Some pre-nostalgic thought here.
In the last 24h, the same thing happened to me twice. This is a clear sign from the universe that I should tell the story.
I spent Christmas eve at Notre Dame de Paris, the big cathedral of Paris that you might know of. There were so many people, I’d say around 50,000 people coming and going, queuing and praying inside. It was like “the big show”.
I came with my parents but since they had arrived earlier they could actually attend mass from inside while I had to view everything through a big screen outside sitting in the cold on arranged benches. It was nice to observe all those people – mostly tourists – sitting there and queuing in the cold. I was sitting with my brother, another professional geek, and we couldn’t help noticing how people around us would share their activity online. We spotted 3 sharing patterns : facebook, twitter and foursquare. (Un)strangely, I suspect all the people that we spotted sharing to be Americans (I heard them speak). I visualize well their post “Celebrating Xmas @NotreDame in Paris, OMG so beautiful!” 🙂 I never post my activity online on the fly, ne-ver, I never know what to write. I prefer the elaborated blog article that I can re-read later. Each to their own sharing habit 🙂 I will not say that it was “OMG so beautiful” though, but listening to the choirs was indeed quite pleasant in spite of the cold.
The saint songs, the Christmas lights, the festive atmosphere, what on earth does it all have to do with toilets ?!
Today I went to the gym for a change because I have to use my 5 coupons before next week. But I don’t like staying there too long, usually I stay for maximum 30mn. Beyond 30mn I go existential and I think oh man I’m walking towards nowhere, on a machine that doesn’t move, what am I doing ???. So as usual I wanted to make it quick. Usual program : fast walk, and very high slope.
Saturday I made an interesting encounter, I met a nurse. We met at a bachelor party I organized for a very good friend. It was an adventurous race through Paris where I had designed some cool and fun actions to complete for my friend (nothing to do with dirty bachelor parties, it was in the afternoon !!!). So that’s in between actions that I got to talk with the nurse.
But where are the engineers ?!!
While we were racing in the street, she told me she was glad because for once she didn’t have to work on Saturday. “Really ?!!”, I naively said. Then she went on and introduced her job. She explained it and described all the stress she had to go through. I was kind of shocked by what she shared with me. She said that the patients were plugged to a pumping machine that was used to pump their blood, and often this machine would break down and SHE had to fix it as quickly as possible. Her words were “when that happens I need to fix it and nobody knows how to fix it, I mean I’m not an engineer, but I do have to fix the machine, so sometimes I just fix it by intuition thanks to previous experiences, sometimes I just know what I should do, sometimes I don’t and the engineers are not there”. My immediate reaction was “but where are the engineers???!”, “No idea”, she said. Incredible.
Done ! I finally finished this book. I had started it a long time ago, just after reading The naked sun, its immediate sequel in the robot series of Asimov. When I read The naked sun I got completely hooked by the robot character in the book “R. Daneel Olivaw”. So even if I started in the wrong order I decided to discover the series and start from the beginning by reading The caves of steel. Personally I preferred by far The naked sun and I will probably write a review about it more detailed than this one. But until I find the time to do that, here are my impressions about The caves of steel.