The most amazing work party, ever!

Let’s start this with, the party was so good, I’m using this to write about it.

So as you know I’m in Luxembourg working at an investment bank called Caceis and last night we had the ‘Soirée de Voeux”, basically a news years party. There was free food and drink all night from 18h30 to 03h00 and it was AMAZING!

So the theme for the night was skiing/after-ski party (I don’t entirely remember there was a lot of free drink, I”ll get to that in a second) so they had the whole place decorated accordingly. When we walked in, to what looked like an ordinary school hall from the outside, we had our jackets taken and then we we’re directed towards a long hallway. The hallway had a white floor (it was some type of plastic to make it look like snow) while fans blew white sheets from either wall and sounds of the wind blowing playing. At the end of the hall we were greeted by the head of the bank here in Luxembourg (being three shitty interns from Ireland, this was kinda a big thing) and then we were given a glass of champagne, the first of many.

We were in a dim room with high tables scattered throughout with crudités and candles on them. There were servers walking around making sure that no empty champagne glasses were left out, and making sure that everyone always had a glass of champagne in their hand. There was a huge screen with projections of mountains covered in snow, and they even had a photographer set up with a ski-lift, backdrop and ski-wear for everyone to wear (it’ll be posted on Facebook shortly!) After we had our picture taken and had hit the 5/6 glass of champagne they started bring out petit-fours and they.were.awesome! The first one I ate was foie-gras with a tiny salad of mange-tout and little beans (as you can see everything is tiny, hence the petit in petit-fours). Then there was ones served on long spoons, one was goats cheese wrapped in ham (doesn’t sound too fancy but it was the fancy type of EVERYTHING), then there was a smoked salmon and prawns, and a third that was a small salad of mozzarella, olive and tomato. There was little bits of foie gras toasted on different types of bread, there was like 10 others going around, all of them incredible. There were girls dressed in white going around on roller-skates with iPads, why you might ask? oh you know, so we could vote for songs that we wanted to have played throughout the night, as you do…

Then it came time for the head of the bank to make his speech, which he put up a timer for so he’d have to shut up eventually, it was in french so I kinda stopped listening after 5ish minutes because it became to much effort, but then I heard everyone go “ooooohh” and the big screen projection changed from showing him to black with a logo and a brand name ‘ICE’, then an image of a watch came up, we all got free, limited edition watches with the Caceis logo and name written on it (I shit you not, it was like the Late Late Toy Show/ Oprah, once again photo on Facebook soon). Needless to say there was a lot of cheering, then to the left of the screen behind a curtain a  small podium lit up, it was a display case for the watches so we could get a closer look before we got them. Then the curtain was pulled back and we were told we could move into the next room.

This room was decorated mainly like the first, but one side of it had wooden tables and chairs and a fire to make it look like a ski lodge. There was a circular dance floor in the middle and the rest of the room was shaped around it (basically a circle with a few off-shoots of places to sit) and around the edge of the room was about, 7 maybe, chefs cooking different foods, the guys ate some pasta and some fondue type thing and said they were incredible. First thing I ate was a selection of seafood, there was smoked salmon on a little pancake, a small piece of fish (so good), a piece of potato with caviar on top and an oyster (it was so fucking good), then a wile after I found what I’m gonna call the chicken chef, because all he did was cook chicken (although he did ask me what I wanted, I just stared at him because he only offered one fucking thing) it was awesome, all off the food was awesome.

In the back of the room there was an igloo set up with with leather couches and  bar made to look like ice where a guy spent the whole night giving out red and white wine, but don’t worry, you don’t need to go back there to get more, one of the servers will see that your glass is running low and will top you up. Don’t want more wine? Just head over to the champagne or beer bar, all free, all night, awesome! Eventually everyone was drunk enough to begin dancing, me and the team I work with were naturally to be found in the centre of the dance floor being bat shit crazy as usual. The night descended into a madness of drinking and dancing and eating and by the end even the head of the bank was dancing all over the place. It was just the most amazing night and easily the best party I have ever been to in my life. I wish it could happen every month instead of every year (but bankruptcy would probably happen pretty quick).

Well this is all I got for now, might write again soon of my adventure here in Luxembourg.

Byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Summer, that what they call this thing is it?

Only in summer (or what we Irish like to call summer) do I really realise how boring things can get, I mean don’t get me wrong sitting at home can have it upsides but moi sans job it begins to see as if time reaching a standstill. Possibly the most frustrating part is that I actually looked for jobs on returning from France but the search proved inutile as I didn’t even receive a ‘No, fuck off’ email so it lead to countless hours waiting for nothing

Days are blending into each other and it seems as if my main purpose is to wait for the weekend to go out just to spend the next week sleeping until I get out again. This may not seem like a bad lifestyle but it gets seriously old after a month.

On the bright side it seems as if I only have a few more weeks to put up with this nothingness since I’ll be heading on a 10 day trip- on the 2nd of August and that will be quickly followed by getting back to Limerick, but for now I stick to becoming part of the couch.

Germany!

No  class? Let’s go to Germany for a week!
So it’s time for the blog about a week I spent in Germany with Sam and Maddy at the end of February/start of March, but I’ll be honest, the details are fuzzy…and drunk.

Me and Maddy at what Poitiers likes to call an airport, starting the trip the right way!

So basically for this trip we spent 3 days in Hamburg and 4 in Berlin. The main purpose for our time in Hamburg was to meet Sophie who Sam knew from the previous semester. Hamburg is somewhere that I never really imagined visiting but it was such a nice city! I spent 2 nights at the Generator Hostel and 1 night at a hostel around the corner from it. The Generator has a few hostels around the world in Berlin (we’ll get to that later) Copenhagen and even Dublin! One of the main reasons we like that hostel now is due to its Happy Hour from 5-7p.m with so many cheap drinks! We spent our days in Hamburg roaming around the city and going out, my mind has flashbacks to some sort of spicy shot that was like a bloody mary (Just talked to Sam on WhatsApp they were called Mexicana) but only cost 75c and that night may or may not have involved some very depressed strippers followed by visiting what I believe to be all of the bars in Hamburg! As we left we faced a 3 hour bus journey to Berlin!

Nothing better than a nice hot Balzac

Now onto Berlin where there would be more pictures but sadly, 3 cameras arrived and only mine left. In all honesty Berlin is one of the most incredible cities I have been to, there’s just so much to do and see there and I really don’t feel as if I got to see it all while I was there so I’ll definitely have to make a return visit in the future. Once again we stayed at the Generator with its amazing Happy Hour deals. There was so much to do and see it all really blended together, here’s some photos….

First night we arrived we of course went on a pub crawl which was really fun, we went to about 4/5 bars in the city the group then went to a club but we didn’t last that long, it was cool getting to hang out and meet with other people who were travelling like us. On one of the days we took a walking tour of the city getting to learn about its history during WWII and seeing the memorials which were scattered throughout the city. We also visited a concentration camp called Sachsenhausen north of the city. I had previously been in Dachau in southern Germany but Sachsenhausen was much different, many of the building there were not replicas they were the building as they stood all those years ago, it made it all so much more real.

Some photos from Sachsenhausen. left, entrance  and right, memorial

Being us we ended the last night in great style at Happy Hour, below you can see a menu for shots, which were 5cl (for reference Irish shot is 3.5cl and that’s big compared to the rest of Europe) Naturally it all started off with pints and more pints and then we decided that since the shots were around €2 there’s no harm in doing 5 each, there was harm, lots of harm. After the 5 shots we all sort of lose most of our memory, we do know that we went and got kebabs (which are soooo good!) and then we woke up, at 5a.m for me and Maddy to get our flights, when we woke up and cam downstairs we found Sam still awake and by the bar, apparently he had stayed up all night but doesn’t really remember it and he had an 8 hour bus journey that day. Basically it all made for the perfect end to one crazy trip!

Song for the blog:  A song that followed us for the whole trip, and the rest of Erasmus!

Michel Teló – Ai Se Eu Te Pego

 

Trip to Paris with Aloha

PARIS!

Quick do something touristy!

(Jessica, Canadian, on one or the many pedestals outside the Louvre)

So this first post looking back at my time in Poitiers/ESCEM/mainly trips I went on begins with a weekend trip to Paris that some of us international students did with the student organisation Aloha.
The first thing I remember about this trip is that we left Poitiers at like 6:30a.m  to get on a bus which would take over 4 hours to get to Paris. This was not a happy thought, but I’m just glad that it was one of the seldom mornings during the semester when I wasn’t hungover. We stayed at…a…hostel, I have no clue what the hostels name was but it wasn’t too bad and had a great location. It was only a short walk to the Louvre and right across the street was Christian Louboutin so needless to say all our broke-ass selves did the obligatory stare in the window at the shoes and be sickened by their prices, although some of the men’s shoes weren’t too bad!

HEY LOOK A MONKEY!

(Caught my eye outside the Louvre)

Of course on this trip we we’re seeing all of the regular tourist sites La Tour Eiffel, Arc de Triomphe, Louvre, Champs Élysées, Sacre-Coeur, Notre Dame and the like! Even though I’d seen many of them before it was nice to see them again and notice more about them and relive some memories!

(Quick snap of the Arc de Triomphe while trying to cross the street)

During one of the days we had some free time on the Champs-Élysées so me and Claire (Irish girl from my course in UL) so being the health conscious pair that we are we decided to climb the stairs to the top of the Arc de Triomphe….

(Photo from the top of the stairs, note that it doesn’t show the end of the staircase..)

So.many.stairs and if the number of stairs wasn’t bad enough of course it had to be a spiral staircase, after reaching the top of the stairs Claire and myself decided that the best thing for us to do would be to sit down for about 10 minutes. After having a little walk around a sort of, I don’t know, educational area we headed up to the open top and it was definitely worth the climb, the top of the Arc gives an amazing view over Paris and we got there just an evening was coming and all the lights in the city we’re being turned on.

(View from the Arc de Triomphe down the Champs-Élysées towards the Louvre)

We also had one great night out, we went to a nightclub…..on a boat! I don’t remember much of what happened on the boat but I do know that me, Claire and Anthony (Aloha member) had the great idea of buying a bottle of whiskey on the boat, needless to say it was soon emptied and with it went my memory of the night.

We also visited Sacre-Coeur where I didn’t get any photos of the church but managed to get one of La Tour Eiffel and a road sign..

(I spent a while laughing at that sign)                 (I don’t know why but I really like this photo of La Tour Eiffel)

That’s all for that trip, next post might be long due to the fact that it covers a week in Germany and just because, here’s two more photos I took of La Tour Eiffel                      

  

Song for the blog: A French one of course, played in all the nightclubs!
Discobitch – C’est beau la bourgeoisie

AAAHHHH WHAT HAPPENED!?!?!

So turns out the last time I posted anything about my Erasmus was in January, I sure did a great job of keeping this updated….I mean cmon…I was…busy…ppfftt ok I was drunk and lazy.

What have I decided to do to correct this?  I’m going to write the blog…..legen…wait for it…. retrospectively.

Ah I was never good at those. But, yea.. so basically over the summer I will continue where I left off, posting about trips (lots of photos!) and other noteworthy things that happened!(Along with current events!) Normally I’d give up on something that has gone like this but I think it will be a nice way for me to remember the semester I had.

So I promise that within this week I should have a lovely post about a weekend in Paris with Aloha and possibly a weeklong trip to germany!

Here’s 2 songs as an apology! 🙂

Matisyahu- Sunshine

Awolnation- People

Weekend!….and very little classes…

So the past week ( and this week) I’ve been scheduled for very little classes, 5:30-7:00 every Monday and Wednesday and that’s it, its given me so much free time to really wander into the city and explore its hidden culture… yea I’m not believing that either, I’ve been sleeping and getting drunk because a lot of people are in the same situation, although since we’re all from different countries I’m sure I can sell it in some sort of educational way.

2 of Claire’s friends came over for a visit, which was nice to have some more Irish around and gave us a great excuse to have some house parties and go out for meals (Le bistrot de boucher, so nice, definitely making a trip to there again!) Sunday night myself and Claire decided to cook for her friends and our group of friends here, making lasagna for 17 people is always a bit stressful. In the end we made 4 lasagnas, 3 baguettes turned into garlic bread, 2 big bowls of salad and some potatoes for good measure! Apart from the electricity going out three times while we tried to cook, its went successfully even if we we’re one cheese short due to “it was meant to be 3 cheeses but we came home drunk and just ate one block” .

It has also begun to snow today which its quite strange to see since most of the time the snow melts as soon as it hits the ground in Ireland because the ground is usually already wet, here its just snows and stays. It’s not even especially bad but the town seems very unprepared, traffic has hit a standstill and many of the shops have signs out saying that they’re closing early because of it. Hopefully it will stay at the ‘aww/aaahhh its snowing!’ level and not the ‘ I’m not leaving the house’ level!

song for the blog:

BORDEAUX!…oh yea, classes too….

So last weekend we had a good 3 days off finishing at 4 Friday and not having to be back until 5:15pm for a little meeting on monday so 10 of us decided to head off to Bordeaux for Friday and Saturday night.

ooohh look at that! wanderlustetc, now with added photos 😀
I really wish I could remember what that building is called but the thing in the foreground is a water mirror making the building look cool and creepily doubled at the same time!
So it all started with a 2hr train trip on friday evening which grand, it flew by, we were there before we even realised it! Finding the hotel when we got there wasn’t too bad since it was close to the train station, but in all honesty it may have been better if we’d never found it! Nothing better than a  2 star (“cabin themed”) hotel in the red light district! (although it did have a charm and a ‘I wish I brought a blacklight to check the sheets’ quality to it)

(ever wish your shower could be attached to your sink? well do I have the perfect place for you to stay!)

( “there seems to be an awful number of high cards coming out in this game” followed by us looking at the packet and claire saying “well, I heard him count them, just not to which number” )  shaaaaammmmeeee
         

Bordeaux is also home to some creepy ass fountains as you can see!

                   

There was a circus there, the shows hadn’t started yet but they did let us in to see the animals which included a zebdonkey, an evil llama, and a curious elephant who let us touch its trunk! It was awesome!

Well after a long day of getting creeped out by Bordeaux’s fountains and touching its animals you’re bound to gain an appetite! So of course we had dinner, and the starter was foie gras (photo above) it’s really nice but not something I would order a lot, hard to describe….

But seriously though, great craic was had on the trip and I’m sure we’ll be heading back there when the weather warms up because it’ll be lovely then!

Having my first week of proper classes this week too, unfortunately I’m timetabled to be in 4 days this week which means I have class from 9:30-5:15 Tuesday thursday and friday and from 9:30-7:00 on Wednesday. It’s tough but next week then I only have 5:30-7:00 Monday and Wednesday and 9:30-12:15 Tuesday which is so much better! I’ll finally get a chance to catch up on my sleeping!

That’s all I can really think of for now so here’s the song for the blog!

Somehow, I managed to make it here in one piece

I’m still not quite sure how I made here without any major disasters along the way! The flight was fine, it was only 1h50 so it isn’t something to complain about and the train took 2h30, but we got to travel in first class which was a little bit strange but the buttons that make your seat move up and down could have easily kept me occupied for a week.

Poitiers is quite a small city, well, pretty much everything we’ve needed so far has been right in the centre of town and it takes practically no time to walk around it even compared to just walking around the UL campus. I’m living so close to ESCEM its ridiculous, I’ve gone from a 15-25 minutes walk to classes in Limerick to 3 minutes here so in the mornings I just roll out of bed and I’m already half way to the school.

The timetable here is definitely going to take a while to get used to, one of the girls made out her’s for the whole semester and there’s around 5 days of classes each month, but, each day has 6hrs so it seems as if we’ll have a lot at once and then nothing at all to do with ourselves, except drink and go travelling around Europe! It seems like a really nice school but once again much different from Limerick but change is nice, change is good!

Drink is cheaper here!…Well, in the supermarkets it is anyway. €12.94 for 70cl of smirnoff, but as soon as you go to a pub its $4.80 for a vodka so predrinking really is the majority of drinking that goes on out here but when you throw 6/7 different nationalities into a room together and get them all drunk the results are bound to be hilarious. I thought I had much more to write for this one but apparently not although hopefully I’ll have a good story or two the next time I post!

Song for the blog: here, have this one 🙂

One countdown done, one to go!

So back before I moved home from college I was talking with a friend and realised that it was 9 days until Christmas and then another 9 days until I left for France, the worrying part is that now the first part of that is over, and passed by far too quickly, and now it’s down to just 9 days before I move, it’s always freaky when a countdown gets into single digits!

The best part is that I havent even unpacked everything from college, let alone start to pack for France, oh wait that’s the stressful part, always get those mixed up…I really have no idea how I’m going to manage this whole packing situation, i have to fit mot likely 8 months worth of clothes etc. into 30kg….30…kg…..coming home from college after 4 months I filled the boot and entire back seat of the car, I may have to wear 12 layers of clothes travelling.

Other than that…I’m beginning to get seriously excited to go, I keep googling the crap out of the town and looking at everything there!

Song for the blog: I’m  seriously obsessed with this…

Today is a very strange day….

For the first time since maybe those few days in august between finishing work and starting college, I have absolutely nothing to do today and its FANTASTIC!

Yesterday was my final exam for the semester so of course we went for pints afterwards, but it was so strange to think that today i can just wake up whenever i feel and do what ever I want, no coursework to be done, no studying for exams, not even any random paperwork to fill out for my Erasmus. So as you can imagine i have done sweet fuck all, all day, my most productive efforts may have been walking to the shop to buy water in expectations of a massive hangover tomorrow beacauuussee….

Its our class party tonight! Which will be nice to have given that it’s probably the last time we’ll all be together until next September since the majority of the class is heading off on Erasmus! So basically tonight is going to be one massive session, after a meal though so i wonder how the whole soakage thing is going to work out…

And one of these one be complete without a quick panic about going to France, even though flights trains and accommodation is all sorted it’s reached countdown stage, its 21 day (only 3 weeks!) until our flight so it’s getting  pretty terrifying/exciting! So I’m definitely going to make the most of going out at home for the 2 weeks I’ll be there to give it a nice goodbye!

song for the blog: