Snapshots of Lutetia – Charles De Gaulle Airport

Departing From CDG Terminal 1

In the past three months I probably have been flying more than in the three years before that. And since I live in Paris now, it was out of the Aéroports de Paris. Once out of Orly, the other flights were all from Charles de Gaulle, also known as Roissy. Especially Terminal one, the seventies sattelite terminal, is worth mentioning. You check in in the main building, that from the outside looks like a stranded UFO, and then have to go to one of the sattelite buildings that look like pinball bumpers, through a long underground passage to board your flight. Although I appreciate the modernity of the time, nowadays the look and feel of T1 are very outdated. But still, it has its old school science fiction charm.

Finally, La Seine

Fall is turning into winter in Paris these days. The teperature is falling to winter coldness, and the trees have shed their leaves. Although I like the summer and warmth it generally brings, one big advantage is that I can fully enjoy the view from my office window at last. The green canopy is gone, and there it is, flowing just in front: La Seine. And of course, far away in the background, the Eiffel Tower stands guard.

Snapshots of Lutetia – Opéra

Recently we went up to the roof terrace of Printemps. Especially at dusk, you have a magnificently romantic view over Paris. And looking around, you can see the rooftops of all the beautiful landmarks of this city. A very close one is of course the Opéra. I really love this building, with all the ornaments and the golden angels on top.

Les Elections Prud’homales

Since I am working on a French contract now, I am targeted by the marketing campaign for the élections prud’homales. At first, I had of course no clue what this was all about. We don’t have such a thing in the Netherlands. So I had to find out what it is about. It appears to be that the Prud’hommes are in fact arbitration tribunals for labour related conflicts. Every five years there are elections, and all with a French contract and that are older than 16 can cast a vote. for as far as I understand, there is an employee part and an employer part of the Prud’hommes. As to be expected in France, most candidates for the employees part come from Les Syndicats, or the unions. Now, personally, I am not very much in favor of unions. I don’t feel that I am represented by their thoughts and ideas. I don’t like the adversarial attitude that they have towards employers, and I especially dislike strikes. I think they are the most worthless means of preassure you can imagine. If you strike, you do not only put preassure on your employer, but also on yourself and your co-workers. Because if your employer loses production for some time, there’s bound to be a loss of revenue, which might endanger the companies profitability and competitiveness. And in the end thus the job of the strikers.
But I’m drifting off. Because of the overpresence of Union people on the election signs, I didn’t feel compelled to cast my vote. Fortunately, I don’t have to. It appears that you are only entitled to vote, when you were working on a French contract in december 2007. I started in June 2008…

Snapshots of Lutetia – La Madeleine

La Madeleine

The building plan of Greek Temples contains some interesting features. One of these is not in the building itself, but in the placement of the route to it. Placed in such a way that the first view is on the diagonal, the two lines of columns make the temple appear twice as big. Especially if the building is built in such a way that perspective is partly neutralised. At least, this is what I learned in an art history class I once took with my m/gl.
Everytime I see the Madeleine, I remember this lesson. This picture is, by the way, taken from the corner of Rue de Sèze.

Snapshots of Lutetia – Winston Churchill at the Petit Palais

Stately statue

Recently, on one of those beautiful days on the treshold from the summer that never was to the fall that is to be, we had a walk along the Seine from Hotel de Ville to the Champs Elysees. When you come from the Seine and turn towards the Rond-Point, just before you reach the Petit Palais, you’re greeted by an impressive statue of Winston Churchill. It was unveiled by Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom in November 1998, this week 10 years ago.

Optimized Commute

After about five months, I have my daily commute finally optimized to near perfection. Some would say like a true Parisian. Every day I walk the shortest route to the metro – to be exact: to the spot on the platform where I know a door will be when the metro stops. And not just any door, but the door that will be positioned in front the platform exit that is closest to the RER platform where I take the next stage of my daily commute.
I stand in the RER and when it reaches the end of stage 2, I exit right in front of one of those little shops on the platform where I can buy my daily 2 croissants ‘et un jus d’orange’ (€3,50). From the RER platform, I walk to the Tramway platform, whilst finishing my two croissants. Between the Tramway stop and my office, I have just enough time to smoke a cigarette.
Behind my desk, I take my laptop and the jus d’orange out of my bag, and start working.