Friday, June 11, 2010

Day5: At home, Sake and family

I'm getting into a routine: I get up in the morning, have a sizable breakfast, do what I have to do then head to IRCAM and meet people or do what I have to do. Today I ran my pieces for the Tuesday's upcoming demo/talk; all is working. Thanks to Bruno who worked with me on the day of my arrival all my older pieces using the gesture follower seems to work fine. Whew! Now I have to make sure I will not break anything until Tuesday! :)

My computer broke last week, less than a week before I came to Paris. They had fixed it (logic board failure) and sent it FedEx, and we now know it is sitting at the customs. We were warned that French "Douane" customs will try to make us pay the taxes, 1/3 of the price of the computer (the store has to insure it). My brave and able husband had already took on the task to wrestle with the French bureaucracy for me, which I am so grateful for... I would have just given up and pay the hefty fee... He was told to write a letter explaining the situation (in French of course) and bring all the documents which I had prepared including the proof of purchase in 2008 from Apple etc. He is rolling up his sleeves ready to fight. The store (Tekserve) said at the most we shouldn't have to pay more than the 1/3 of the service fee $390, but husband thinks even that is not right.

Anyway this is our first weekend in Paris and we prepared ourselves a small lunch, Terrine de Lièvre à l'Armagnac (rabbit paté) with Cidre left over. Then I went to IRCAM and sheepishly went back to Laurant, the formidable computer scientist of IRCAM's IT system. "I'm sooorryyyy.... I forgot my password..." I must have looked so sheepish that he took pity on me saying, "Don't be afraid!" I got my password back. Then I mailed my first package out from IRCAM to Radio France, several CDs as requested for my upcoming interview there in a few weeks.

After that with some recommendation and information on the Japanese Consulate online, we went to a Japanese store called Jujiya where I found basic everything that's Japanese food. We bought some bottles of Sake for the reception I'm planning after my talk on Tuesday. We took a bottle also for the evening at my brother-in-laws' where we met with two of his brothers and their wives. After a glass of beer, celebratory Champagne, then Sake, it was amazing I still followed their conversation thanks to Berlitz intensive classes. But maybe because the subjects were awfully familiar; we are all working parents and issues are universal. Husband carefully made canapé with fish roe, smoke salmon etc. and arranged it geometrically. As a geometer he would expect nothing less of himself, and it was delicious :) The table looked like this before we started to eat.

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