Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Days like these...

When I woke up this morning I had this strange feeling that something crucial was missing in my life.

I am currently reading a French novel by Guillaume Musso and there is this discussion between a psy and a girl (who happens to be his own daughter, but he is unaware) and they both say that they are not completely happy because something essential is missing... I had that same feeling prior to reading these few sentences while taking my breakfast.

I am now 31 and lots of uncertainty is still awaiting me. But today I really realized that I am not fully satisfied yet. My career is still not at the level I want it to be but most importantly my private life is far from it. I have now reached a point where I am fully ready to settle down with someone and build a family. I believe that this is what is really missing in my life right now.

Lately I have had an active social life, renewing contacts with some friends in Nyon/Geneva that I now see regularly, but I still have not met that person I am looking for. In the last month I met with 3 girls, we had a drink and then I realized that I did not want to go further with them. None of them met my very severe criteria list which is becoming less severe every other day. But still, what is the point of being with someone if you cannot have serious discussions about what is going on in the world, any politics or economics events or about a nice bottle of wine, or about a book etc.

So the question is where can I meet this kind of person who will have a certain level of education, a certain mutual vision and understanding ?? What can I do to get this chance ?

One says that you generally meet someone through your network, shall it be work colleagues or friends, and I have kind of spreaded the word around me that for me to stay in Switzerland I would need to find that match... How long am I ready to wait ?

I feel everyday an increasing need and some days I feel kind of scared that maybe there is no one for me. Some other days I feel that in this world there must thousands of girls with whom I would feel well. Which is surely the case. But where are they ? Do I know this person already ?

Well, there are days like these where I have thousand of questions going on in my mind...

Tomorrow will probably be a better day...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I love my new sofa !

So I finally received my sofa... it only took 3 months instead of the original 2.5 weeks !  But anyway, now the sofa is there and I love it ! It just looks great in my flat.

And guess what... I did my real French last week as I went negotiating with the shop and told them that it was unacceptable that it took so long.  The great thing is that they refunded 10% of the sofa.  

So yesterday, it was a great experience when I was in the shop.  I bought some funky stickers to put on my wall and, because they owed me more money than I had to pay, when I was at the cashier they actually gave me money back !  It is just great to do shopping and receive money instead of paying myself !

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

2007-2008 meme combat...

In January 2007, l'Abbe Pierre died... In October 2008 it is the turn of Soeur Emmanuelle... Meme combat et deux annees qui marqueront a jamais ! 2 angels left...

Monday, October 20, 2008


Yesterday I went next to Dijon where Alex, one of my colleagues at Medtronic, was doing some testings for his racing GT3. We spent an amazing day there and I had the chance to drive with him on the track ! And for those who know me quite well, they know that I love speed and nice cars... So it was just great.

Rock and Roll !!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The magic of Skype...

Yesterday evening, Sam called me on skype... we started to discuss and then spoke about Luca, my former american flatmate from Barcelona, who was also on Skype. At that point we just wondered whether it would be possible to organize a conference and let him join.
And guess what, Skype is just magic, we were able to have a conference the 3 of us, while being in different parts of Europe ! I was in Nyon, Sam in Zurich and Luca in Aberdeen. Surprisingly as well, the quality of the sound was amazing ! I love Skype conferences !! Great way to speak with my IESE friends around the world.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sh.... I missed it....

Damn it... I wanted to buy some shares on Monday because I thought it would have been a great deal after the tanking of last week. Guess what, since I do not have my new account yet for trading myself, I could not do so, and now the market is already going up at a rapid pace. So all in all, I missed it... I missed an opportunity to make 10% in 1 day. Well, if I get my account early next week, I might still be able to find a few good shares. Hopefully there would be a significant return within 2 years.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

116 km in the last 3 months

wow.... I just saw that I ran 116km in the last 4 months... and still I feel that I will not be ready to run my marathon !

Starting to feel at home and getting involved in Bus Dev...

So the latest news of my life...

After weeks of wondering what curtains to buy, I finally made my choice this saturday. I went to Ikea with Alex and bought them. Then we installed them in my kitchen.  I also bought a picture of the eiffel tower, black and white, of 2 meters by 1.4 meters.  So the flat is taking shape now.  And seeing that on top of this I finally received my tv, I start to now feel at home.  However, I am still waiting for my sofa ! Then it will really start to feel like my own flat !

Also, job wise, there have been a few developments.  I am now officially project lead on one of the activities that the Bus Dev team is working on.  This is good news to me as this will bring diversity into my work life !  And also allow me to learn a lot about the industry.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Just a small pic...

Just because it is rare to find a cellar like nowadays...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Simple macro-economics... or even micro.

I hear here and there many people who do not understand why the rent prices are not going down right now while the prices of houses on sale are going down... Couple of points can explain this very easily.

First, there are less people buying houses. On top of a bad economic situation, banks are less likely to lend money now to people who want to buy (I am talking about the banks who are still existing!). So more houses on sale (but not necessarily more supply because some people will have the house on sale sign but will prefer to wait until prices are back up before actually selling the house), so let us consider that the supply is actually almost stable.

Meaning that the prices are actually artificially going down, it is only the price that is written on the house (not the one realized = we are talking about intention of selling). There is actually less demand (because people cannot buy if they cannot borrow) for stable supply (remember the X graph studied in macro), so all in all price are slightly going down for people who can afford buying (not all who want to buy can actually do so). Not sure if that is clear for everyone...

Anyway, second big point... because people cannot buy, they actually tend to rent houses. This means that there are more people willing to rent now than a year ago. Increase in demand and supply more or less stable (some houses for sale might be converted into houses for rent in some area) lead to prices of rent actually being stable or going up (depending on local market pool).

Well that's it for simple micro-macro...

Anne Roumanoff, a French comic, said on TV this weekend (comments in brackets are mine):
Prices of houses are going down, more people want to buy but they cannot buy because banks are not lending money (ie less demand). They are not lending money because the houses they have as bank guarantee (because they had lent too much money in the past (=sub-prime)) cannot be sold because prices are too low and they prefer to wait...

This also explains why some banks and financial institutions are going bankrupt... they cannot sell the houses they had on guarantee. While the person who borrowed cannot pay back... meaning that the financial institution does not get its money back, neither from the former owner of the house nor from the proceeds of the house. That means that we are screwed! All this because of these institutions who lent money to people who could not afford it... followed by the collapse of the house market bubble in the US...

Finally made my choice on the TV...

It will be a Samsung ! 40A656... with some nice crystal gloss effect on the side of the screen. It will look good in my empty flat. Now need to order my TV rack !

Thursday, October 2, 2008

La Madone

La Madone... She is protecting the winegrowers in our village.

Almost perfect...

Almost perfect work...

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

This is called swiss service...

One month ago I ordered a sofa at Interio... I picked the brown one because it was supposed to arrive within 2.5 weeks, whereas the special order would have taken 3 months.  Guess what... I called this morning and they are now telling me that it will arrive either at the end of October or at the end of November ! 

If I had known I would have picked the dark brown color, since the special order was supposed to take 3 months. Which seems to be the length it will take for my normal order.  This is maybe what is meant by Service in Switzerland ?!?

All in all, I cannot buy my other furniture until I get my sofa, since I cannot evaluate the space in my living room without it.  Meaning that I will still not feel at home until I can finalize all my interior design which might be for another 2 months... I hate this situation !! 

I tend to believe that this might be a sign, just like the fact that the first day I came back to Switzerland in July I was stopped by the customs who said I was carrying drogue in my bag... (which obviously I was not doing but the guy tried to force me to say so).

Monday, September 29, 2008

When motivation is low...

Just one day away from starting work again... and I just realized that it is always hard for me to find motivation again after taking some time off in my native region... just wondering why it is like this !?! Is it that I miss my region too much or that my new life is not exactly what I would like it to be... not that I really know, but I have that weird feeling that something is still wrong/missing.  Will have to sort out that motivation issue if I want to be performing in my new job !

Friday, September 19, 2008

Off for grape picking...

That's it... 2.5 months after starting work I am taking a holiday... to work !!  But this time I will be working in our small vineyard.  See a picture from last year below...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Merde Actually...

I could not resist but publish this quote as well from Merde Actually...

This is Paul West going on holiday with his girlfriend to her family's house on Ile de Re.

Florence and I were heading almost to the far end of the island, to the wonderfully named little port of Ars, which was pronounced just as rudely as I hoped. I'd insisted on buying the bus ticket myself, purely for the thrill of getting on and asking the driver, 'Do you go as far as arse?'  There are English cities where that would get you killed. And I was looking forward to my next Paris dinner party, when the conversation would turn to holidays and I'd be able to tell a girl, 'I love arse.'  All in all, a great place to buy a holiday home, if only for the postcards you could send to all your friends.

And now HP...

And now is the turn of HP to announce that they will lay off 24,600 employees worldwide following its merger with EDS...

As some of you know, I worked for HP for 3 years and really liked that company, eventhough there was no career development for me there ! Today, I just hope that none of my friends working there will be impacted by this plan...

Monday, September 15, 2008

Lehman Brothers

Well, I know that Rafa already posted on this but I wanted to quickly write something as well.

About 2-3 weeks ago when I was in London, we even had that discussion with Vivek and Brian. How come that a bank like Lehman had so much success with all the MBA students trying to get job there ? I remember that during our London Banking tour and during the different career event at IESE, many students, including myself, were really attracted by Lehman.

If you think about it, this bank went bankrupt already twice ! Still, it enjoys a really nice name career wise, or at least did until today.

I just want to think about my friends who recently joined the bank and hope that their career will not be too much impacted by this... Hopefully they will keep their jobs... If not, I hope they will find something fast. They are brillant so let's cross fingers for them.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A year in the merde: quotes

As promised a few quotes from this book... amazingly funny !

Asking to his boss on the first day
"Do I call everyone tu or vous?" Not that I was capable of calling them either.
"Ah, it is quite simple. You, in your position, call everyone with whom you work tu. Except maybe anyone who looks old. And except if you have not been presented to them yet.  Most people here will call you tu also.  Some will call you vous if they are very less senior or if they think they don't know you. OK?"
"Er, yes". Clear as onion soup.

Comment from one of his co-workers:
"You rilly yong," said the skinny bloke.  Not accusingly, but annoyingly.
"Not really, I'm 27. If I was a rock star I'd be dead."

Getting introduced to his new-coworkers.
Bernard smile nervously and began.
"Yam Bare narr, yam responsa bull ov communikasyon, er..."
Shit, I thought, didn't Jean-Marie say the meeting was going to be in English? How come some people were allowed to speak Hungarian?
Bernard of Budapest carried on in the same incomprehensible vein for a couple of minutes and then started to enunciate something which, to judge bu the look of acute constipation on his face, was of great importance. "Alok for wah toowa king wizioo".
Hang on, I thought. I don't speak any Central European languages, but I got that. He's looking forward to working with me. Holy Babel fish. It's English, Jim, but not as we know it.

Getting introduced to Marc.
"Ah'm ed of hah tee", he said.
"Ed of hah tee," I repeated approvingly, wondering what the hell this was. Something to do with tea, anyway. Relevant.
"Yah. Compoodah sis-temm," Marc confirmed.
"Oh, I.T. I said.  He glowered at me. "Your English is excellent," I added quickly. "How long did you spend in the USA?"
"Ah've done a yee-uf uv post-grad at Jo-ja State, then Ah've worked fahv yee-uhs inna inshance firm in Atlanna. In da hah tee departmon, a coss."
"A coss," I agreed.

Later on in the book...
Paris is, I was beginning to realize, a bit like an ocean. An ocean is a great place to live if you're a shark.  There's loads of fresh seafood, and if anyone gives you shit you just bite them in half. You might not be loved by everyone, but you'll be left in peace to enjoy yourself.

Giving English lessons later on in the book...
"What did you have for dinner last night, Sylvie?"
"I made some crap."
"you mean crepes? Pancakes."
"Yes, pan-cak."
The hardest thing was to keep a straight face.

"OK, Philippe, what would you say to the waiter if you had no cutlery?"
"Er, excuse me, I want a knife and a fuck."

"At five PM, I was working."
"At seven PM, I was sitting on ze train."
"At nine, I was listening ze radio."
"Was that AM or PM?"
"No, FM".

Talking with a former colleague about his old boss.
"Jean-Marie. E does not want to be the major of a little town only."
"Yes. Mayor. Thank you. This nuclear central..."
"Power station."
"This nuclear central power station, it is han important regional question. If e can av henough political power in this region, the power station will surely be constructed.  Ee will be respected as a, ow you say? Un home d'influence."
"A man of influence".

Talking about one of his new flatmate.
Vasco could have farted at international competition level, and I did not want to give him any complexes, so I always did my best to force out a sympathetic goodnight fart before dropping (or drooping) off to sleep.

Talking about his old boss Jean-Marie.
There was no point telling anyone about his desktop affair with Stephanie, because accusations of adultery would only increase his score at the polls.  President Mitterand, for example, gained maximum posthumous respect after his illegitimate daughter attended his funeral.  A French politician without a mistress is like a sheriff without a gun - people thin he has no firepower.

So there are lot of nice quotes from this book. I really advise you to check for yourself. I only selected a few but the whole book is about british and french humour.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

2 years later...

Last weekend I went to Fleurie to get my stuff moved to Nyon... But this is not the reason why I spent a really good weekend. Actually, what I did not know was that there was a party organized in the village, a "bal", where my brother was DJ. Yes, he actually is a DJ in the weekends... And during this bal I saw a few friends that I had not seen for a while. But most importantly I saw a very good friend of mine whom I had not seen for roughly 2 years.

So the next day I went to have a coffee at her place and it was really good seeing her again and catching up after all this time. Nous nous sommes retrouves was the general mutual feeling after Sunday. So yes life is sometimes full of surprises and complex. I was busy with my MBA and Virginie was busy with her work/studies. I did not spend much time in my native region so in the end we did not speak to each other for a long time. I hope that this period is now over and that we will really keep in touch and share some nice moments.

Yesterday evening... I went to Geneva for a Salsa class that was organized by one of my friends whom I had not seen for 2.5 years !

Last week I actually registered on a website for international people living in Switz and I now receive alerts for activities that are happening between Geneva and Lausanne. So to my surprise, l got a mail on Friday entitled Georgy's Latin Dance Lessons.

When I saw this I was 100% sure that this was the Georgy I knew ! And yes it was, so I decided to register for the event and went there with Jen yesterday evening ! It was so incredibly cool to see him after all this time... And now I can finally learn how to dance salsa, or at least try to learn.

So this past 4 days I have seen 2 persons whom I had not seen for such a long time. I guess that one of my ten resolutions for the year is happening. In January, with Rafa we did that list of 10 things to do this year and one of them was that I wanted to spend more time with my friends... This is what is happening now ! Even better, I see real true friends after 2 years and what a great feeling !

I also realized when driving back from Geneva to Nyon that I did a great choice to live there. It is ideally located between Geneva and Lausanne. So it will allow me to spend time with friends in Geneva and make new ones in Lausanne... Really looking forward to the coming couple of months. In the end I might really get a good social life here ! At least it is promising right now.

Monday, September 8, 2008

A year in the merde.

About a month ago I read a book from Stephen Clarke called "Merde Happens". This is the story of Paul West, who goes to the US do defend the UK in a tourism contest. That book was soooo funny !! It is actually the 3rd book from a sequel.

I was so "amused" by it that I decided to buy the other books last weekend when I was in London. Reason is that it is much funnier to read this book in English than in French... why, because the story is all about the French. Meaning their attitudes, customs and the way they speak in English. This is the first time that I laugh out loud while reading a book, and I can tell you that some of the English who were sitting next to me in the plane last Sunday were looking at me as if I was crazy... (especially after the episode of the engines which could not start!!)

The first book of the sequel is called "A year in the Merde". It is the story of Paul West who goes to Paris for a year. There he discovers a lot of things about the Parisian lifestyle (Noelle, you have to read this !!). For example, every body knows that in France the year starts on the 1st of September. Or the only place where French will queue in order is at a bakery, anywhere else it is just a battle ! So anyway, I do not want to say to much about it because you have to discover this on your own...

These book are now really famous. Originally the author only published about 500 of them to give to his friends. But it was such a success that he sold thousands of books and had to write some more ! Even French really like this book... Who says that we do not like to take the piss out of ourselves ?

Anyway, I really advise you to read them... In the order:

1- A year in the Merde

2- Merde Actually

3- Merde Happens

4- He also published a kind of dictionary on how to speak to French people and how to understand them. Talk to the Snail: Ten Commandments for Understanding the French

And for the fun I am going to put a few dialogues from these books in another posts. It is even funnier if you can speak a bit of French...

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Probleme de riche ?

So now that I am moving into my new flat, I have to buy a lot of stuff !  Today I went to a shop in France, Boulanger, and no it is not a bakery !  It is a shop for electronic appliances.

So my dilemma is that I want to buy a nice LCD...  Therefore I went to the shop today to decide whether I should buy a 40, 42 or a 46 inches.  Samsung 6 series is done in 40 & 46 inches.  Otherwise, the LG scarlet serie exists in 42 inches.  

Basically, in my living room the sofa will be at around 3.5 meters from the TV.  So I do not want to take a screen that will be too small !  A 40 inches means a diagonal of 102 cm, a 42 means 106 cm and finally a 46 inches means 117 cm.  So yes, that might be a problem of rich but I need to ensure that my screen is big enough !  

Or as said my cousin, I am getting old so maybe I should go for a bigger screen because I will lose my eyesight slowly.  Salaud !  On the other end, a screen too big would make the living room look akward.  

Thursday, September 4, 2008

To take the plane or not to take the plane...

So last weekend I was in London. I initially went to the UK for work, starting in Manchester and going down to Watford. Then I decided that I would spend the weekend in London to meet with some IESE friends. So I stayed at Vivek's place, not too far from Canary Wharf, which happened to be an old chemical paint company rearranged into pretty nice small flats (well, it is London remember).

So anyway, during the weekend I also had the chance to meet Brian, who is still writing his Japanese guide book... though we did not go to any Japanese restaurant this weekend ! Saturday was awesome. The weather was really great ! So with Vivek we we went to Green Park to enjoy like hundreds of Londoners the nice weather. This was followed by a pizza and a couple of beers in Greenwhich.

Sunday evening, is the time to fly back to Switzerland... My plane was scheduled at 20h30, flying with BA. As I was waiting there, checking the screens, I saw that many planes were announced with delays. So I started to think that the plane I was supposed to take would also have a delay. However, everything seems to work fine. Around 8pm, the gate was announced on the screen and one would not suspect anything wrong...

So I walked to the gate, showed my passport and went into the lounge. No announcement was made by the employees at the gate. So I still thought that everything was going fine. Then after about 45 minutes, they make an announcement that our plane was going to be late due to some technical issues. They were still investigating what these were and would let us know as soon as possible.

Roughly after 1 hour having been in the lounge area, I hear one of this weird message for a plane from easyjet. Unfortunately I do not remember to which city it was going but the message was more or less as follow:

"For passengers still willing to take the plane, please go to Gate number x, for the other ones please check with the company's desk."

mmm... with all these weird accidents lately (in Madrid and in France), this does not sound extremely good...

Back to our plane, the Stewart says that they still do not know what is going on with our plane, that they have called engineers and that they will board us as soon as they know more about it !
10 minutes later, we board into the plane... ouf... I actually was not really looking forward to sleep at the airport !

So everything is fine and we get into the plane... after about 15 minutes, once everyone is on board, the captain stat to speak.

"Sorry for the delay, we had a serious technical issue with the plane. We had to call an engineer since we could not start one of the engines, but now everything seems to be fine and we should be ready to take off shortly."

Whhhaaaaatttttt !!!!!!! You tell me once I am in the plane that you could not start the engine... So now that I cannot get out of the plane I get the news that, actually, one of the two engines of the plane did not seem to work perfectly today... well, I guess I do not have the choice and really have to take this plane now !

Monday, September 1, 2008

Vending machines in London

So this weekend I was in London, by the way it was sunny... As we were walking in Canary Wharf with Vivek, we saw a vending machine for umbrellas. The conversation went more or less as follow:

-me: mmm, that is interesting this vending machine.
-Vivek: yes, this can only be in England.
-me: Well, in France we have condomns in vending machines, here they have umbrellas !

Saturday, August 23, 2008

So much to do...

The next couple of weeks are going to be really busy...

First, I am going to the UK next week to spend some time with 2 sales rep.  I am really looking forward, this going to be really nice to see how we actually sell our insulin pumps !  So the trip will start in Liverpool, followed by Manchester prior to coming to London.  I will then spend the weekend there at stay with Vivek.  I am really looking forward to it.  This weekend will allow me to see some of my IESE friends, whom I miss so much.  So I will for sure see Vivek and Brian. Hopefully a few other ones as well !

Then I will get my new flat in Nyon as of the 1st of September.  Which means that I also need to prepare for my move since I have to leave my temp flat in Morges at the latest on Sept 8th.  This is going to be really challenging ! First, the only piece of furniture I own now is a bed... so, you might tell me that it is the most important, but that means that I need to buy everything else.  I have seen a super sofa at Interio, but it will take me 10 to 12 weeks to get it ! Well, I could get it in 2 weeks if I took the light brown color however, to prevent any wine or other substance incident, I want to have it dark grey... so that means that I have to wait for a really long time.

So anyway, I have a lot to do at work as well, on top of organizing my new flat... that will keep me quite busy in the coming weeks...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Thank you James, Lars, Kirk and Robert...

This last Sunday I went to Jonschwil, in the north of Switzerland, to see the concert of my favorite music band ! A 300km long drive from Lausanne... But it was really worth the pain !

When I was younger, not that I am really old now, I dreamt of seeing Guns n' Roses, Nirvana and Metallica perform live. This Sunday, I was able to see the only band still in activity in this list.

I am not an early day fan of Metallica, since I was too young when their first album was released (the band was formed in 1981 when I was 4) and also not yet interested in that kind of music. However, as the years went on, my interest in rock and heavy metal increased. To the point that when I started to learn how to play the guitar at the age of 18, I practiced on the "Black Album", the "And Justice for all" and "Master of Puppets" riffs. The aficionados from the band will realize that I have not mentioned "Kill 'em all" nor "Ride the Lightning". The reason is that I started to learn these more trashy songs only later on.

Being really impressed by Kirk, one of the last true guitar heroes still playing, I even today own a copy of the guitar that he is using (you can see it in one of my earlier post, it is the one with skulls on the net).

So when I saw back in May that Metallica was gonna come to Switzerland I immediately bought a ticket... Which is why I drove to that place next to Winterthur... Where Sam also joined me from Zurich.

What can I say from the concert... First of all the crowd was an interesting mix of early fans (mid 30s, early 40s), median age fans (like me) and young fans !! I saw some kids who were probably no more than 15 years old !

8PM.... the 4 guys come on the stage for a 2 hours show. These guys are really amazing. Every thing they play is perfect. You can really see that they are awesome music players. The songs are just great and everything rolls. The peak moment of the concert I would say are the fireworks on One and Enter Sandman, as well as their probably most renown song Nothing Else Matters. With this last song they really prove that the best balads are written by rock and heavy metal bands. Just think of the amazing balads writen by Led Zep, Scorpions, Guns etc...

In the end, I felt like a small kid who just saw Santa Claus ! Well, almost, since I know that Metallica does exist... And what a powerfull sound !

As a final note, they played one song from their new album, Death Magnetic, which will be released in Europe in September. First comment: excellent rythmic part and great sound. I just hope that the other tracks will be of the same quality.

Next concerts I would like to attend: Foo Fighters, Coldplay, Green Day, Jean-Louis Aubert, U2...

Oh, I could not finish this post without saying: Thanks to James, Lars, Kirk and Robert... And to make the list complete, thanks to Jason Newsted and finally the most amazing bass player of all time Cliff Burton. Yes, over the years you all have contributed to my passion of listening and playing music.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Leave China Alone !!!

Well, I just wanted to write a quick post...  I am so fed up with everything that is said right now on China in newspapers, on TV, radio etc...  I just cannot stand it anymore ! 

Everything that is said about that country is negative.  Yes maybe this is true that in terms of human rights the situation is not perfect, but our countries from the "western civilization" cannot just give lessons like this.  We still had our colonies 50 years ago (and I do not even want to talk about suspicious wars) !!  The development of our countries took time and is, even today, still not perfect. 

I understand that the Olympics are a great opportunity to talk about China but please stop all this bullshit all the time and give them time as well !  You cannot expect from them to be perfect from one day to the next...  Progress has to be achieved step by step... 

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I wish I could fix you...

A few weeks ago I bought the last album from Offspring... really good by the way ! Especially one song that I keep on listening, it is called "Fix You". I just love it...

She wakes up
Rage and grace
Pulling me closer, pushing away
And me
The sharpest thorn on your vine
Twisting and turning
We're all intertwined

Broken wing
Empty glass
Words that scream and bounce right back
She says "you know, we'd all like to rearrange"

I wish I could fix you
And make you how I want you
I wish I could fix you
And I wish you could fix me

I wish I could heal you
And mend where you are broken
I wish I could heal you
And I wish you could heal me

Ha la la la...

A beaming sunrise buries the night
The setting sun destroys the light
The she says "baby, I've gotta get going"
Cutting each other
Without even knowing

She sees a million stars
Like holes in the sky
All God's tears for her they cry
And I am in her rain

I wish I could fix you
And make you how I want you
I wish I could fix you
And I wish you could fix me

I wish I could heal you
And Mend where you are broken
I wish I could heal you
And I wish you could heal me

Broken wing
Empty glass
Words that scream and bounce right back
She says "you know, we'd all like to rearrange"

Sunday, August 3, 2008

I wanna be a part of it...

Right after the MBA I wanted to go to the US and discover this country. My trip took me first on the west coast in Seattle. For someone like me who is passionate about music, Seattle means a lot. Two amazing guys who originally came from Washington state have changed the music scene for ever. The first one is Jimi Hendrix, the greatest guitar hero ever. Just watch the images from Woodstock and you will understand what I mean. The second guy is certainly not a guitar hero, but he still has changed and shaped the rock scene. This guy is Kurt Cobain, the face of Nirvana... Seattle has also given amazing bands such as Soundgarden, Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains etc... I think they should have all given a concert on top of the Space Needle !!

Seattle is not only the city of Microsoft, but also the city where the first Starbucks was created. And yes, I have been there !! It is on the Pike Market... where you can actually see flying fishes ! Unfortunately the day I was there I could not see them. There is also a very nice French restaurant there with an amazing wine card !

After one week in Seattle, I headed south to San Francisco. It was for me the occasion to check the Nappa Valley ! Well, you know that I do love wine and really like visiting vineyards... I even visited one that is called St Clement !

If you go to San Francisco, I advise you to go to the Legion of Honor Museum in the Lincoln Park... If you can avoid taking the bus from the east side of SF and drive there that is also advisable !! Otherwise, the bus ride will probably take you about 45 minutes, assuming it does not stop everywhere ! Anyways, one of the main and most remarkable piece of art there is the thinker from Rodin...

After a week in SF, I ended my trip in New York Fucking City, the capital of the world !!

The 3 cities I have been to were really great, however the most impressive was certainly New York... The city which never sleeps. All these big buildings every where are really impressive. If I had to live in the US one day, NY would certainly be an option for me.

Again there, you can see some French art ! Well, I am not talking about all the paintings that you can find at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is by the way the best museum I have been to so far, but I am talking about the Status de la Liberte !! This amazing sculpture was designed by Bartholdi et de Gustave Eiffel, yes the same guy who did our Eiffel tower in Paris ! It was offered to our American friends in 1886. Who said that the French do not like the Americans ??

This was the last step of my trip. I am overall really delighted that I could discover this country... I wish I could have stayed longer. I will probably go back one day since there are other places that I really would like to see (Canyon, Washington, Las Vegas etc.)

That is it for now... My next trip will be in the winter and I plan to go to Asia and see my 4th continent... Still deciding in which cities I should go...

Friday, August 1, 2008

Back in Switzerland after my trip to the US

I have been here for a month now... really hard to start working again after the MBA and especially after 3.5 weeks of holidays in the US. I will post a few pictures of this trip soon.

Being back in Switzerland is really special. I really wanted to come back close to Geneva. However, it is funny how life can change in a few months. I am now wondering whether I should not go for a couple of years in the US or in Asia. This is what I try to integrate right now in my thinking... in other words, I do not know !

Below is a picture from my temporary flat in Morges. It has view on the Lake and, if the weather is clear, view on the Mont Blanc (in the middle of the picture). You can also see Evian, yes where they have the water ! Well, I don´t drink it that much, but they also have one of the most beautiful golf in Europe, where they play the women master. I saw Michelle Wie and Paula Creamer playing there 2 years ago.

So living here is a bit quiet and sometimes boring, but I guess that it is hard to match Barcelona... At least I can train for my marathon. I run 3 times a week now !

Saturday, May 24, 2008

La Pedrera

Gaudi is really amazing... We are surrounded by many of his creations in Barcelona and I realized that I only start to appreciate his work now that I am about to leave.

Yesterday I went to see "La Pedrera", this building is really amazing. Wandering inside this house, which was designed in the early 20th century, was really a nice experience. I advise anyone who goes to Barcelona to visit this Casa Milà.

View on the Sagrada from the terrace of La Pedrera.

Just below the roof.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


May 21st, on a sunny day in Barcelona, I went to the Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA). I am normally not a big fan of this type of art, but it was really interesting to discover something new.

On the second floor there was a whole section about Latvia and the development of art after the dismantlement of the USSR. Very interesting to see that simple pleasure like singing or meeting at a cinema are something amazing for them.

The glass structure above is one of the pieces that was exposed this day. The big one is made of vases stuck to each other, and the smaller ones at the back are made of glasses. Interesting how it catches the light...

My favorite item this day was designed by Diether Roth, a German who used to live in Switzerland in Basel. He called it the sea of chocolate ! If you have a close look at it, you can see that there are hundreds of chocolate, from Lindt, behind the glass. Really an original idea...

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Petit moment de bonheur !

Most people do not actually know that I am a musician and that music used to take a great place in my life. When I was a kid, I would practice the clarinet at least 1 hour every day. That allowed me to have a pretty descent level and to play in a brass band and also as a lead clarinet in a quartet. So I really enjoy seeing live music since I can really relate to the amount of work that the artists have put in before performing.

Yesterday, I found a software which is called VeohTV. To my great surprise, I am able to watch the concert that Metallica gave in 2006 at Rock Am Ring. More than 2 hours of one of the bands that I prefer ! When I started to play the guitar, around the age of 18, I learned to play on Metallica ! So being able to watch this concert is this kind of moment that really gives me a lot of pleasure... I hope that one day I will be able to see them live ! I am such a fan that I even bought a guitar that is the same as Kirk, an ESP Ltd with Skulls !

One of my other favorite guitarists is Slash, therefore I also own a Gibson Les Paul 1960... It is a totally different type of sound, a bit more jazzy to some extent. And I also own a few other guitars, which I am not going to detail here !

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Visit of Parc Güell, my best day in Barcelona ?

After almost 18 months in Barcelona I still have so much to see...

During this time of intense study at IESE, I have enjoyed somewhat of the night life but not so much of the cultural aspect of Barcelona.

Of course, even if I am not an expert, my eyes were impressed by some of the beautiful buildings that you can randomly find in the city. The Casa Mila on Paseo de Gracia is for example one that I saw many times when walking by.

This week was the first time I went to Parc Güell. For anyone who has seen the movie l'Auberge Espagnole, the movie from Cédric Klapisch picturing the life of Xavier who comes to study to Barcelona (, this park is a must see ! It was designed by Gaudi who finds a lot of his inspiration from the nature.

It has this je ne sais quoi of magic. Wandering around the park, while listening to a trumpetist playing international and french successes (!), was such a great and unforgettable moment.

The magic worked well for me and I would like to thank this person who shared this moment with me. Probably the best day I had in Barcelona...


A nice proverb I heard from a nice person:

"The ideal for a man is: a Japanese wife, an American House, Italian food and European benefits...".

If that were for me, I would change 2 of these to make the list more accurate...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

First post: this is how it started...

One of my best friends just showed me his blog today and I thought that I should start writing my own. Talk about my own experiences, post on different topics and then come back in a few months/years to see how my life and the world has evolved seems to be a great idea !

So let's start from the beginning. It took me almost one hour to figure out what name I should use. So where does the name of the blog comes from... It actually almost speaks for itself. A tastevin is a special cup that is used in France to taste wine. It was created in the 17th century in Burgundi. Being originally from a family of winegrowers in France, I thought that this was an nice name to use.

As you can see from the picture, the tastevin has lines and circles drawn inside the cup, which are used to observe the color of the wines.