Thursday, August 28, 2008

Crosswalk Art

I was crossing a little street in the 12th when I glanced down and saw the first face. The second face was in another crosswalk perpendicular to the 1st one. I have no idea if the 2 faces mean anything, but it’s kinda neat having “art” somewhere you wouldn’t necessarily think to look for it.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Public Nose Picking

Digging in your nose in public like you’ve got diamonds in your head is DISGUSTING!!! Use a tissue! Or here’s an idea – keep your finger out of your nose until you are alone! An old woman on the bus was digging (not picking, but digging) in her nose continuously. She took out a tissue to blow her nose and then continued her digging WITHOUT THE TISSUE! To top it off, she then pushed the “descendre” button with her booger-digging hand. I was already a germaphobe about public transportation, now I’m a booger-phobe too.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Talk to the Snail

A colleague lent me her copy of Stephen Clarke’s book Talk to the Snail: Ten Commandments for Understanding the French. While it wasn’t laugh out loud funny like his Merde books, it was still an amusing read including commandments such as: Thou shalt be wrong (if you’re not French),Why every Frenchman is ‘Monsieur Right’ and Thou shalt be ill, Getting the best out of the French national drug habit. Anyone who doesn’t like generalizations should stay away from this book. But if you’re coming to France (or are already here) and want a quick explanation of French behavior and customs, this book can save you the pain of having to figure some things out for yourself.

Friday, August 15, 2008

How Ironic

Jean Marie Le Pen, the leader of the FN party has sold the FN headquarters just outside of Paris to a Chinese university. That's right; the former headquarters of France's xenophobic politic party is going to foreigners and not even European foreigners. Looks like the FN decided the non-French aren't so bad after all, at least when they have sufficient funds. Read about here.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Dell Saga Continues

So I called the number supplied by Dell in their email, which stated "Ce numero vous permet de nous joindre pour ce dossier sur une ligne prioritaire." This apparently translates in practice as - this priority line means you will have to wait just as long as usual.

I called the priority line and was put on hold for 5 minutes. When I ended up speaking to someone in the non-warranty department and had to point out that my warranty was still active, I was transferred to the under-warranty line and you guessed it – put on hold. Ironically the hold music was Bobby McFaren's Don't Worry, Be Happy. At long last, when I had the privilege of speaking to a person again I had to give my office telephone number because the guy claimed they had tried to reach me several times without success (despite evidence to the contrary). It's funny that Dell support appears to be the ONLY people who can't reach me on my mobile number. Once again I was put on hold.

At the end of the call the tech had the nerve to ask me if I was satisfied with the service. Uh, let me think about that. NO!! I told him that I was not satisfied because it took too long and was too difficult to resolve the problem. He said that someone would call me back today and we would definitely resolve the problem. Mr Tech Support then added that I had a nice accent in French. Sorry buddy, but that was not the time to try charm me.

So far I've sent 2 emails and have spent about 40 minutes on the phone with Dell (at least 30 minutes of which on hold) and my computer issue still has not been resolved. At this rate, I may need to steal the Brit's idea and send Dell an invoice for my time.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Dell Support SUCKS!

I hate dealing with Dell tech support. First I tried calling the number for people outside of their country. The guy didn't deal with Inspirons and transferred me - I got cut off. Next I called the French number and was immediately put on hold. When I finally talked to someone I explained that I had an Inspiron still under warranty and gave the service tag. He transferred me. The hold message said it was for computers not under warranty and to have your credit card ready. When someone finally came on, I explained that my laptop is still under warranty and gave the service tag again, he looked it up and confirmed that it was still under warranty then transferred me to someone else. I tried to explain the problem to this guy (who doesn't speak English of course) he didn't understand. I tried to explain again and he gave me an email address to send photos of the screen. 15 friggin minutes of being on hold and getting transferred just to get an email address!!!

All of this was over a week ago and I didn’t get a response to my initial email so I sent it again pointing out that it was the second time. Dell responded that they had tried to contact me and I wasn’t reachable. This despite the fact that I don’t have any missed calls or voice mails on my mobile phone (the only number I gave tech support) since sending the email. So now I have to call them again. Every time I have to deal with Dell support in France (I have no idea if it’s any better in other countries) I become more convinced that they take classes in how to give customers the run around in the hopes that we’ll just get fed up and disappear.

Friday, August 8, 2008


A few months ago a friend was going on about how she refused to join Facebook because she didn’t believe in the idea that a social networking site was needed to keep in touch with her friends. However, she didn’t have any issues with business networking sites like LinkedIn (I still don’t really understand that logic).

Well, when I returned from vaca, I had a Facebook link invitation from guess who – yup, this same person. Of course, I couldn’t resist giving her crap about it. After I sent her a note saying I didn’t believe she was the same person who so vehemently resisted joining a while back she updated her status to say “___ has given up on traditional social interactions and set up a Facebook profile as people don't know how to stay in touch the way they used to.” In other words, she finally joined modern society… (Btw her boyfriend as been on Facebook for quite a while.)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Germany photos

Here are a few pics from the trip to Germany....

Friday, August 1, 2008


A man in Canada was beheaded by a fellow Greyhound bus passenger. Read about it here and here.