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==

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