Monday, October 29, 2007

Teachtaireacht gan ainm.

I'm moving in on Thursday.

I'm considering packing, but the gun laws in this country are conservative to say the least so I'll probably leave it.

Completed my first programming assignment, tedium is not the word.

When I'm not in lectures, tutorials or computer rooms, I'm in the cinema, rollerblading, or when reminded that rollerblades are not permitted in theatres, I'm in the cinema watching a movie. I recommend Mr. Brooks, Ratatouille, Micheal Clayton. Other activities include formulating gags for this blog (I'll let you know how that's going) and listening to the local radio stations. The radio stations play all sorts: New romanticism, electro-pop, heavy metal and of course music.

The french version of Harry Potter 7 was released in a similar style to the real version, with midnight openings, big queues etc. I'm still on chapter 1 eagerly anticipating page 99 (the harlot!)

Well as the unprotected crotch of hope collides with the handle bars of destiny, looks like I'm out of time.

Go n-éirí an bóthar libh, (so you'll be walking up hills for the rest of your lives).

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

On yer bikes...

The Louvain-La-Neuve 24 Hour Cycle is on at the mo. The whole town is packed with revellers, tourists, students and cyclists both professional and amateur. Anyone with something to sell (the students union, the societies) has a novelty bike. Woolly mammoths, cows, Volkswagen vans, pirate ships; pubs, all with a set of bikes inside are doing laps of the town while others are competing to register the most number of laps possible in 24 hours.

Meanwhile for the spectators, every square has a stage with bands etc. performing at different times with a big concert from 6p.m. to 6a.m. The train company have a special ticket so people are coming from all corners. There's a kids' square with balloons, magic etc. and and teenagers square with all the games you'd see in rag week, (tho not in trinity because rag week in trinity has all the entertainment features of the west Clare paint drying championships - repechage). Apparently someone died here last year due to too much of the old biére, so the shops aren't selling any liquids, alcoholic or not. On the other hand all the associations of students from each Belgian area, have bars open with cheap booze.

All the statues/fountains are boarded up so that a) the cyclists don't cycle into them, and so the rest of us don't damage them.

No lectures today/2mo because of the event.

Good times.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A Poem...

Well the loo in the hostel wouldn't flush,
So out to the garden I did rush,
As my bladder was weak,
I had a quick leak:
Well they say scouts 'do it in the bush'.


Sunday, October 21, 2007

I'd like to apologise in advance.

If you ain't got no money ask for more from home,
You say it: If you ain't got no money ask for more from home,

E R A S M U & an S, yeah

E R A S M U & an S.

You're ridin' first class,
Hiding from guards,
Dunno if you'll pass,
The course is so hard,
You're clothes are all stained,
But you can't change,
It's not a Socrates,
It's Erasmus, Erasmus,
'Twas Socrates,
Now its Erasmus, Erasmus,
Not using a toothbrush:
You floss, floss,
The Erasmus,
The Erasmus, Erasmus,
Not using a toothbrush,
So you floss floss.

Food is such an expensive thing,
Best before don't mean a thing.
What's the french for "diarrhoea"?
You can't afford the doctor to see- ugh!
Your diet is kind of lean:
Next week's food is turning green,
Packs of chickpeas,
Tins of beans,
The cockroaches have got fleas.

No BK, or Taco Bell,
No Pizza Hut or McDos- hell!
Not even a Happy Meal,
Wondering which of your livers to sell,
Now your stomach and guts are bollixed,
You're going to try some probiotics
such as "lactobacillus casei-immunitas"(!?)

You're ridin' first class,
Hiding from guards,
Dunno if you'll pass,
The course is so hard,
You're clothes are all stained,
But you can't change,
It's not a Socrates,
It's Erasmus, Erasmus,
'Twas Socrates,
Now its Erasmus, Erasmus,
Not using a toothbrush:
You floss, floss.
The Erasmus,
The Erasmus, Erasmus,
Not using a toothbrush,
So you floss floss.

A clean shirt?
- in your dreams!
Falls a part at the seams!
You reserve nothing for your sole job interview,
"L'aspir-a-teur": You've no clue,
What to do with it.
Got enough money in the bank for a wash OR dry.
Never gonna find enough Euros,
By theft or bank giros,
Can't make your weekly payments,
You're hiding in the basement,
Half a packet full of stones,
Good for calcium for the bones,
Hey if you ain't got no money ask for more from home.

E R A S M U & an S, yeah

E R A S M U & an S

You're ridin' first class,
Hiding from guards,
Dunno if you'll pass,
The course is so hard,
You're clothes are all stained,
But you can't change,
It's not a Socrates,
It's Erasmus, Erasmus,
'Twas Socrates,
Now its Erasmus, Erasmus,
Not using a toothbrush:
You floss, floss.
The Erasmus,
The Erasmus, Erasmus,
Not using a toothbrush,
So you floss floss.

You got problems up to here,
You got people in your ear,
Telling you these "helpful" things,
That you don't wanna know.
Got no money in the bank,
And so your high standards have sank,
(eh, bank it rhymes with "wank",
In case you didn't know.)

Cause you remember yesterday,
When you dreamt about the days,
When you'd get your liberty,
But it's not great you know:
Now your living in a hole,
And this basement is so cold,
You gotta let yo' daddy know,
Go let yo' daddy know.

If you ain't got no money ask for more from home,
That basement is so cold,
If you ain't got no money ask for more from home,
So let yo' daddy know,
If you ain't got no money ask for more from home,
And if he just says "So?"
If you ain't got no money ask for more from home,
Then just become a ho...

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I could murder a brownie, or maybe a beaver, just any sort of uniformed six year old.(c)

Le Grand Place and the streets around it are swarming with scouts n guides of all ages today.

(There's almost as many scouts as there is here.

... almost)

Some sort of treasure hunt, shopping trip/urban jamboree thingie, I dunno. I suppose a student town is a good place to be if u want to avoid looking "intimidating", as I've been told we look when in large groups (3up).

So far I've seen two groups in Walibi Wavre, 1 in Aqualibi, 2 last weekend and 5 this weekend. The Spirit Lives on.

Anyway there seems to be a lot of le craic around. Good times.

Unfortunately Cub Leaders are as ugly here as they are at home.

I think I'll write a letter about it, Cheddar Gorge style. Who's with me?

White water - Rapid!

The water in my room has white bits in it.

Lots and lots of white bits.

I'm told it's just calcium. It scares me, although it is good for "them bones", apparently.

In other news I bought roller blades today. The town is basically pedestrianised and smooth, so why not "go out on a limb"?- that's where the phrase comes from.

I just have to find a way to sort out my dodgy ankle, the bane of my ice-skating past. (Little known fact: I could have speed-skated at the Olympics, but for the lack of training, motivation or any particular skill)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Nothing to do with Sarkozy's Divorce, or Toast.

Oh, good evening.

You must excuse my filthy hands I've just been washing my face.

Today i had a few lectures, nothing major just algorithms and English Linguistics, good times. Then, pimped my laptop with Duke Nukem, Shadow Warrior and some programming tools - no, no not Tivo, tools for computer programming.

You see my laptop wasn't exactly the dog's Balearics to begin with, when it comes to the "Wow!" factor it hit the bulls-eye like a bullet from a... trifle. Having said that, thanks to the use of the hostel's PC, and my USB keys, I've been spending my evening playing Duke Nukem to the sounds of Nob Nation, The Colm & Jim-Jim breakfast show, and a selection of Hist debates from the last few years, including the God debate of last week.

My God, Costigan sounded almost accomplished, he what made UCD IV 2006 very 'interesting' indeed. On that occasion his string of barely coherent prose only in fact contained one (1) degree of celsius between each serving — or 1/6 of a "Kevin Bacon."

Of course I'm no JFK myself when it comes to public speaking, but at least I shy away from those regurgitated dead baby jokes, if not the less-well-known jokes about regurgitated dead babies. Horses for courses, I suppose, which incidentally is a well-known French restaurant.

Other news today included putting Miss G. Wylde, following a request to be Bebo stalked, up as my wallpaper, - on my laptop that is, not my room. That honour is reserved for my bank statement, which according to reports is 'outstanding'.

Today I also used a laundrette for the first time. Wow. Never say "never".. oops I said it twice.

Well, as the lemmings of fate fall off the crumbling cliffs of eternity I notice the hostels common room is about to close, (& that there are 8 hyperlinks in this post) so... buh bye.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

S'aime à s'ité vère oise

Ah the hard slog of daily lectures, you'd miss it. Unless you got a big F.O. gun.

Did I mention the lack of band-aids after my blood donation. I was walking around with a bandage around my elbow, add that to an unfortunate shaving accident I had and i was getting strange looks all day. That said, it probably wasn't a good idea to shave my crotch on the main street.

How did I get here!?

S'aime à s'ité vère oise.
S'aime à s'ité vère oise.
S'aime à s'ité vère oise.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Carlsberg don't do disorientation...

England in a Rugby World Cup Final !?

Sherry/ Curtis going to Worlds!?

Cubs in the cabin without me!!!?????

these being more significant than my tales of donating blood today, (mistranslated "bloodbank" as "bank", then spent hours trying to comprehend "compagnon sexuel"- not the french version: just the juxtaposition of "sexual" with a word like "partner", when "wasteland" or "non-entity" would have sounded more natural)

And so, ladies and germs, as the 4x4 of Destiny on the level crossing of Fate stalls in the path of the speeding freight train of Doom, and the signalman of Time rushes to fetch his camera, I notice I'm out of time.

Monday, October 15, 2007

"I would do anything for Luna Neuve, but I won't do THAT...

registered today, in and out in 5 mins, with a student travel card: free, login details & a provisional student card. My card is provisional, (I'm not, as there's no local SF Cumann) is provisional because it's only a piece of paper until my real card arrives in the post in the hostel.

UCL has a student-web:tcd-local type online sign-in thingie with Squirrell mail which i was able to access. Unfortunately, a successful on-campus PC login has yet to occur so i gotta visit the pc helpdesk. barrells of fun.

Went to the ciné yesterday and saw le version français (VF) of Ratatouille, typicle francophones too lazy to even invent a french word for 'rataouille.'

Also did my first bit of supermarket shopping today, and my pennies are pinched harder then my ass was back in my rugby school days. I could rattle off the comparitve prices of 17 brands of footpowder in terms of fungicide gms per euro but sure the excitement might kill you.


Saturday, October 13, 2007

CHRISt! FOR only eighty euro i'm guaranteed ENTS for the year

You know how it is, a nice young lady approaches you in your first week in college and offers you membership to an exclusive club:

"° Your guaranteed a ride or two most weekends
° The ladies are sure to be wet
° Only those with a strong stomach need apply."

"Ogra Fianna Fail!?" I thought, but no, she was pimping a membership card for a fun Park.

-A fun park I spent the whole day in.

Walibi Belgium, formerly Six Flags Belgium, Formerly Walibi Wavre, the theme park I know so well. I could bore you all with the virtues of this place that has a watercomplex connected to it but I won't, it's late and I have to be outta here in 20 mins. Anyhoo, I'm now a member and I can get you a discount when you come visit.

After the park i went on a few stations and revisited the campsite in DE KLUIS, Sint-Joris-Weert, in the nederlandschischen speaking region. The PVG were there in 01, nothings changed.

Having trouble finding a wireless network, but should be settle when i register on Monday.

I've visited my future apartment, it's kind of pokey with a communal kitchen, 5 mins from my main faculty. I move in on the 1st November, staying in hostel till then.

Timetabling is weird here. Classes start at 8.30 and last 2 hours with 15 min breaks.

Keyboard layout is annoying:

plus numbers are higher caps

just found out theres an ERASMUS party right now, in something called a "Pub";



btw I mean it when I say you're coming over,

btw Jews are especially welcome dans ma chambre.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Planes, Trains and autobuses...

An ordinary private computer science student from the College Historical Society, Aughrim Street Scouts, National Venture Scout Programme Team and Da Northsoide began his year abroad with a 6.25 flight to Charleroi (Brussels South). Now by 6.25 I mean 7.10 and by Brussels south i mean Frankfurt, Germany. Turns out Belgium was under heavy fog so the guys couldn't land the plane. It actually worked out well the best because I was only 4.5 hours away from my actual destination - a new record for R***air.

Anyhoo, queue a walk up to the nice people in the info booth in Frankfurt and the use of my best German. Discovered that the bus to Charleroi would shortly be outside the door, marvelled at the distance between Frankfurt and Brussels on a nearby map and got on the bus. 50 mins later the driver felt it was time to start moving. On the way we crossed the Moselle, and saw the only castle remaining on the river to have survived the war, which was nice, (the castle, not the war).

Despite the fact that UCL told me I could get a direct bus from the airport to the town, I decided to accept the advice of a kind stranger and hopped on the shuttle bus to Charleroi, the town not the cattleshed ("airport"). When we got to Gare Charleroi Sud, I heaved my 3 bags of over 35kg up the steps to platform 5 and it was off to Nivelles with me. In Nivelles i got a suburban train which went north to Brussels and back down to L-l-N.

Having taken several breaks on the way up the stairs on to the main street of L-l-N, I saw it. The best college town in the world ever.

Imagine if you would if Connolly station was placed smack bang in the middle of new square of TCD. Now imagine if only students got the train there, and the next station on was for a theme park. Now imagine if Stephen´s Green shopping centre was also placed in Fellows Square, but had the shops from Dundrum, and a basement bit with a Louvre-esque glass covered sous-terrain. Now imagine if all the main roads around TCD went under it, and every building (apartments, newly relocated Connolly and Stephen's Green SC had underground parking. What you are currently imagining is Louvain-la-Neuve.

After finding the hostel in which i would be staying temporarily, I went for a stroll around the batements. The place was quite noisy as 5 or 6 fraternity/sorority type groups were initiating their new recruits; press-ups, rolling around in beer and food, and generally being shouted at.

Then i went into the aforementioned Shopping centre and found the greatest toy shop ever, better indeed the ones I'd visited in NYC, Oberbeieber, Cologne and Brussels. They've got 6 foot tall Marsupilami's and loads of board games in a strange language called French and the best selection of Top-Trumps I've ever seen.

Nehoo, tis off to the lecture type thingies with me 2mo.