Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Back on the road - and out of my depths - again

I'm again out of the country, this time in Montpellier, France, working with a benchmarking group at IBM's Products and Solutions Support Center. I left Boston on Tuesday evening (the 26th), transferred to another plne in Paris, and arrived in Montpellier at 9AM Wednesday. In spite of flying business class, I arrived fried; the guy in the seat next to me stank (cigarette smoke, B.O. and killer farts...) and snored, and so I got very little sleep.

Getting to IBM's office was painless; hail a cab, point at the address, and arrive 15 minutes later. My badge was activated and I began meeting the people I'll be working with. I managed to hang on until about 1PM. When the rest of the team broke for lunch, I walked to the hotel (Suitehotel Montpellier Antigone), checked-in, and crashed for a few hours. I woke up about 4:30 and spent the next hour or so fiddling with the Wifi service from Orange; it basically works, but I can't get the VPN domain name resolution to work with IBM addresses, which seriously crimps the usefulness.

I eventually gave up and started thinking about dinner. After some Googling, backed by infromation from the Lonely Planet guide, I settled on Tripti Kulai. I walked there, and in the process discovered that this is a very beautiful city. After eating, I wandered my way back to the hotel very indirectly (with the GPS running); the Place de la Comedie area I was in is chock full of restaurants and bars. I won't have trouble finding food. The track is a bit sketchy; there are a lot of seriously narrow urban canyons here, which give the GPS fits.

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I'm trying to learn at least a little French; the waitress at the restaurant seemed very pleased that I made the effort, even if we mostly used English.

This is in some ways more foreign-feeling than Hyderabad; superficially it looks like the U.S (well, a really nice place in the U.S....), but then there's this massive language barrier. Hyderabad was just so obviously bizaare that I didn't expect to be able to manage well.

Sleep. Must get sleep.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jerry.How are you doing? so my guess is that your blog will be regular once again! and how long are you there in France?...