sent application to be guide in Champagne Cellar...)

Then, out of subject, but the little party at home yesterday was pretty nice. After work, we went to a liquor store, €24 for a bottle of vodka Zubrowka is quite a lot but we were 2 to buy it, and well that's Zubro and in Ireland you can't find a bottle of decent alcohol under €17. Then, the home party was giant pizzas party with beer, wine, cider and vodka (let you guess what I chose to drink ^^)! It's kinda sad I had to wait for my departure time to meet some nice collegues (yeah, we were all gamers yesterday), but who knows, I'll perhaps fly back to Dublin quite soon! ^^

Still out of subject, I'm very unlucky with my stay in Paris, since tomorrow the suburb train going from airport to Paris is not working, so I'll have to take a bus, a metro and a suburb train to go to my hotel, that's gonna be funny with my heavy luggage!

==Greetings from Dublin==

Friday, October 8, 2010

Last working day...

So, I'm about to start my last day at work, I'm both happy & sad, sad to leave a job I like, a city I enjoy and to go back to unemployement, and happy to be able to see my family & friends again and to get the opportunity to take this competitive examination to work for French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

But as one of the project mangers is worried that I forget them and that I get bored at home, he might send me some work... can't get out of this company so easily... ^^

Tonight, little party at home, and on Sunday I'll fly back to France...

==Greetings from Dublin==

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Of course...

Yesterday, I had a look at French news, great news: Big strike on tuesday 12th of October!

That's just the second day of my exam and the day I'm supposed to take a train home... I hate those fucking strikes, just because of lazy bastards who don't wanna work and piss off those who wanna work!

That's gonna be fun & expensive, to be sure to get on time at my exam I'll get a taxi, then I'll have 4h before my train, if it's not canceled... if it is then they'll have to find a solution for me, when I'm paying 50€ for a train ticket, I expect to arrive at destination without spending more... And the funniest thing is that I'll have over 30kg of luggage with me...

What a wonderful welcome home from my country! :s

==Greetings from Dublin==

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Irish joke

It's the story of Shamus, an old Irish guy living in New York. He's often thinking about his green land and wishes he could go back to Ireland someday.

One day, he meets a Leprechaun, so the Leprechaun tells Shamus:

- I can realise one of your wishes, what would it be?

- Oh thank you Mr. Leprechaun, I'm missing green and sheeps from Ireland, I wanna go there.

- Ok Shamus, here it is: 1st class ticket on Aer Lingus New York - Shannon.

- Oh no, answers Shamus, thanks but I can't take the plane, I'm afraid!

- Ok, then here it is, one ticket for a luxury cruise from the USA to Ireland.

- Ah, you know Mr. Leprechaun, I came here on a boat and got sick for weeks. I was more thinking of a bridge over the ocean.

Then, the Leprechaun is thinking: "Oh God, that's gonna be a tricky one and will cost me loads of money" and so says to Shamus:

- Well, I know I should not ask you that, but it's gonna quite hard, so if you'd agree to change your wish that'd be awesome.

So, Shamus starts thinking of another wish and ends telling the Leprechaun:

- Oh you know Mr. Leprechaun, I'm single, you know I'm not very smart...

- Yeah, I know Shamus.

- I'm not very handsome...

- Yeah Shamus, you're right.

- So here's my new wish: I'd like to know what women think!

So the Leprechaun answers Shamus:

- Ok Shamus, how many lanes do you want on your bridge?

==Greetings from Dublin===

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Another step towards France...

This morning, I took another step towards France: I bought my train ticket from Paris to Metz. That's becoming real, I'm leaving Dublin on sunday morning, surely at 7am!

I guess I'll be a little sad to leave, but who knows, maybe they'll call me back! ^^

==Greetings from Dublin==

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The End is coming soon...

On Monday I'm gonna start my last week at work, the project is ending on Thursday and I'll go back to France next week end, after a stop in Paris to take some competitive examinations to work for French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

I pre-booked my train ticket from Paris to Metz yesterday (I still hope they'll ask me to stay at last minute ^^ ), this was my 1st step in preparing my return home, this morning I posted some books to my parents. I think I'll miss Dublin and the job. I hope this time I won't stay too long unemployed.

But I have to see the bright side: 1st I'll be able to see my family and my friends, I'll be able to start again  the theory part of driving license and I keep nicememories from this stay here, in Ireland.

==Greetings from Dublin==