Air Canada

This email is amusing for a number of reasons. First of all it attempts to tell us that within Canada and the US we now have the exciting privilege of buying our own food because they can't be bothered to cater to people who don't like plastic chicken and rice. It is also obvious that I was sent this because I have a return ticket to Canada on the 13th of December — however, they didn't seem to notice that my flight isn't within the continental region that this information applies to. So I'm left wondering whether I'll be able to buy expensive tiny portions of food on the airplane.

Dear Sir / Madam,

You have booked flight(s) for travel on 12/13/05.

Please be advised, as of November 01, 2005, all Hospitality Class service, for flights over 1.5 hours, within Canada and the continental USA (Hawaiian and Mexican destinations excluded) will feature our Onboard Café service. As well, Special Meals will no longer be available for these flights in Hospitality Class.

With our Onboard Café, we are pleased to offer our Hospitality Class customers with a popular, innovative menu of reasonably priced items featuring brand, quality and choice. Please refer to the Onboard Café page on aircanada.com for details of the product, including the latest menu.

Thank you for choosing Air Canada. Bon voyage!

2Nov
Location: Meteorology GU01 @ 5:28

Lectures over, but far from done.

There are no more lectures for this term for myself and a number of my fellow Erasmus Mundus friends. The regular Network Centred Computing students have two more modules left, but then again, they are on a one year program and ours is a year and a half. Just because the classes are over doesn't mean that we are in the clear — far from it. November is looking to be a very busy month, especially for those in my program without much programming knowledge. I also have the additional challenge of finishing up the online store for my aunt's spa and making some overall modifications to their website.

Haven't had the time or inclination to do much more exploring recently, but I do hope that I can get somewhere photo-worthy again before I leave England. I have some early plans in mind that involve Budapest and/or Vienna in the not too distant future, but nothing for sure.

6Nov
Location: Bridges Hall, University of Reading @ 9:38

Presentation over!

My transferable skills presentation is finally over. I feel that it went well. The last presentation in our session was about web logs so I felt that it was appropriate to post something now.

The irony is that this presentation took me at most a quarter of the time that it took be to write the report that it is based off of. And the presentation is worth over twice as much towards my final mark. Even funnier that I spent much more time preparing for this 10 minute presentation than I did preparing for one whole week of lectures when I taught web development to the Shads. I guess it goes to show — something.

It looks like we are about to start again. Cheers.

8Nov
Location: NTI Suite 3, CS Building @ 5:21

ISIC

When you are an international student, it is a good idea to have an International Student Identity Card. I got one last year before I finished at Dal. I'd like to say that I had a premonition that I would be going international, but in reality since it expires Dec 2005, I was simply hoping to use it to extend my student status after I had graduated. Turns out that didn't matter because I am still a student, but the other benefits of this card include considerable discounts on airfare and train travel in Europe which is a good thing.

On a slightly different note, I learned today that they (the powers that be) are looking into arranging a group fare to Thessaloniki from London. This seems like a good idea, but since there is a month between the two terms, and some people are returning to their home countries (not just me) or otherwise leaving the country, this could become a serious logistical nightmare. Many portions of the program already are a serious logistical nightmare, but we have some very kind and capable people working on our behalf here in Reading. Although we are dealing with various issues like obtaining visas and handling scholarship payments, none of the problems encountered thus far are a result of any lack of effort from our coordinators here. Special mention should go to Linda who has been dealing with our problems since day one. And while some people may not recognize it, I am forever grateful that she is here to help us.

14Nov
Location: Bridges Hall, University of Reading @ 6:05

Living in Spain

I figure it is about time that I mentioned that I have secured a spot to live on campus in Spain. One of 4 single rooms that were available. There is a virtual tour of the room (which requires Java), and if you follow the links on the left side of the page, there are tours of a couple other choice locations. Lets just say that these rooms put to shame anything that I have seen in residence rooms before. They are fully catered and also command a hefty price tag. They are going to cost about the same as my accommodation in Reading — which I can manage without a problem, but I was expecting a cheap ride in Spain. Nenad (who has another of these single rooms) and I are still considering the possibility of getting an apartment, especially considering that if we stay for our dissertation, we will be here for about a year.

Living in Spain for a year, who knew? :)

19Nov
Location: Bridges Hall, University of Reading @ 15:25

The sound of fainting

Well after what could be considered hell week by even the most seasoned student, I have finished my Network Computing course. A 5000 word group paper due Monday — along with the slides for a 20 minute presentation which was delivered this afternoon following an exam this morning. Top it all off with a 2000 word individual paper due tonight at 10pm (already submitted) — all this for the same course.

But that is behind me now and I only have to finish my java assignment, which I will enjoy, and another essay, which I won't.

30Nov
Location: Bridges Hall, University of Reading @ 11:31

More flying

In all the Network Computing excitement lately, I neglected to mention the fact that I actually purchased a ticket back to Europe from Canada for round two of my european odyssey. I was initially going to buy a one-way ticket from Halifax to London, because I had no idea when the next chance for me to get home would be. However, one-way flying it turns out it ridiculously expensive. Needlessly so. It was half of the price to buy a return ticket than it was to fly one-way. So I am leaving Halifax on 31 Dec — which was also cheaper — and returning 15 Nov 2006. That was the furthest in advance that I could book the return. I suspect that when I get closer to that date, I will be able to move it ahead, potentially into December in case I get a chance to return for Christmas again next year.

As a new experience I can add to my list I am going to be ushering in 2006 somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean in a flying tube full of people I've never met before. Of course I'm still not sure how I'm getting from London to Greece yet, but that story will be told when it is told. :)

30Nov
Location: Bridges Hall, University of Reading @ 11:40

What Now?

Well, it would seem that for the most part, my Europe Adventure is over. It has been an amazing time. Now, I am reviving the ailing colinbate.com and going to make a go of it over there. All the best.

Times

Nova Scotia, Canada
5:57 (Dec 2, 2020)
Reading/London, United Kindom
9:57 (Dec 2, 2020)
Thessaloniki, Greece
11:57 (Dec 2, 2020)
Madrid, Spain
10:57 (Dec 2, 2020)
Guatemala, Guatemala
2:57 (Dec 2, 2020)

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