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Here's are the highlights of the SOSP conference, about which I sure you're fascinated:
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There's this amazing fortress that you can see from the hotel we stayed at:
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On the day we returned to Paris, there was a TGV strike. My recollection is that the only significant upshot of this was that we had to take buses to Renne, and from there we took the train. These strikes are scheduled in advance, and only affect rolling portions of the workforce. I can't decide if this is better or worse than the way we do it here. Certainly, it was more convenient for me as a consumer, but doesn't this reduce the power of organized labor, if they aren't really inconveniencing somebody? Maybe they just drive up the costs for the company by incapacitating parts of the workforce, or reducing the number of trains that can run.
As this was my next to last day in Paris, it was time to go for some more down-to-earth cultural experiences. First, I tried a French McDonald's. (Insert your own Pulp Fiction joke here, because yes, I did in fact have a Royale with Cheese.) Unsurprisingly (or perhaps terrifyingly), it was exactly the same experience as a McDonald's in the States with one important exception: beer. Shitty beer, but beer nonetheless. It was an experience I had to have at least once.
It was also this evening that Kip and I went to get see a film in a French theater. The movie was called La Femme Défendue; all I remember is that it was all filmed from the first-person perspective of a male character going through a midlife crisis, and having an affair of some kind with a twenty-something girl. Pretty much every scene involved him sitting across a table from her, usually on some kind of date. I leaned over to Kip a lot, so I could get partial, running translations. It was a very strange experience. (I had been pushing to go see an American movie dubbed into French, but I couldn't talk Kip into it :).
On a few different evenings during the trip, we wandered out of the hotel around 10pm and to a nearby crêpe vendor. The guy had a bunch of different kinds, all made on the spot. There were two main categories: sweet and savory. The sweet kind (which is what I always had) were like desserts, and usually involved some kind of fruit and some kind of liqueur. The savory kind usually involved more substantial fillings, and probably would have made good meals all by themselves. I yearn to have a crêpe guy nearby for late evening impulse satisfaction.
Next: the last day in Paris
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