About Me

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Born in Stockholm (Sweden), now live in Sapporo (Japan). Hold a Ph.D. in computer science and work with computers during the days, perform magic in a bar during the nights (and weekends, for kids). Also used to teach historical fencing back in Sweden.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Chance meetings and nice looking things at Versailles

Photo taken by someone unlikely to steal my camera

In Paris, there are signs everywhere stating that anything that is not nailed down and/or glued to your body will immediately be stolen by armies of pickpockets. At Versailles, there was even a sign saying that your camera was likely to be stolen even at the security check where they x-rayed the bags before you were allowed to enter the palace.

Model of the huge gardens
There is a souvenir shop in the middle of one of the fancy palace corridors.

Once inside, I wanted a photo with myself in it, but handing over the camera to someone was likely to result in them taking the camera and running away, according to the signs. I noticed a girl speaking Japanese nearby, and I figured Japanese people do not steal cameras (or anything except bicycles and umbrellas) I figured she would be a safe choice. I asked here in Japanese if she could take a photo for me and she said yes, of course. She was there with a friend, and she asked me to take a photo of the two of them together, using their camera, too.

The ceilings and walls were beautifully painted
Bedroom of the king
Next, we saw another fairly long line to wait in, so we walked over and stood in line together. We talked for a while and they asked me why I can speak Japanese. I said that I live in Sapporo, and they were very surprised and told me that they also live in Sapporo. Which surprised me too.

Hall of mirrors (the party room)
Me in the mirror in the hall of mirrors
Me in the hall of mirrors
Me and someone who works at the same university

Once we reached the end of the line, it turned out to be a line to borrow audio-guides, so you did not actually have to wait in line. I got myself an audio-guide now that I had waited in line for 10 minutes. The two Japanese girls also got audio-guides and asked me if I had got one in Japanese too. I said no, and English one. I also told them that when I was in the Louvre museum, I got both the English and the Japanese map of the museum and the showcased different pieces of art. Apparently the things that are famous in Japan and in the English speaking world are not the same, and looking at these differences is also quite interesting.

Bedroom of the queen
Small room for private dinners. The small chairs are for people watching the king and queen eat.
A surprisingly empty corridor
We wandered around the palace together too, since occasionally you want to have photos of nice rooms with yourself in the photo. We talked about the palace stuff and what the audio-guides were saying, but also about other things.

Construction work to fix-up some parts of the palace
Me again
They asked me what I was doing in Paris and said that I would be presenting some research at a conference. They then asked me if I was from Hokudai (my university), so I said yes. Then they said: "We are also from Hokudai!" It turns out that they work as nurses at our university hospital. They work with cancer patients, and we are involved in a research project related to cancer research too, so the coincidences just kept piling up. One of them had even been to a magic bar in Sapporo, and I though "It cannot be?!", but it turned out to be a different magic bar than the ones I work in, haha.

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