Europe Trip Journal – Entry 22: Drowsy and Annoyed

Today was a rather slow day. I got up at 8:20 to get breakfast at the hostel. This time they had bread \o/. I was the only one eating there, everybody else (there was a group of elderly people staying at the place too) must have gotten theirs already. At some point C. came down to get her breakfast too. She however decided to eat in the garden.

After I finished my meal, I went back to my room to lay down on the bed for an hour or so, before it was time to pack my bag. After checkout at 11:00, I said farewell to C. and headed to the metro station. Half way there I noticed that I forgot my leftover beer bottles at the hostels fridge, but I decided not to go back. May someone else enjoy a drink on my behalf ๐Ÿ™‚

I had 3:30h left before I would take the train, so how to best kill spend that time? In the metro station I studied the network map and decided that I wanted to check out the port near the city center, which I had not visited yet.

When I walked up the stairs at the port station (I forgot the name unfortunately), immediately the smell of fish got into my nose. Et voila, directly next to the metro entrance was a big stand displaying dead fish.

More interesting than the fish I found a pharmacy sign at the other side of the bay. Having no highspeed internet left on my phone (come on, they say they throttle the connection down to lower speeds, but in reality they suffocate the phones connectivity! I would not mind not being able to watch videos while not on WiFi, but at least text-only pages should still work! Right now, not even translator pages would load without timing out. Someone needs to sue! Rant over) I was unable to search for the French word for coughing, so I just winged it and asked the pharmacist if she would be able to speak English. Luckily she was, so I was able to get some medicine. Hopefully my coughs are gone until the end of the week.

With this out of the way, I wandered around without a plan for some time and eventually decided to go to the local Burger King in hope for some WiFi. At this point I was annoyed at the waiting time and just wished that time was running faster. After finishing a vegan whopper and an ice tea it was still about 2h left, but I had enough of the port area so I took the metro to the station nonetheless.

When I entered the station, my hand searched for my ticket but I could not find it. I searched my other pocket but no trace of the ticket. Damn. Annoyed I was about to by another ticket when I saw one laying on the access control gates. Was that mine? I took it and placed it on the sensor and sure enough, the gate opened. Kind French people ๐Ÿ™‚

My wait at the train station was unspectacular and just as annoying. I sat down on a bench and listened to music. I was really tired so I almost fell asleep again and again. Time still seemed to crawl so it was like an eternity until finally the schedule display showed the platform on which my train was waiting. The train ride was the same deal. I just wanted to get to Lyon and so I listened to music and tried not to fall asleep.

In Lyon I took the metro. I had to switch 2 times, the third time being just for one more station. The last metro train was waiting at a station that was quite aggressively tilted. So far even, that between the tracks there was a toothed rack, so apparently this was a cog railway! I’ve never taken one. A few minutes after, the train departed and rolled into the deep black of the tunnel. After a rather steep decent it eventually transitioned into the horizontal. Then it felt like the train was aggressively accelerating as I was pushed to the back. However, there was no engine howl or anything, the sound of the engine stayed the same. Finally I realized that the train was on a super steep ascent. And then it stopped at the station. After getting off the train, I had to take a picture of the station:

Note, that the camera is held perfectly horizontally

The hostel was just a few meters away, so finally I could check-in and get some more rest in my bed. What an annoying day.

In the evening I did some work in the community area of the hostel. There is a new revision of the Stateless OpenPGP Protocol specification which adds support for password-protected keys. I got to work implementing these changes in sop-java, which is the generic interface library used by pgpainless-cli and pgpeasy.

Another guest sat down next to me with a jute bag displaying a “there is no cloud” logo. He pulled out a Thinkpad covered in stickers just like mine. I noted that these were some nice stickers and we got to talk for a short while. He asked me if I was attending MixIT, an IT conference which was apparently happening in Lyon just now. I denied and he told me the conference was held exclusively in French anyways. Still, would have been nice to combine my stay here with a visit at a hacker conference ๐Ÿ˜€

Now its time for me to go to bed. Hopefully the medicine I got will work and I wont keep everybody in my room awake.

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