MaryParadox

September 29, 2008

Lviv, Ukraine; Paris, France

Filed under: Lviv, Ukraine, Paris, Work — Tags: , , , , , — maryparadox @ 12:09 pm
Big church in Lviv. Most fell into disrepair when Lviv was part of the Soviet Union and only just being repaired now.

Big church in Lviv. Most fell into disrepair when Lviv was part of the Soviet Union and only just being repaired now.

I’ve just returned from two weeks in Europe; one week in Lviv, Ukraine; one week in Paris, France. The first week was for work — the company I work for outsourced engineering work to the Ukraine. I went to Lviv with my coworker and friend Adam, who suggested that we stop by Paris for a week on the way home. Add in his girlfriend Kate and Peter flying out to meet us and you have a proper vacation.

Lviv was cold and raining the whole time we were there, and we were working all daylight hours, so my pictures are limited. The Ukranians like to drink vodka shots with their meals, which are long drawn out affairs with about ten courses. I don’t think we had a meal shorter than four hours. They make their vodka from wheat, which I didn’t realize until waking up in the middle of the night after dinner the second day feeling like my insides were dying. This feeling was distinctly different from alcohol poisoning — more like the most extreme allergic reaction. I waited a couple of days then tried the vodka again with more typical allergy-reactions (I had drunk less this time). So there you have it, tested, then confirmed, as I like to do it. The trick next time (because I’m sure I will have to go back for this new job) is to figure out how to not drink without insulting them — or their vodka!

Adam enjoying the Ukrainian food.

Adam enjoying the Ukrainian food.

Dinner on the last night. Adam got pretty drunk mixing vodka and beer (which the Ukrainian really didnt recommend) -- Me, Adam, Taras, and Mike.

Dinner on the last night -- Me, Adam, Taras, and Mike (and the sleeves of Vitaliy). Adam got pretty drunk mixing vodka and beer (which the Ukrainian *really* didn't recommend). He spent the next day fully hung over.

While I spent most of the week in the Ukraine sick I ended up feeling fantastic while in Paris. Oddly, I ate croissants for breakfast every morning (orange custard, chocolate, and chocolate rasberry!) and bread with butter or cheese at every lunch, but I never felt sick (only once, after ingesting hot chocolate as thick as pudding and some espresso to boot on the last day). Paris was surprisingly beautiful (probably only to me) with narrow streets, tall buildings, and a bakery on every corner. Adam found us an apartment for the week so we had a tiny kitchen, an even tinier bathroom, one bedroom and a futun couch to share. Because it wasn’t a hotel or hostel it was in a normal resudential area, so we could pretend we were locals.

Peter and I didn’t pay to go into many of the tourist attractions, but we did go to see the catacombs, which are below the subway underneath Paris. Apparently the entire city is on top of old quarries, which are now just empty tunnels, some of which are full of bones moved from other cemetaries — because the cemetaries were deemed unsanitary during the plague (not sure which one). Some of Adam’s choice photos:

Creeeepy.

Creeeepy.

We see dead people

We see dead people

Kate smooching dead people.

Kate smooching dead people.

In keeping with the dead people theme we also visited a cemetary:

Most of the crypts had beautiful stained glass windows.

Most of the crypts had beautiful stained glass windows.

Later we separately went to the Eiffel Tower:

This was actually the most normal face Adam was able to make.

This was actually the most normal face Adam was able to make.

Kate outside of some big church I cant remember the name of.

Kate outside of some big church I can't remember the name of.

September 12, 2008

Burning Man and More

Filed under: Burning Man — maryparadox @ 5:53 pm

Lots to post and no time!

1. I got a new job! I am now a program manager at the same company I was already working for. Previously I was a computer engineer (programmer on embedded devices). Now I manage software projects, ensuring that they get done on time and to specification. More stress, but hopefully more interesting. Mostly I’m doing it because I wasn’t that great of an engineer but I suspect I could be great at this.

2. I’m off to the Ukraine tomorrow for work, then hitting Paris on the way back for a week. Peter is flying out to meet me and my coworker Adam. Adam’s girlfriend Kate will be flying out with Peter and we are renting an apartment in the city. Hopefully pictures to come.

3. I went to burning man! I posted the pictures to flickr but many people requested that they be kept private (I wonder why?!) I’ll just link to a couple here and if you want to see them all you can email me.

Giant Walking Spider

Winner Coolest Thing: Giant Walking Spider

Interactive Art Piece (and my silly outfit)

Interactive Art Piece (and my silly outfit)

Charles

Charles

Nong

Nong

Logan

Logan

Kevin

Kevin

Dawn

Dawn

Me

Me

He built this whole structure, bar, made his own beer and his own rum!

Corey: He built this whole structure, bar, made his own beer and his own rum!

Their camp gave away home-grown melons!

Bobby and Ana-Catrina: Their camp gave away home-grown melons!

Corey and me

Corey and me

Gardner, Corey, and Devin

Gardner, Corey, and Devin

Amazing sculpture and a little girl dancing in front.

Amazing sculpture and a little girl dancing in front.

Devin resting during the heat of the day.

Devin resting during the heat of the day.

Trying to read in between sand storms.

Trying to read in between sand storms.

Chillin in the sand storm.

Chillin in the sand storm.

The burn in the distance.

The burn in the distance.

The whole camp right before packing up.

The whole camp right before packing up.

Gratuitous driving home shot.

Gratuitous driving home shot.

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