I’m in Strasbourg—in France—it’s truly lovely. I’ve been here since last Tuesday after obtaining my French visa in London (which was, strangely, a lot less trouble to get despite the French reputation for bureaucracy). Our office here is right off Place Kléber, the main square of the city. Most “nice” cities have a concentrated area of “niceness” where they show off; Strasbourg seems to have spread the “niceness” all around a wide swath of the city. It’s not a stereotypically touristy European city either (they haven’t dressed it up just to attract foreigners); it’s just a beautiful city because—that’s what it is. I’m greatly looking forward to roaming the streets and exploring further (must get a new digital camera to capture some scenes).
I still have not found a place to stay (it’s been hotels and hospitable colleagues so far). On one hand, I would like to be with French folk to work on language and cultural knowledge; however, on the other, I’m thirty-three, like quiet, go to bed at nine and wake at six, and am very orderly. So, maybe I should take care looking for shared space (for my own and my flatmate’s sanity). Hoping to check on some places very soon, but might be a challenge to find the right situation.
It’s great that the office is within walking or easy public transportation distance from anywhere in the city (no more 50 minute ride to work). One of the things that’s given me pause about working in rural Scotland was the fact that my work is rather out in the middle of nowhere. Plus, I’m very keen on good food selections and everything else in a seriously “nice” city (not that I can really afford much in the posh shops at the moment). I’m already afraid I’m really going to like it here and not want to go back (better start working on my French right away).
Work is enjoyable and challenging at the moment; we are preparing for the European Wind Energy Conference in Marseille next week. I’m making a video presentation that will be presented across three big plasma screens at our display booth there. The most challenging part of that is determining all the technical bits required to patch it all together sensibly. I won’t be able to actually test it out on the display till we set up the day before the conference; so—just a little pressure there.