Ingy 2.ö

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Bonsoir Chamonix

After a long day of traveling, Yuval and I arrived in Chamonix. We had to drag over 100kg of our luggage around town but finally found a decent hotel. Hotel Pointe Isabelle.

The Hotel seems right in the middle of town. Right across from the McDonald's which is the first place we lugged to after getting off the bus. It was a good place to camp out with our gear while we looked for lodging. The micky-Ds has wifi here. It also has no gratuitous arches which made me feel slightly better about going to one after a couple decades hiatus. I had a salad, used the toilet and headed out on my journey.

FYI, they really do speak French in France. I tried to remember this as I walked around. Soon I had to talk to my first hotel manager. "Bonjour!", I said, knowing I had played all my cards already. "Bonsoir..." he mumbled. Merde! I already screwed up. The old man showed me a room, but it was obvious we weren't meant to spend the night together.

The Hotel Isabelle is €30 more per night, but what's a few euro when the people are nice, you are in the middle of all the drunk brits, you get a free breakfast, and you have a nice little balcony to sit on. Yuval and I dragged our junk upstairs, stepped outside, poured a glass of wine and had a few minutes to relax and realize we were in our new hometown.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Eurö Ingy

Ingy has left the building. Ingy has left the country. Ingy is in London today and making his way to Chamonix this weekend. Ingy digs his new European digs.

Back in October I was hosting the young and beautiful traveling Perl hacker, Yuval Kogman, aka nothingmuch, aka Use Teh Moose. Like me, Yuval works remotely for an American software company.

One day I asked him what he was doing for the winter and he said that he was moving to Chamonix France to spend 4 months backcountry snowboarding every day. Almost immediately I decided to join him. Never mind that I've never snowboarded a single time. Very soon I'll be doing it every day on Mont Blanc!

It has taken me the last 2.5 months to pack away all my belongings and pull up my roots again. (This is my 8th major move since 2000). I had to take an avalanche course and buy several thousand dollars worth of new equiptment, clothing and the season's pass. I had to explain to my employer that working for a California company from France is actually even better than working from Seattle. I had to pack 50 odd boxes and say as many goodbyes.

Here I am on the road again. I'm starting the journey by paying a week long visit to my lovely friend, Chris Dent, in the UK. I love his new home in Newbury. This is fortunate because my visa situation will require me to pay him a few more visits. An American can only spend 90 days of a 6 month period in continental Europe, without jumping through some ungodly visa hoops.

Despite this, I am so excited to be a vagabond (with a great job). It is probably the best way to live, imho. While I hope to have fun playing in the snow each day, I am even more happy about spending my nights with a top notch Perl hacker, whom I can bounce my crazy ideas off. Life is good!