Thursday, September 30, 2004

I've ALMOST been here for a month now

just another week

As I've said before leaving, time is passing me by far to quickly. On the other hand, if it keeps speeding by this fast Hana and Irma will be here soon. Just three more weeks.. less actually.

Anyway, they're coming by for sure, and I sure as hell look forward to it, even though they'll just be here for a few days. Right after that my parents will be coming, another joyfull happening. When will the next batch of people dying to see me be here? Eva & Laura, I'm waiting.

(a guy with the same h&m sweater walks by, good thing I decided on something else today)

I must say that I'd love to be home again, yet I'm also enjoying myself here. My French is "getting better all the time" (- the beatles), which makes working a lot nicer, I can have conversations with my Russian college who doesn't speak English. I also found out that all the receptionists are really nice, even though my direct superior dislikes me standing near the reception desk instead of near the restaurant(even though the restaurant is empty at such times)

You'll be seeing me on internet even more too, as I've bought a 150 hour pass, I won't be imposing any restraints now.

A few days ago I visited rue de Douai, in which the majority of music shops is centered, there were THREE shops which had just basses, and nothing else. Even though they mostly had the usual Warwick's Fender's and Ibanizes, I saw some really rare basses. The following names will mean nothing to most people, but it's my weblog. I saw a Ritter, several Foderas, a Epiphone Jack Cassady(which I also played), a Rob Allen, nogueria's(some french brand.. looked really nice), a really nice collection of music man's, including the bongo's, an amazing amount of vintage fender's(from the 60's even). And quite a lot of other really expensive basses, including very nice looking EUB's.

My bass doesn't get a lot of playing time, just because I have to store it out of my view, also, plugging everything is a menace because of the limited space. My TV would be much more usefull if it'd be up on the wall, instead of on my table, my bass should be up on the wall too I think...

This message is coming to an end now, but first I'd like to share a website with y'all:
take a look, and take care

Monday, September 27, 2004

small post

Just a little post, there isn't a lot to tell. I'm ok, work is oke, I will get the 23rd of October of Mieke.

Irma I recieved your letter, have read it all save for the last part. I got woken by the mail man knocking on the door though, sucked.

I'm thinking of just getting an 100 hour pass to this internet cafe so I'll be able to net for a Euro an Hour, that's not bad. And the crowd here is nice, as I'm close to the sorbonne.

I really have to get my French together though, because I'll probably be promoted to the reception desk when my French is good. Reception desk means nicer work (I like serving, I don't like preparing food and cleaning the kitchen), and better money (every time reception calls a cab for a customer they get 12 Euro, good bussiness, last week there was one guy who got like 60 Euro)

But French is hard.

Saturday, September 25, 2004


When my parents brought me and my stuff here they made some photos, here they are.

that's me in my working clothes back in the Netherlands, at the hotel I also zear this jacket kind of thing, don't know how to call it, and a tie of course.

the corridor outside my room, not really much to see here


me in my room, as viewed from the entrance

me and my mother

and again

MY WINDOW, a bit smallish...

the building's front door

and again, so original

the complete building

the pavement

the entrance to my hotel

me sipping wine

that's all, I've made some photo's myself, but wouldn't know how to upload them without the cable...
They should be coming at the end of october.

As you can see there's not much space, so I'd love for most of you to come by, but it's quite cramped.

I measured it up and if I put the table against the sink an inflatable bed would fit, but it'd be hard :p

Thursday, September 23, 2004

I hate french keyboards

They're killing me, ah well, next year I won't want anything else.

I'm feeling quite good at the moment, even though last night was crazy at work, a group of Dutch(that was nice) came in for dinner at 21.45, normally we close at 22 when there are no clients there, also, there were 7 people, normally we get 4 or 5 in the whole evening. And the bastards gave a tip of one Euro. Ah well, I just had to work an hour longer, no problem, and the hard work was a welcome change from the dull evenings we normally have.

They were kinda nice. Karen would've loved beeing there, it was a group of filmers who were going to shoot for Dutch television at the Paris Motor Plaza or something, they talked most of the night about what kind of camera they were going to use, and Karen would've been interested in the big proffessional camera's they were carrying.

Also, I bought a new mobile, I'm not going to post the number freely on the internet, but just mail if I haven't mailed you the new number.

My parents will be coming by in thez end of october, they hired an appartement... right in the middle of the Marais, THE gay area. But it's said to be just a normal hip area as well, you just have to be wary of any rainbow flags or triangle signs above cafe entrances and not enter those establishments. I look forward to seeing some family.

I really enjoy reading everyone's little posts and mails.(Nienke sla Irma gewoon, ze moet 'm gewoon even doorgeven(als ze hem heeft kunnen ontcijferen))

That's it for today, have a nice week.

Monday, September 20, 2004

ne me quitte pas, dear devout readers

- Jacques Brel

My French still sucks, can't help it. Understanding French might be getting better, ah well patience IS a virtue.

Also, I still need to meet more people, it just seems like a hard thing to do when your completely alone. I do have confidence that it'll be getting better soon. Veronica(a Russian stagiare(sp?)) seems to fancy the idea of having me and her english roommate meet, she made me talk to her on the phone.. ah well.
The primary reason for this neeting would be the fact that I speak English, and the English roommate as well. But I won't be seeing Veronica till Friday, so that's no immediate help.

By the way, if you have the need to send me mail(you know, the kind that you actually have to put in an envelope), e-mail me so I can give you the proper adress(I know I gave my adress to a few of you back home, but that won't quite work for mail) my e-mail is:

This french keyboard honestly is the worst thing ever happening to mankind, seriously, for an @ I have to press control-alt-à
and every numer is shift plus & or " or ( or è or something
furthermore the keys are laid out a bit like querty, but completely screwed.

Actually I don't know what to write, there's nothing out of the extraordinary happening that would be worthwhile to tell. Furthermore I wrote some people a lengthy letter, and I'm rather to lazy to rewrite all of it. By the way, did it finish up in Ten Post Irma?(and did you try to call me last week? shall I get back to you?)

I did get a membership to most of the Paris' library's (but not the largest, Francois Mitterand), I red through Ian McEwan's 370 pages of atonement in two days, definatly something to read. Now, I'm starting in Lord of the Rings in French, I thought it would be easier to read a book I knew well. I'd be lost already if I hadn't read it before.

That's all for now I think, take care!

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

First post in Paris

So... Well... What to say.

It's quite overwhelming to say the least. But let me tell everything in chronological order.

Back in the Netherlands, the last day was closed by a party given by two close friends of mine who will be traveling through Australia en Southern America. It was nice to see most of my friends together for the last time. But the departure was hard, survived it though.

The trip to Paris went smoothly, not much to tell.

My room is owned by great people, they are very friendly and helpfull, I couldn't have found better owners. The room itself is...petit and a bit cramped. I was told it would be 6 m2, luckily it was more like 8 m2. 8 square meter including the following: one bed, one shower cabin, one table, one closet which isn't really much help, and a kitchen(sink, two cooking plates(how do you call them) and a little space for preparing meals.) On the table also resides a television, though I'm thinking about having it taken away; it takes a lot of space. I guess the room is ok, yet the window is a little small for my taste. The walls could use a paint job too, and the toilet should be changed from the prehistoric hole in the ground which it basically is into a modern one, for which you don't need to follow a course in acrobatics, the light doesn't work either(don't go to the toilet at night!).

The work is quite ok, the colleagues are too. I might go into greater detail later, but it's not that exciting.

The hardest part of living in Paris is not knowing anyone beside the hotel staff and the room owners. But I'm hoping this will change coming weeks, I should give it some time. Fortunatly this morning, at my first course french I met a Dutch girl, also completely new in Paris, we agreed that we should get together sometime soon, have to plan around our schedules though.

Paris itself is great, I've already seen a lot, but still there's enough to be seen yet.

Homesickness does respresent itself, fortunatly nothing bad, just a little feeling sometimes. Work is good, it gives me something to do.
At the moment I haven't got a clue to write about, so I'll let it rest for now.


Saturday, September 04, 2004

Last day in the Netherlands

For at least four months I won't be in a Dutch speaking environment. For at least four months I won't see anybody that I've known for more than four months. After those four months I might come back home for just a few weeks.

The first week in Paris will probably be the least fun, I will understand next to nothing, I have to take complete care of my self, and I will be starting a new job. All that sounds exhausting, but... it is adventure, it will be exciting, and I will just have to be flexible about everything.

Some good things though:
- I won't be wasting any time behind my PC doing completely nothing
- I won't be doing nothing for whole days
- ...(out of ideas)

That's it for now.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Almost gone

Time is catching up with me now... Last few days went by too fast. I woke up at 6.30 this morning, first thing in my mind: "What the FUCK am I doing?" (After that I had the strange half dreaming thought that I had to switch my mind into another mode, but I didn't know how... After a minute contemplating this difficult problem I went back to sleep again) Anyhow, in such moments doubt strikes, I was expecting doubt of course, but at this point it's real. It's the same kind of thinking that made me want to go to Paris. Luckily it only comes when my head is filled with thoughts disturbing me in trying to get to sleep, Throughout the day, when my mind reviews what is going to happen I'm filled with excitement and amazement. I'm not the solitary and adventurous character that does these things. When choosing a High School to go to, the fact that one of my best friends was going there played a part in the final decision. If a friend were to go with me I'd be much relieved. But alas, that's not going to happen. And besides, there a at least two people I know in or around Paris, one of them is an au pair in Versailles, the other will be learning something at the Sorbonne I think, how to contact them though is beyond me, I have their numbers nor their e-mail addresses. So if anybody reading this has knowledge of their(Vera V. en Alexander P.) e-mail addresses, let me know.

What will I be doing these last two days, not much. I seem to remember I had a few things to do, but I'm not able recall the specifics. I'll leave those things be. My mother will be a bit stressed and therefore a bit touchy anyway. Aside from these important things I can't extract from my memory I do have a few nice things for these two days. First, Irma will come by this afternoon, although there is no knowing when for me. Second, tomorrow evening there is a goodbye party of two good friends of mine, which I really look out to. After that, things may be as they may be, completely unknown to me.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004


George Orwell worked in Paris as a Plongeur(dishwasher), his book 'Down And Out In Paris And London' is about it. At the time(20's-30's) he was a journalist, and hadn't published a book before, no-one knew him. During his stay in Paris he suddenly found himself penniless, he only had his room(for another month or so) and his personal belongings. That's where the book starts of, anyway after a while he becomes a plongeur(the lowliest job in a hotel or restaurant to be had). A great book. Anyway, the hotel he worked at should be located very close to the hotel I will be working. Is it a sign????
possible signs:
A. You're job will suck, you will have to sell all your clothes and your room will be invested by all kinds of bugs... Oh yeah, don't trust the Russians
B. You're born to be a writer
C. No sign

We'll see what the future planned for me.

On a more down to earth note...
For all those that might come by... I'm actually not allowed to have visitors without notifying the concierge(or whatever she is), so I don't know if it will at all be possible.

Besides, I will be working 43 hours a week, with two days free a week, that's two nine hour days and three eight hour ones. Still, I'd love for most people to come by... Who knows what will be possible.

Paris, what? why? how? when?

In this very first post I will be telling a lot of things most of you already know. This post will be quite similar to the e-mail I sent around about a week ago. Here we go...

In spring this year, while still attending High School(my last year at the 'Praedinius Gymnasium' in Groningen), I was quite conviced about going to University to study Artificial Intelligence. However as the schoolyear was progressing, doubt was born. Should I really head straight into college? A lot of my friends were planning their year long travels around the globe, and this seemed attractive, but I didn't want to go all over the world, I'd prefer exploring another European city or country. It became clear quite quickly that Paris would be the choice. So I started thinking about what to do there. As I didn't fancy the thought of going right off to college anymore, studying in Paris was out of the question, besides, my French isn't nearly near the level it would have to be for such a thing. After some searching about I came into contact with the organization Activity International which helped people with temporarily working abroad. They could arrange work for me in Paris, hotel work. I liked the idea, and the choice was quickly made.

My parents luckily supported the choice(well, not completely when I first told them about the idea, but they got used to it pretty fast quickly) , so what did I have to arrange for it to happen. More than I thought, I needed two references, a CV, and a motivational letter... All in French...
I found two references which were perfectly prepared to write a letter, thanks again Mr. Boonstra and Mr. Hoogenboom. Mr. Boonstra is a teacher at my High School and would have the letter translated by another teacher(thanks Mr. Bouma). Mr. Hoogenboom is a neighbour at whose workplace I did a rather short internship. The translation of this letter was quite a bit harder, I started out trying to do it myself helped by Babelfish and Euroglot, this way I also tried to do my own letters. Of course I realized this wouldn't lead to proper french letters, so a colleague of my father, Mr. Petit, checked them, thanks. After having sent these I had to fill in a few more forms, and a long wait followed.

Then, last week, I received a phone call from Paris, I had a job, quickly after Activity International had a room in Paris for me. That's where things really start. I could start working September the 6th and my room was available from September the 5th. So that's when I will leave Groningen.

About my room... It's 6 square meter, there's a bed and a TV(I hope a closet too), so it's really small, but I won't complain till I see it. The address is 9/11 Rue de la Convention, there's a shared kitchen, toilet and bathroom. If I'm not mistaken my room is on the top floor, so that will be the 6th floor or something like that.

About my work... The hotel is the Holidag Inn Paris-Montparnasse. It's not really big(60 rooms), it has got a restaurant and a conference room. Formally I'm a General Assistant, so I might do just about everything. I was told however that my firstmost care would be the conference room, preparing it and such. Besides that I will probably end up in the Restaurant and Kitchen.

That's all I know for now.

I'm quite excited by the prospect of leaving so soon, I really like Paris, and as a lot of my friends are leaving anyway I don't mind leaving Groningen that much(of course I will miss those friends I will leave behind, don't think I don't mind leaving you). There are a few things frightening me though, mostly the fact that I won't know ANYONE in Paris when I arrive, furthermore, In my opinion my French is so disastrous, I'm afraid I might not learn it quickly enough. At this point I feel like I have to jump out of a safe plane with closed eyes into the threatening open plains of the blue sky, desperately hoping my parachute will unfold and drop me off safely in Paris.

I don't have more to say right now, so this will be the end of my first post.