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I’m really proud of my mom. Even though she’s no longer as young as she looks she’s still “childish” enough to send me a postcard like this.

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I just took a simple multiple choice mathematics test, with one question taken from each school year in Germany. I can proudly say that I managed to answer all 13 of them correctly! So, at least in mathematics, I still deserve my Abitur. 🙂

If you know some elementary German, have a look at the test here.

Admittedly, I “cheated” for some of the questions as it was, for example, easier/quicker to verify each of the three given integer solutions for a system of linear equations, than to solve the system of equations by hand. In fact, I even simplified the check further by using modular arithmetic (base 10). In other words, I only checked the last digit. Let me know, if there are even quicker ways to “solve” such multiple choice questions.

Wow! 109 views in a single day (yesterday) and 448 views in one week (last week).

Admittedly, about 40% of those views are from people searching for nude/naked or Spencer Tunick (and they end up at this entry), but still this means that probably each week about 10 hours of productive working time is lost due to people reading this blog.

Isn’t this great news?  🙂

Today, I made dozens, if not hundreds of people smile or laugh for a few seconds. An exhilarating feeling.

All the cheers: “GĂ©nial!”, “Très originel!”, “C’est drĂ´le, ça!”, “Regarde comme elle marche!” And, of course, just their laughs and smiles.

I’ll upload some pictures of Jacqueline, Sylvia and me next week, but I can already tell you know that “La Marmite” was a fantastic experience!! I’m really, really glad we participated!

I mentioned about the Hospitality Club.

Needless to say that I’ve been misquoted (… I actually did meet the people, even if I was alone during the first few days …), but I guess the club still appears in a positive light, so I don’t really mind.

Le Matin Dimanche. 21 octobre 2007. MĂ©dias. Page 42.

Le Net communautaire, par Laurence Nagy

Globe-trotter sur canapé

« Ils m’ont dit : nous sommes absents, mais la clé est sous la pierre devant la porte. Je suis arrivé en rase campagne, chez des gens que je ne connaissais pas. J’ai dormi là et j’ai remis la clé en place, sans les avoir rencontrés. » Cette expérience surréaliste, Ingmar Weber l’a vécue lors d’un séjour en Alsace. Globe-trotter allemand, aujourd’hui installé à Lausanne, Weber es un inconditionnel des réseaux d’hospitalité en ligne. En voyage, il loge « chez l’habitant », privilégiant les contacts humains plus que le simple tourisme. En échange, il reçoit chez lui, à l’œil, les membres du site Hospitality Club.

« J’ai hébergé plus de trente personnes. Je ne crains pas les inconnus. A mois que l’internaute ne profère des insanités racistes sur le site, je lui offre mon sofa. »

Le principe des réseaux comme Hospitality Club (HC) ou Couchsurfing (CS) est simple : vous vous inscrivez, en précisant si vous êtes prêts à accueillir le voyageur, pour un verre, pour la nuit ou pour une visite guidée. Plus de 300 000 personnes font déjà partie de ces réseaux. Sur CS, vous pouvez consulter librement les profils des uns et des autres. Les plus détaillés sont rassurant car, plus on en dit, plus on met en confiance. Je contacte ainsi un couple de Fribourgeois, « Nico et Steph ». Cet architecte et cette enseignante sont en plein tour du monde. Ils me répondent de Shanghai. « Nous sommes chez un expatrié français. De loin la meilleure expérience. » Pour choisir leur « couch » (canapé), les deux tourtereaux se basent sur les photos, la description de la personne et la date de sa dernière connexion au site. « Cela marche très bien ! Au Japon nous sommes même restés à un endroit plus longtemps que prévu, tant notre hôte était sympa. »

Les expériences embarrassantes existent. Weber a logé chez un couple qui n’arrêtait pas de se chamailler. Nico et Steph se sont partagé la moquette sale d’un Russe de Sapporo. Mais dans l’ensemble, les globe-trotters du Net on plutôt bonne réputation.

www.hospitalityclub.org

www.couchsurfing.com

www.stephetnico.com

… was featured in an article in Le Matin Dimanche last Sunday. [Needless to say (I hope) that my favorite club is the Hospitality Club.]

The funniest thing about this: I was lucky enough to be contacted by the journalist who wrote the article (as my profile is visible for the world and can be found by a simple Google search). So I had a chance to say (or rather email) some nice things about the club and now my name is also mentioned several times in the article (which is admittedly flattering).

You can’t read the article online, but I might sit down and type it in tomorrow and will then post it here.

***  UPDATE  ***

I posted the text of the article here.

Last night I went to a celebration of the Peruvian national holiday (independence of Spain). At the beginning there were various traditional dance performances and traditional Peruvian food and drinks (including Inca Cola), but later there was life Salsa and Bachata music, which is why went there in the first place.

Towards the end I danced one extremely enjoyable Merengue with one of the organizers (50+yrs), who was full of energy and of life. After the dance she enthusiastically complimented me on my dancing skills (and would not believe that I learned to dance in Germany). Later, when I was with a Peruvian and a Swiss guy from my student dorm here, she was passing by she would also not get tired to tell the other two guys, what a great dancer I am.

I have to admit that such a compliment coming from an experienced Latin American dancer really means a lot to me. I was sooo happy afterwards and contemplated never dancing again in my whole life, as this was clearly the highest point of my “career”. 🙂

Ah, ça fait du bien! 🙂

Shortly after joining the hospitality club (http://www.hospitalityclub.org), I was proud of the fact that I had the most comments in SaarbrĂĽcken. [For the novices: Theses comments are a bit like the ratings on ebay.] But then … someone moved to SB who, unfortunately, had been to a HC camp and had met dozens of people there, who then all wrote comments about him. [Including me, as he also stayed in at my place when he was looking for an appartment.] So I had to settle for second place. Damn!
But now … I’m in Lausanne 🙂

30 comments are easily enough to ensure my rank as a top dog here. Hooray! Life’s good again.

And for people without (hardly)  any knowledge of French, Ingmar has to act as a translator.

I can get by in French and so far managed to deal with all the authorities in French (and I’m proud of that). But it was still somewhat strange for me, to help others to communicate with the caretaker of the student residence I’m staying in.

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