Cheers the Computerlab

An enthusiastic international student friend of mine walked into the fishtank in the wee hours of the morning, and greeted me as I was manning the bridge. He stopped and said:

    You know BM, it’s always good to see you here when I walk in. It’s sort of.. comforting, like an old friend who’s always there.

I don’t usually think much of my fishtank duties at the international school, it’s certainly not the reason I work there, but at that moment – I felt like I was making a difference in people’s lives. No wait, I felt like Norm from Cheers, only without the beernuts.

This little “moment” reminded me of my days in Aix-en-Provence, at Spoiled American University. The most loved Internet Caf? was run by these two young, French, computernerds. Of course, I loved them. We all did. It was one of the best parts of the day, that initial walk-in conversation in French, usually consisting of:

    Bernard: Salut Biciclettemark!

    BM: Salut Bernard, ?a va?

    Bernard: Oui, et toi?

    BM: Pas Mal… Pas Mal.

    Bernard: Ok, computer 12 is open man. C-YA.

Yeah well, I only REALLY learned to speak French in Lisbon. France was more like language training camp, and I was the recruit who kept falling in the mud-puddles. But that’s a whole other story. The point of this trip down memory lane is that I realized for this student, I was Bernard, so to speak; that young, potentially hip guy who lives and works in the country where you are temporarily studying. And just like I’ll always remember the French guys at the internet-caf?, some of these students will always remember Bicyclemark who worked in the Fishtank sometimes. I’m honored to be a fixture in people’s memories.

Freshly back from Paris, Jamie of The Known Universe came to the ranch for some conversation and whiskey. As he mentions in his post, we talked about everything under the sun, including my PHD plans of studying the Culture of Weblog Readers and Writers. He was clearly fascinated at the idea, never having given much thought to the idea of himself becoming the museum exhibit behind glass.

Please do not touch the blogger.

Please do not speak to loudly, as it will startle the blogger.

Notice his leather jacket and walking boots,scientists have yet to reach a conclusion of how this affects his writing.

I’ll be giving the tours of course, wearing a white labcoat and latex gloves.

Jamie and I spent some time talking world affairs, specifically about Ivory Coast. We worried about the safety of a journalist friend of his, and talked about how the situation will undoubtedly get worse. Reading the latest and watching the videos, I’m annoyed with both the French Military and the Ivory Coast. I knew Laurent Gbagbo was a dangerous manipulator, but I couldn’t predict this overtly colonialist behavior on the part of the French. They guard whatever the hell they want, they bomb whatever they feel is a threat to their presence in the country, and they act as if its perfectly natural to do so. Sound familiar? No surprise there I guess, for all their bickering France and the US have many similarities, as do Paris and New York.

Today’s Sounds: Bob Dylan – Blood on the Tracks (its been a while)