Bounjour from fair Paris!

I am typing on the craziest keyboard I’ve seen yet. The fullstop is a shift-key, the q is where a is and… migods, it’s hard to type.

Apologies for the lack of updates; there hasn’t exactly been a wealth of bloggable stories to put up, and there’s only so many times I can say “went out with friends again in the heart of London,” etc etc.

Anywho, this is much too painful too type for long. Paris is beautiful, and I’ve only been here an hour or two. Much to explore. See ya!


Hamster in Hospital; UK news goes beserk

In case you haven’t heard, Richard ‘Hamster’ Hammond (presenter of Top Gear) is in hospital with a brain injury after a stunt went wrong; what you probably haven’t seen is how beserk the UK news desks have gone over this story. Slow news week, possibly.

the daily column

Training Training Training

(title to be sung to the tune of “Rolling Rolling Rolling”)

The IT training has started in earnest, and it’s… just like being back at uni. Apart from of course the whole business clothes and rareified atmosphere of genuine concentration that many of the other people have. I obviously have much too much time on my hands, which is why I’m here, after all. We’re covering the basics of Unix, and I’m genuinely bored out of my mind. How do these people claim to be graduates of IT programs with zero exposure to operating systems beyond Windows? How do these people hope to work?!

Of course, being a gigantic organisation, we can take these people on our books because they’re hired as “Business Analysts”, where they take the requirements from the users and turn them into a design for an outsourced (or ‘smartsourced’, as my team is) programming team. However, for the project that we will be doing in the next month or so, I need to have more coders around me because fundamentally IT in the app-dev world comes down to some actual development. These people take a dim view of working at the code face, and from my perspective, that’s not the right perspective to have; you simply don’t understand the scale of the job if you’ve never done it hands-on.

Outside of the daily-grind training, I’m having about the most fun I’ve had in my life. I’ve got money to spend, I’m in a faraway location, and I have little responsibilities after 5 pm. No dinner to cook, no bathroom to clean, no anything really to take care of – should I choose to go home, I’d just be sitting in front of the TV spacing out… So what’s a guy to do? Well, to put it gently, my liver’s taken a hammering over the last week or so. But hey! That’s the European atmosphere for ya (“Water with dinner? Surely you mean beir, ja?” Ah, I love Germans when they’re drunk).

For anyone that missed it, my trip to Amsterdam was alright… if anything, overrated by everyone who’s told me to go there. I suppose I would enjoy it more had I gone with close friends, but from my experience of travel, if you can’t enjoy it alone then enjoying it with friends could just as easily have been acheived elsewhere. Much more to see and do yet, though, so hopefully I’ll get a better experience out of my later travels.


Daring Fireball on the new iPods

John Gruber’s take on the new iPods: He says iPods are like DVD players, and we can’t expect firmware improvements to back-port features (the important one being search), but that completely contradicts the rest of the back-ported features.

asides travel

Snap review of Amsterdam

A snap review of Amsterdam: most overrated city/experience bar none.


End of Week 2

Week 2 of London has (nearly) ended with a test on the last week’s worth of study on financial markets…

Well, that was easy. 20 minutes to do a 2 hour exam? That’s outdone even the easiest at uni! I love multi choice exams.

Financial markets is surprisingly easier than I initially assumed. While I’d be far from confident in saying I know everything, I know enough to know what kind of job the guys on the front end of the bank do, and what pays my salary. (I’ve also got a minor appreciation for the fact that it could easily be almost eliminated by computers, which could be a scary thought for some :P) If you want to get into finance, and you can take the long hours… do it! As long as you don’t have to deal with the tedious accounting details anyway.

London’s been good weather overall – warm enough to not wear a jumper or otherwise. If anything, getting on the “tube” is like getting on a moving sauna: not a pleasant experience at 8 o’clock in the morning if you’ve got to turn up to work later. I like the interconnectivity of the tube, and now I can really appreciate why Sydney doesn’t have a system like this – its built up area just isn’t big enough. Something like Melbourne’s trams is probably most convenient.

As you can probably tell, I’m settling into something of a groove, and it’s a not-unpleasant one. Something of the lifestyle I missed at uni is here, and now I have the funds to pay for it. However… I’ve been sideswiped by a big ol’ batch of homesickness, or something along those lines – when I’m normally travelling, it’s constantly changing, but when you think “Well, I’ll be doing this for another… 8 weeks…”, there’s a little sense of “well, bugger.” It’s similar enough that I’m not uncomfortable, but it’s different enough that I do yearn a little for the simple things I can appreciate at home (like the taste of water, say). It’s just this thing, y’know?

A quick report on the 21st last weekend: went to a pub with the aussie grads, and then to Brick Lane, which is packed with Indian restaurants, and got right royally drunk thoughout the night, though sober enough to stay coherent and remember it the next morning, not to mention not regretting it. Then… proceeded to go out the night after.. and the night after… oh and the days in between. So I’m carrying a little sleep debt i consistently fail to make up every night.

Had a batch of late jetlag last night, in fact, which means I’ll be half coherent tonight – I’m already surviving on the back of 2 Red Bulls – when we have our first all-in open-bar event (promises to be fun). And then Amsterdam tomorrow morning! And I got paid overnight!

Ah, truly, c’est la vie~

asides travel


First Photos from London are uploaded! Go check em out :)

the daily column

two one

This is supposed to be “the big one”… but stuffed if I know why. 15, 18, 20, they felt big. This one…?

Well, I’m in London. I’m on an expenses-paid trip. It’s 5 o’clock. I have some great friends who want to take me out. It’s about as big as it will ever get, I’d suspect, and there’s more promised when I return.

It’s supposed to be big, but it doesn’t seem to be.

No regrets though! Smile & Enjoy!

(i could make my souvineers bill much cheaper by just bringing stuff for those who actually remembered, were I to be vindictive like that :P)


London Calling

After a day of moving through the slow jelly air of jet lag, and oppressed by the flat, grey, dreary, windy, drizzly skies of London (there’s a reason why Melbourne’s weather is compared to London’s; it’s quite clear to me now)… I woke this morning semi-refreshed and ready to go… sort of. It wasn’t looking too promising today either, so I got myself a local number (+44 7804 952218) So I did the big tourist thing today, and checked out London… and it’s one big ol’ city.

Impression A: Old

Impression B: Big

Impression C: Rich-looking

Impression D: Lively (but only during the day, really)

Impression E: filled with gold-tipped monuments.

Impression F: expensive *winces*

… And that’s just from riding around on a tourist bus and a little bit of walking. I’d cover more, but my time is running out.

(p.s. I’ll get photos up when I find a ‘net cafe that lets me connect USB sticks, or perhaps at the in-class training when that starts in a week or so).



Free internet at the airport!

gawds, can’t believe I’ve actually got booked on this flight and everything…

I’m actually going!! XD

much love to all my peeps who wished me well. I’ve got a list of addresses as long as my arm to send postcards to, but I figure in 8 weeks I’ll manage something!

Money change is such a rip off…

Anywho, teh excitement! boarding call!