Monday, November 10, 2008

Lyon weekend=awesomeness, lyon people=cranky dudes

As I sit here on the train, watching the surprisingly beautiful scenery speed by, I realise I really enjoyed spending the weekend with my friends. It just felt a bit like home, and I miss that already. But it’s all the more reason to do it again some time. Next stop Montpellier!! Eventually skiing in Switzerland is planned but I don’t correctly recall…

So I’m on my way back to Switzerland, about 3h away. I actually have to switch trains with a half-hour wait. If I wasn’t so hungry I’d be so annoyed. I mean, it’s about 5 a clock, but considering the impressive lack of proper food (or anything to cook it ON) in Maxime’s apartment you would understand my ill-begotten hunger.

So I will be switching in BelleGarde to a train to Geneva where I have to get a train to Lausanne. And the best, is that I get off at Lausanne CFF and not Allaman. Yup, I changed apartments on the 1st of November. It was a tremendously trying day filled with dastardly difficult dilemmas, choices and the task of carrying all the IKEA life-needs we bought. Thankfully I had my Cousin Patrick’s help.

So let’s see what that was:

-Dark wood desk. Check.

-4 legs for the desk. Check.

-Black BILLY shelves. The big ones. Check. Must say BILLY coz everyone knows ‘em.

-Bed frame. Check.

-Mattress. Check.

-Strange thin planked apparatus. Check.

And don’t let the last object’s apparent simplicity fool you, it’s incredibly hard. Because of the existence of a band in which you must slide each plank. In two words: Pure Torture. 3 hours it took me to decide to just forget about the stupid band. Then I put the mattress on it, and went to bed. The building was tiring.

After having gone back to IKEA to get another shelf, a much needed bin and a pair of lamps, I was back to work, standing on my chair and trying to plug my lamp into the long-unused ceiling cables. After a very effective electric shock, I realized it was on, and continued after having switched it off. A minor mistake, some tired triceps and a bit of maneuvering later, the lamp was set, and I’m awesome.

I still need a few minor additions, and I’ll be all set. Well, after I clean up the mess that is my room at the moment. I hadn’t gotten the time to sort through my stuff peacefully…

Coupled with my laundry lying around because I don’t have a basket for it, my room should be an intriguingly smelling room to come home to.

Oh lovely. I just remembered the truck load of work I still have to do to catch up to my new section. Because yes indeed I am in a new section. Changed to SV at the beginning of the week, and I may be able to cancel my upcoming test because the teacher doesn’t deem it fair to test me on something I’m clearly not ready for. They’re good for that at my school.

I can’t wait to be back in my apartment. I’m rather bored on this train. I want to check my mail because Maxime doesn’t have internet at his apartment. Or a TV. It’s rather like the Stone Age, in more ways than one. Lots of pictures to remember the night though. Good thing too.
Turns out there’s someone else who just changed into the same section as me, and she’s the Wootton’s son’s girlfriend. What a tiny world, this Switzerland place. So at least I’m not the only one. I’m also currently doing cognitive psychology. It’s awesome.

The day they told me I changed, I had a meeting with the chief of the section, who properly explained to me in simple words that I was probably in the wrong section, and it will be very hard. Very uplifting conversation. But apparently it must be his way because he reduced the other person who switched to tears.

So I’m gonna check out where my section is sending me in the future, and to do that I need to check out the masters projects. If I don’t like the road it gives me, then I’ll switch to medical school. I think I’d like to be a doctor. But again, I will need documentation and so will attend a few classes just to know what I may be getting myself into.

For the moment, I have so much to catch up that dealing with my friends from my old section isn’t really taking my time, and I don’t really have to pay much attention, it seems to be working out fine. Even went to a friend in the city’s apartment one night, and went home pretty late, no problems! It’s awesome living in town…

So now I watch a surprising amount of series. Currently, I am watching House, Heroes, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother (these two last are a decent substitute to Friends), Merlin. Smallville is crap. Hotel Babylon is great but gets old. And I’ve got a few movies I can’t be bothered to watch. Dammit I forgot to get some episodes off Maxime.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I hate train stations...

My nose is blocked. It's horrible. I don't even sound normal when i say 'horrible' out loud. But hey, at least now im really sure there actually is a weird smell in the house, coz i can still smell it!!

Anyway, on to the newest news. My brother left today. Twas very sad. So now i hate train stations. I got lost in one, froze my posterior clean off in one, stressed for an hour looking for my brother (who arrived late, in the end..), got robbed in one, and then there's the whole people leaving. Yikh. So now i hate train stations. Except Padington and Pennsylvania, they have Krispy Kream. Mmmmmm.

In other new news, my box has arrived! Uni boy now has LOADS of warm clothing. But the weather is just a bit chilly, some say. Personally, F-F-FREEZING-G is usually what comes to mind. But not anymore :D

School is alright, i am solidly in my section now, gets more interesting as u go in fact. Going to get involved in a few groups and stuff, so i should be well occupied. I'm going to see my uncle tomorrow, should be nice.

Oh, i remember what i wanted to write! There's a Chinese man living in the house. Oh my God he makes so much noise when he eats. Seriously. I actually sat there staring at him for a bit. No joke. It's horrible! So i now pay attention to when everyone (meaning him) eats. His name is Wong by the way. HAHA!! But he's a kind guy, let's me use his soy sauce :P

I went to the supermarket and went crazy too, bought loads of food! I used to buy everything on the day i would eat it, but now i have provisions for a this week. Thinking ahead, something i'm getting used to. No wonder one gets gray hair eventually...

But i think that i wont really be comfortably set in a kitchen until its mine. Which won't be for awhile, seeing as i'm moving into my friend Brigitte's apartment. One of the flatmates is leaving, so i'm takin her place on the 1st of November. No more bus-train-tram ride for me!! And it's a nice apartment, and i made a deal with Brigitte that i would cook and she would clean. It's awesome. Though i may have embellished my culinary gifts to get that deal...

Oh, i broke the lamp...A particularly enthusiastic head bang sent the ceramic lid crashing down. Still doesnt stop me from hitting it though, it was just the lid. I'm on hit number 14 i think, my brother even tried it out!

Ironically, the apartment i will move into, i have already slept in. The couch is quite comfy. I think the right term to use would be 'squatter' as i have already spent two nights on that sofa. But hey, soon it'll be mine :D Can't wait.

Currently cooking now. Just discovered we had a whisk.

I now have Handball on wednesdays, Climbing on thursdays and Salsa dancing on Fridays. And soon i will have certain group meetings on other days. If i can get myself down to one to start with first. Lots to do, lots to set up. I shall be quite busy in the days to come. I hope i always am.

-I've enrolled myself in a driving school, lessons start end of october.
-There's a little doggy staring at me. It's the landlady's. It's freaky. Lucas would enjoy chasing it.
-Really cool parties are on the horizon. Photographic evidence will be taken for later examination and/or remembrance.

I think that's all for now.

I miss many certain people.

I can already here the 'We miss you too!'s and it makes me happy :D

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Getting Lost in Lausanne

I think they should make a movie called 'Lost in Lausanne'. It has too good a ring to it otherwise.

But first things first. This evening, Seb the Uni-student was seen cooking spaghetti in the kitchen. However, I feel like I spent more time cleaning up the mess than eating. Stupid spaghetti overflowed and spilled all over the stove. And seeing as I had to wait for them to cool down (I was also heating up some bolognese sauce) by the end of it I had a layer of dried up stuff on the stove. Lovely...

But I must admit, the spaghetti was good. It may not have started off on the right foot; indeed I did forget to take off the sticker from the bottom of the cooking pot before adding the water and spaghetti, so that was fun to remove, I’ll let you imagine how I did it without removing anything; but hey, it's unusually fun!

So, on to business, Getting Lost in Lausanne:

Today was a great day. Started off with a hot chocolate with a friend in the Uni Bar called Satellite. Then off to 4h of maths, which I found refreshingly easy. And then, DONE. Easily the best day at school of the week. So back to the bar, for a beer this time. Now I usually don’t like beer, but I was introduced to one yesterday that is frankly delicious. Forgot the name though. Played backgammon with a friend, I lost spectacularly 7-0. He had incredible luck, and I had, well, at least I had my beer...

And then off to Lausanne, where I planned to go to different real estate agencies to see if any apartments are available. I think it is important to note that if every town was like Lausanne, obesity just wouldn’t exist. It all goes up and down and up and... I seriously challenge anyone to go to 7 different agencies around Centre Ville Lausanne and not break a sweat. And did I! But with the biggest smile on my face. I got absolutely and utterly lost in the town, but it was so cool. I now have a pretty good idea where the best shops are, and I’ve already spotted good Xmas present shops. I was just so happy to discover everything. I think it was coz the weather today was excellent, I was actually in t-shirt in the street!

So there are a few apartments available, I’ll have to confirm tomorrow.

And because I can't be bothered to link all my thoughts together, here's the random lines again:

-The train ride back is good thinking time.
-The entrance hall to the house smells very strongly of something very strange and very stale. Still haven’t figured out what it is, chalk another one up for the weird landlady.
-The entire kitchenware is actually slightly smaller than normal. It's SO annoying!
-No more pesky tickets for me, I have public transportation monthly subscription. High-Ho!!
-Old Swiss ladies aren't as nice as you'd think.
-Really Old Swiss people in the street or in shops tend to take you for an idiot.
-The municipality hides the shortcuts around town so that people can't find them and have to walk all the way up and down.
-I have hit my head at least 5 times on the low hanging lamp in my room.
-My first week of school is over. Not many left, right?

More Uni antics to come...

I'm in Uni now, how did that happen and how do i make it stop?!

Right, time for a bit of presentation first. This blog is mine, me, for me, by me, and all other 'me' there is. Everything may not sound exactly like me, but I'm not used to writing stuff for everyone to read. I actually got this idea from a friend of mine who does the same thing, and I admit she will probably call me a thief at best, though I’m sure she could find more choice words...

Anyway, I will call this my new method of procrastination, though it does serve the purpose of keeping multiple people up to date when technology fails me and I’m 'out of the coverage area'.

So then, let’s get down to it. I'm in Uni now. EPFL to be precise. And it scares the absolute feces out of me. I didn’t think it would, but hey, I’m usually wrong about things I don’t know, which thankfully aren’t common. Yes, I have been told of my arrogance… So on to this pseudo-journal of the freshman that is Seb.

First day, 15th September 2008:
I somehow managed to step into the school with excitement. With all the intriguing and new prospects open to me in the near future, excitement was understandable. Sadly it gave way to worry as I realised I didn’t know where to go. Luckily, Switzerland is a wonderful country where people are happy to help, and my Uni (only a few days and I’m already fiercely proud of it) is a fine example of such spirit...

-----Just stepped out to get some milk for my cookies. My landlady (it's easier to say than 'the-woman-whose-house-I’m-renting-a-room-in) has strange thought patterns. There's only one mug, but she wanted to be sure there would be enough teacups, so she went and bought five. And the mug has currently been thieved by someone. So yay for useless mini teacups.-----

So 15min late, I get to my first class, and I meet my first symbol of Uni life: l'Amphiteatre. And better yet, a full one. So guess who's sitting on the stairs? But I wasn’t the only one, so it was okay. At least until the teacher said it was a pity there weren’t enough seats for everyone, gesturing towards us. Having 250 pairs of eyes on you is a tad unnerving.

4h of maths later sees me and two girls from my class eating in the cafeteria and soon Elyes, a friend from Dubai meets up with me. From then on, nothing particularly special or entertaining happens. Until night falls, and I’m on my way back home. The error that night, one that I only realised the next day, was that I was looking at arrival timings, instead of the departures. In my defense it wasn’t written in big letters on the billboard. Okay, maybe, but they weren’t REALLY big, like they should be. So as a gift for my ignorance, I spent 2 hours erring in between two far away train stations. Not the best experience, but I was now very much aware of another symbol of Swiss Uni, it's gonna be really, really cold.

Luckily, I was able to catch a train back to Lausanne and get the last room available in the hotel I had stayed in. And back to school I went the next day.

In between then and today, not much else happened. Or at least not much that I can exactly remember.

In no specific order, here's some random info and answers to FAQs:
-I chose Ethics as my Human Science for the trimester. Expect some philosophical thoughts in the future.
-I have 18h of maths per week. I know, I have trouble believing it too.
-My Programming teacher says 'hein' every third word. It's flamboyantly funny.
-Mon prof de SMX (Science des Materiaux) a un accent marseillais. A toi d'imaginer...
-La metrologie, c'est purement nul.
-It takes me a bit less than an hour to get to school. Still scared to get on the wrong train too. Hehe..
-18h of maths...
-Plans for setting fire to the lake are in motion, and money shall be made! Hopefully..
-Sports are on the horizon
-Presumably, I am staying in SMX.
-26% of EPFL students are female.
-Lausanne's bigger than you'd think, but I still managed to find the Fnac!!
-I miss my family terribly, and their help has been incredibly appreciated.
-There are 16 restaurants and places to get food in EPFL. Currently, the best food is in the Architecture building. Lucky bastards…
-I finish at 12h tomorrow!

As a parting note, I’ve gotta say things are getting easier. Pandora's last gift isn’t as useless as I thought it was.