christmas blues

Posted by Analyse at 3:33 PM

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

This may sound depressive or pathetic or whatever, but I don't feel the spirit of Christmas. it's just around the corner, as everybody says , but it seems that I’m in the middle of a vast space that I just cannot find it - where is it by the way? After 3 years of being away from home, is this what they call homesickness???

I don’t have any Christmas wish. Not that I’m not excited with Christmas gifts, it's just that, I don't think I need anything. I’ve just completed my list but nothing is extraordinary in what I prepared. I’ve got no glittery ideas for the moment, but I guess my in-laws are used to it now – anyway, every year is the same, so what the heck. I just hope they won’t harass me with the famous Filipino cuisine that I never offered to them.

The weather just intensifies this emptiness I feel. I miss the Philippine Christmas weather, that cozy atmosphere that you could find only in the Philippines. Inspite the smelly cheese, the expensive 1ère cru vin de bourgogne (burgundy wine), the long lasting Christmas dinner and eat-all-you-can chocolates, still, nothing compares to home.

Ghost blogger !!

Posted by Analyse at 11:04 AM

Friday, December 17, 2004

I’m quite used to it, on and off the blogger world. The title I’m back is not relevant anymore as I’m always out. So what were the updates?

Internet access.

I finally have it in the office! I have been waiting for it since I started working here. It’s not that I had no right to have it on my computer, it’s just that my boss always forget to make the demand. Oh by the way, the demand is just a simple email - #&%$*@ !!!

My home access is not yet connected – we had to change our phone number, then stop the old contract, send the modem, then renew the contract. No other way to make it simpler!

We’re finally settled.

Everything on place now, the kitchen, the dining room, the living room.. even the toilet! As we are receiving my in-laws this christmas, it’s imperative that we decorate our house. Every French child believes in père-nöel so we have to continue with the tradition!! Last Friday, we bought a real Christmas tree and decided to place it near the chimney, that way, santa will not be tired traversing the whole living room just to reach it. Just as we tried to fit the Christmas tree to the support, frenchguy accidentally cut his index finger, so we rushed to the emergency hospital near our place – our first domestic accident!

Urgences (Emergency)

It was my first time. Never been in a hospital eversince! Just to give you a glimpse of an emergency à la française: we rushed to the hospital right after I put some cotton on his finger (the solution you should not do when you have cuts!), we arrived there around 10pm. After the registration with the blood-imbibed cotton on his finger, we waited 2 long hours before they took charge of him. After a 5-min-long disinfection of a 6-stitches deep wound, he again waited around 30 min before they finally put the bandage! He was finally released at 1am! Yes, France have an urgent need to boost their hospital employees.

2nd Encounter

I don’t know what my belle Peugeot pawis-steering 106 has, but the thieves again tried to steal it! The first tentative was infront of the company (I had no designated parking yet at that time), the second one was last week, just infront of our newly-acquired almost-furnished house! – our first domestic security dilemma!

Christmas package

Not that bad. Each of the employees had a backpack (best for little hikes), a picnic kit complete with utensils, 2 bottles of wine (red and white), a jar of foie gras (duck liver pâté), and a jar of terrine de veau (beef pâté).

Winter Blues

It will be my 3rd winter this year but it still feels like my first time – and this time, a real pain! It’s been over a week now that Dijon is covered with a very dense fog and a temperature which is always lower than 0°C. Since now I’m obliged to take the car everyday, that translates to everyday war with my car! I just broke that little piece of plastic they use to grate off those snows/frost, so my last resort is to pour lukewarm water on my car everyday, anyway, it’s not snow anymore, it’s ice! A pain - and not the best solution of course.

Work tidbits

I thought there will be a rally in our company today. As usual, the workers want an incentive increase. I saw a communiqué late yesterday saying our hourly manufacturing cost is twice higher than the Americans, not talking about our Asian counterparts of course. The question is, how could we compete? Productivity yields and quality – they’re all comparable, the big difference is the cost! Will the français react intelligently on globalization one day and become more competitive?

still at work

Posted by Analyse at 6:16 PM

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

The first time I set foot on the working arena here in France, my first impression was : 'oh, the workers are much older here'

  • Anecdote: the very first product launched in the market from our new Philippine production site (where I worked) was fondly named by the French management as 'made with the virgin hands' - the average age of the workers there was 21yo. (PS: I discovered this from my frenchguy!)

Yesterday, I attended the retirement party of one of our operators and I felt really sad amidst the champagne and the gateau (cake) distributed for the occasion. Among the operators I've worked with, she surely is my favourite. When I confide to her whatever problem I have, be it personal or professional, she always have this to say at the end of the conversation: 'tu sais bien que je t'aime' (you know very well that I like you). That's sufficient enough to reassure me - to know that I'm not alone and I have a mother-figure to depend to.

Laurent always tease me about the fact that most of my closest friends are older than me. Well, in fact, Laurent himself is older than me. And now, he tells everybody that my bestfriend is retiring. Sounds odd nga naman.

Talking about retirement, the subject is a total taboo for me till I arrived here. In the Philippines, as I was surrounded by people of my age, I never even gave it a thought. Nobody in my entourage talks about it. And now that I'm here, surrounded by the retirables, by the stingy French, by people who talks investment, I start to think about it myself.

Here are some helpful tips to plan your retirement à la française (classed by priority):

1. Plan your next vacation stop - better buy a world map so you could organize it intelligently. Farther countries should be considered first while you're younger - European countries when you're older. Of course, unlike when you were still professionally active and physically able, this time, it will be an organized visit.

2. Find a new past time - very important especially when you're not on vacation. Crochet, stamp collection, rock collection, or just the afternoon soap operas could be a good divertissement.

3. Try gardening - you have to grow your own plants to be able to save for your next vacation
4. Learn to be a nanny - your place will be the favourite vacation hideaway of your grandchildren while your children are on vacation themselves.

5. Subscribe - you will discover that crossword puzzles are good stimulators to make your brains work even after retirement. Better subscribe on your favourite magazines.

6. Find a new bestfriend - either a cat or a dog will do. But be warned: it's hard to find a pet nanny during your vacations.

7. Be a 'pétanque' champion - rendez-vous every 3pm at the park with all the other retirees. Of course the conversation will be centered on the last vacation each one had.

Well, well, well.. Doesn't sound bad, does it?