Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Le move and first impressions

I'm off... I left the region I'd grown to love. I left behind the great friends I've made, promising them I'd visit soon. I will visit soon (especially since half my stuff is still there). A long train ride later, I was here with my bags deposited at my CS host (I would move to a temp house in a day). Here's some thoughts on the whole new place:

- The bisous situation: The number is the same, but we start on a different side. Or maybe we were supposed to start lightly touching the right cheek first anyway and I was doing it all wrong before. In any case, many potentially awkward situations keep arising.

- Weather: I was warned big time about the weather. But rain and cold in May-end/June hit it home. And then I was told that last winter it got down to -20 C. I'm afraid now.

- Crowds: So so empty. Quiet streets. Now, don't get me wrong. There are people on streets and there is traffic too. But I just spent a few years in the Côte d'Azur and left it at a time when we had started to brace ourselves, because the "Tourists are coming". The contrast hits you (same with weather).

- Cars: A nice little surprise is to see how most cars are in good condition. CdA is famous for having shitty old cars in their shitty, scratched, dented state (if you pull your eyes off the fancy new Ferrari that zoomed past). Here, cars are shiny, gleaming and undented. Also, loads more VW and BMWs. So many more BMWs that it is turning into a joke.

- Language: Errr.... lesser chances of being able to survive with just English. In fact, most of my interactions have been in French. I hear very little English being spoken. Sigh.

- Streets: Cleaner streets... but damn, someone needs to look after their dogs. So much dog-poo in some areas. Though on a positive note, this place does not stink.

It's a great city to walk around. It's small and if one has the time (and inclination), one could walk around the whole city and easily see all the sights. I used the bus only for transporting my luggage and the tram when I was running late to meet up with a friend. Otherwise, walking and bicycling are the way to go. This also means that I'll probably postpone my car-buying plans to when I really need it :).

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Moving, Updates etc

I did a little math the other day and realized that this current place is the apartment I've lived longest in... if I discount the one where I grew up in India. Three years and four months of living in a spacious house, close to the beach with cool neighbours who were never bothered by the noise (or whose houses were much too far to be bothered by it).

This realization was triggered by the fact that I'm moving places. I first moved into the big city, closer to some friends and closer to where "stuff keeps happening". Moving out of my comfort zone but into another one with a different set of people. It gave rise to boatloads of stuff that needs to be taken care of - address change, junk control, repacking, souvenir re-evaluation etc.

Following the small move, I got a job... which entailed me making a bigger move further north. The decision to move was finalized pretty quickly. I sorta-kinda figured I would move. But rental contract, visa and other issues came together to have me move within a week of accepting the job offer. Suddenly I had accounts to close, taxes to file, apartments to hunt for, and parties to arrange to say appropriate goodbyes. And the weekend in between was also a tournament weekend for the Touch Rugby I play (we ended up in the second place).

So now, here I am, semi-moved into a new town up north, looking for a decent apartment to move in. I'll post updates here soon - I'm back again in a new town with no friends (and loads of friends online, which means I'll be always tempted to stay home and online and "keep in touch"). I'll try to post shorter and post more frequently. No promises though...