This sounds like a silly thing to get a lot of pleasure out of, but walking into a shop and leaving a few minutes later with all the things you wanted is quite an achievement. Well, it is when you have to ask for them all individually and in a language other than your own.
OK, so I’m showing off a little but I’m just pleased with myself. Today I bought a power splitter and two 2.5" laptop hard drives from a computer shop in Sallanche. Not the sort of things that turned up in my GCSE French class back in the early 90’s. Hell, back then a laptop was the result of a bench breaking under the groaning weight of a full-size PC. I don’t think the French even had a word for "computer" until 2003. I do remember not being able to find one in any of the reference texts in the days when I actually had hair.
In fact, I just spoke to Talia on MSN and she tells me her French is limited to "Where is the monkey?" and "The monkey is in the tree". Not exactly useful, but in fairness I don’t know the French for "monkey" or "tree" so she scores points off me in that respect.
While sat in the office last Thursday, I also discovered that I knew how to say "Sorry, I’m the only one in the office right now and my French isn’t very good. Can you call back after midday?" I still have no idea where that came from, but all three people I said it to seemed to understand.
Chamonix is looking lovely again right now, despite the lack of snow. With it being half term it’s busy so all the part-time traders reappear, including the candy-floss man opposite my apartment and the guafrettes (waffle) man who sets up shop outside L’m. He’s there in the late afternoon charging €1 per shot for fresh-made waffles with a delicious caramelly/sugary spread inside. Ideal for the carbs when you’ve just come down from the mountain.
I had a bit of a field trip yesterday, driving over to Belle Plagne, Montchavin and Courchevel. All problems dealt with, everyone happy and I got to hang out with a few of the staff in the evening which was good fun. A shame the pub we went to was so busy it was night on impossible to order food. A good job I still had a sandwich left over from lunch.
The original plan had been to stay over in Courchevel for the night, but I had a lot to get done back in Chamonix (including finishing the hardware build of the new UNIX server humming next to me) so I just drove home at 2am. I was good today – I only did about three hours’ work on my day off…
Plans continue to be put together for the summer and I’ve also been looking at employment possibilities for later on. Hans sent me details of a very interesting looking IT position. Pretty much what I’m doing here (that is, everything) and a similar deal with accommodation, food, travel and so on thrown in. As well as health care and "risk insurance". And I’ve never been to Baghdad before so that’s a bonus.
Er, yeah. A little warmer than it is here and something tells me my mother wouldn’t sleep for the entire time I was working. Still, the agency do cover other places and I have no genuine concern where I work as long as the pay’s very good. I could be posting my CV off this week! It’d certainly make for an interesting blog anyway.
So that’s me up to date. The running joke about lack of pictures will continue for another short while, although I’m looking at putting more up on a gallery hosted on this site. As and when I get the time! I’ve still not sorted out any of the photos since I left Israel, I think. It’s a big task, especially with all the recovered photos from the xD card crash I had. They’re all over the shop filename and date wise – and there are around 700 of them.
Wish me luck and I’ll try to post at least once a week from now on!