Friday, December 2, 2011

Working in Paris

Azerty keyboard
Photo by Alexandre Duret-Lutz

Yesterday was my first day working in Paris and the company handed me a laptop ... with the operating system in French and an Azerty keyboard. I can deal with a French operating system, but after 30 years of a Qwerty keyboard, Azerty is very frustrating. It seems like a programmer's nightmare: you have to shift to type a number or even many of the most common punctuation symbols. I can see why it would be better for writing a letter in French, but that's about it.

I had dinner at a sushi restaurant last night and waitress heard my accent and seemed almost irritated when I refused to switch to English. I thought maybe it was physically impossible for her to smile until she saw that I left a small pourboire (tip) on the table. I should have left extra for the fruit flies.

I'll work in Paris again today and leaving tonight. No photos yet, but I should be traveling regularly to Paris over the next two to three months.

In other news; the Eiffel Tower is going to be turned into the world's largest planter. Hopefully I'll get to see it again before this happens.


  1. Sorry to hear you have left b_companyname!
    Didn't get the chance to say goodbye to you :(
    Have a great life in Paris, it was an honor to get to know you a little bit in Amsterdam.
    Let's keep in touch,

  2. @Aartjan: yes, I'm sorry I'm leaving too. I had a lot of fun at And no worries about keeping in touch. I hear that you know a thing or two about this interweb thingy :)

  3. Being a Frenchman who hates AZERTY keyboards with a passion and who goes through great pains to buy laptops, netbooks and even mobile phones with QWERTY keys (QWERTY-US or, failing that, at least -GB), I can only sympathize. The best I can suggest is: configure your keyboard as QWERTY, learn to touch type, and ignore the labels on the keys (that's what I do when I have no other option).

    Anyway, I'd be glad to meet you now that you're in Paris. I hope we can have a drink together someday.

  4. @Ruxor: I'd be delighted to meet up for a drink at some point. I don't know many people in Paris yet, but already people are reaching out to say hello to me. That bodes well for our life in France :)