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[fr] Rentrée. Choses familières.

  • two cats, both happy to see me
  • a snack of crispy bread, cheese, and spanish ham
  • familiar things
  • a hot bath, “unlimited” hot water
  • the winter air smells nice and fresh
  • my luggage is unpacked
  • a couple of pansies I planted this autumn are still flowering
  • my indoor plants all survived
  • I have a valid British passport again
  • no dust, no noise
  • a stable internet connection
  • drinking tap water
  • my bed

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Scattered Lisbon Travel Notes [en]

[fr] Quelques notes en vrac au sujet de Lisbonne. Résumé: ça se passe très bien.

This post will be updated on-the-go. Come back.

– Big city. Really big. Jorge, my kind host, says 3 mio inhabitants. If my memory is correct, that’s roughly three times as big as Zürich, the largest Swiss city, and a half of Switzerland’s total population. I had no clue. IIRC Pune had 3 mio inhabitants [when I lived there](/logbook/).
– Praça do Principe Real: very nice and calm square. Lots of benches to sit down, and even tables!
– Stairs. More stairs. Hills! Lausanne doesn’t even come close.
– Red and green lampposts.
– People queue for the bus, “UK-style”.
– Beggars, some maimed. I’ve seen lots of beggars in India of course, but maybe they just came in as a bundle with the rest of the culture shock, which is why I never had the feeling I had been particularly stricken by the amount of people begging. Here, I am. People sleeping on doorsteps.
– Hot. Summer-hot. “Where’s the shade” and “can’t we just live naked” kind of hot.
– Colourful. Day and night.
– Two classes of kindergarten kids. One with yellow hats, the other with blue hats.
– Mad drivers. Not the Indian kind. You can’t just jump in the middle of the road and expect them to swerve around you or slow down. You can’t start walking on pedestrian crossings like in Switzerland, secure in the knowledge that you have right of way. I regularly find myself hoping that the driver headed right for me doesn’t consider me expendable.
– Healthy helpings in restaurants for the moment.
– Nice supper last night at the Granja Velha, Rua dos Douradores 200 (Baixa).
– Nice “nouvelle cuisine” style lunch at Porco Preto, just off Praça das Flores. Complete with warm cheese and strawberry jam.
– My next digital camera will have integrated GPS-based geotagging.
– Mir. de S. Catarina has a nice view. Unfortunately it seems to be the haunt of a bunch of guys who try to strike up conversations with tourists. I realised that I’m pretty good at playing deaf, or at pretending that I don’t understand English (or French, for that matter). I just tell myself I only understand Hindi 🙂
– Seriously thinking about not over-doing it, hence this little expedition back to my “couch” before I head out again at the end of the afternoon. It’s too hot outside, and I also need to take a break from new things, or I’ll overdose. I’m also here to relax, and I think I’ll enjoy it more if I don’t spend my whole time walking through the town and playing tourist.
– [More photos on Flickr.](http://flickr.com/photos/bunny/sets/72157594300268379/)
– The flight of stairs to my host’s appartment just keeps getting longer and longer each time I go up.
– Weird magic locks (turn three times to the left, once to the right, jiggle the key, do a little dance and the door will open). Well, not quite, but it did take me 10 minutes and a phone call to get in.
– Lots of francophone tourists.

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First Impressions of LIFT'06 [en]

[fr] Premières impressions de LIFT'06.

Venue: not too much trouble finding it, that was nice. [Laurent himself](http://ballpark.ch/blog/) at the ticket desk, that was nice too. [Robert Scoble](http://scobleizer.wordpress.com/) looks younger than I expected (I’m [sitting right in front of him](http:[email protected]/94458716/ “Robert Scoble’s view of the stage.”), didn’t do it on purpose, promise!).

In Line for LIFT'06

Missing in the conference room:

– water (no drinks allowed apart from water, and all I have in my bag is orange juice, and I’m really thirsty) Update: thanks to [David Galipeau](http://galipeau.blogspot.com/), I’ve found the water fountains now.
– more power strips (yeah, I know)

Missing online (update)

– backchannel? (I’m sitting in #lift06 on chat.freenode.net, just in case)
– live audio?
– people using Bonjour/Rendez-Vous… (I’ve opened and announced a document for [collaborative note-taking in SubEthaEdit](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2004/07/08/taking-collaborative-notes-at-blogtalk/)… just in case, feel free to join if you’re at the conference).

I have a huge problem: I totally suck at understanding non-native speakers talking in English (particularly francophones). Isn’t that amazing, given I’m a francophone myself?

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