Going to France for the next few weeks

Going to France 🇫🇷, Part 1

On the road again, I am not complaining, I love it. Today I am at Wroclaw airport, waiting for my flight to Beauvais, then it will be a one hour bus to Paris. I am so glad Ryanair kept that airway open, it’s so more convenient that taking Air France or KLM through Amsterdam. Plus if I was taking KLM today I would be like an idiot because the flight on the way here has been cancelled the very last moment… KLM is so bad, their customer service is useless, I would recommend Ryanair even if it’s the king of low cost.

Wroclaw airport, in the terminal for departures
Wroclaw airport

I am always quite early when I travel by plane, I don’t like to rush to the airport or through security, I like to take it slow, anyway traveling by ✈️ is for people who like to travel fast while taking their time… I always buy something for my grand father when I travel back to Paris, it became kind of a little competition each time to find a thing to brinh back or food that he won’t hate or hide somewhere pretending it was good. 😇

This time I am also planning to go to the mountains, to see the last snow of April and enjoy the fresh air, I’ll be experiencing the night train, I read it was renovated, hopefully this time it will work (last time I was 8h late at arrival).

I can easily recognize all the blue passeports in the crowd waiting for boarding. Ukrainians are easy to spot, they look tired, worried and often travel with their pets. It has been a month since the conflict started and nearly 80 000 people arrived in the region of Wroclaw. Like I always said, the fastest way to go to France from Lviv is through train to Wroclaw and plane to France. I sincerely hope they will be able to start a new peaceful life, and maybe, one day, go back to Ukraine.

I am not sure how the conflict will evolve, so far it looks like Russia will concentrate it’s shelling and forces to the east of Ukraine like they started to do in 2014. The shelling of Marioupol is the saddest thing to read about this week, people there have no way to escape, are starving, have no access to water or basic needs. It seems that Russia decided to make it look like Warsaw after the uprising in 1944. F*ck Putin. There is no good issue in this conflict, in most scenario the best issue is the death of the Russian leader. It’s hard to tell the truth into what the people of Russia are really thinking of the conflict, they just don’t have access to information, and recently not access to any western media, like China would do…

Sunset with the view on Paris
Welcome to Paris

Polish people are the best activists in all European countries so far, they have been demonstrating peacefully, boycotting Leroy Merlin, Auchan and Decathlon. They are doing all what they can to welcome millions of people, I am just so ashamed to be French and having to listen to the pro Russians in French medias.

French are obnubilated by the presidential elections, even though it won’t make a difference given the last polls Macron will stay in place and nothing will change.

It’s good to remember how this week has been amazing in Wroclaw, the weather was a great spring weather with temperature up to 26 degrees, still 0 at night though…

Street of the center in Wroclaw with a nice weather feeling almost like summer
Felt almost like summer in Wroclaw

I heard the weather will be so shitty next week, so it was great to enjoy every days like we did. It was the restaurant week and we have been trying two different places witch both offered great soup, a nice main, and amazing desserts for as little as 59 PLN. Yes, sometimes we forget that Poland doesn’t have Euro !

A nice soup velouté as starter in novo 2, the restaurant in Novotel Wroclaw
Great food at Novo 2, the restaurant at Novotel in Wroclaw

In France 🇫🇷 Part 2

Tonight, I decided to take the night train to the south of the French Alps. After a few days working from Paris, I wanted some fresh air, and the best way to be able to go there, not losing a day of work, is to take this train 🚂.

Bed onboard the night train in second class in a compartment of 6 passengers
My bed for the night in a cabin of 6

They beautifully renovated outdated wagons that had, until last year, the same exact design and comfort as 40 years ago.

This train for me is full of souvenirs, i took it the last time to flee paris before the covid lockdowns of 2020.

Some probably hate it that it takes so long but it’s such a charming way to travel, plus with a good night of sleeping you are able to not lose a day to travel and feel ready for new adventures the morning after.

With it, you can always expect to meet nice people who have the same philosophy of slow traveling, because traveling on it also means sharing a compartment with 6 others, in tiny but sufficient beds, 3 on each side. Of course you can also opt for a first class cabin, that you can also privatize to yourself but unless you are traveling with your loved one it’s not as fun !

Between the slight movements of the train balancing from side to side, and the noise of the railway, I find it very easy to have a good night of sleep. The carrier provided a little warm blanket and a pillow which are both sufficient ! They also offer a sleeping mask, and a bunch or other things in a little amenity kit such as solid toothpaste or ear buds as well as a bottle of water.

6 bunk beds in a small space
Crowded but comfy

You have a cute little lamp and a electricity plug witch is a big luxury compared to the old cabin where you would have to stand in the tiny hallway to be able to charge your phone!

Those trains are full of funny stories. I just met this woman she didn’t woke up to exit in a citie called Die and will ahve to wait until next stop to go back 😅

Last night on the PA they made the announcement their would be a breakfast in car 7, i went the whole way there just to find two sleepy guys being like uhhh you Will need to wait we are sleeping still 😆😆 not what i was sold but it’s fine .

I will enjoy the 30 next minutes lying on my little bed writing those lines before arriving to my station 🚉 called « Gap » . This place is the last train stop before the valley I am going to, a 40 min car ride is still needed to reach my place !

This region is called Hautes Alpes, litterally the high alps, most summits range from 2500m to 4000m. According to the weather forecast It should be freezing and also snowing, i am quite excited to see the last snows of the year ! Usually in March and April you can still ski, but you are likely to be able to seat on the grass near the slopes at lunch time or be able to ski with a light jacket.

Somehow the valley I am heading to offers the best 5G network I have ever experienced, very practical to work on the go, you can basically be in the middle of nowhere and still ensure a great service to your clients 😄

It’s so close and so far at the same time. But let me show you down below 👇 why it’s worth it !

View on the mountains, with a lot of snow, on the morning with littles clouds and sun
The view

NFT mania is here, like Pokemon cards 20 years ago ?

You might still not fully understand what an NFT is, I myself had to read a bunch of articles to really figure out with time what was a “Non Fungible Token” and how to make it more simple to understand. I am going to try to popularise this topic for non specialist readers.

You might still not fully understand what an NFT is, I myself had to read a bunch of articles to really figure out with time what was a “Non Fungible Token” and how to make it more simple to understand. I am going to try to popularise this topic for non specialist readers.

Remember the end of the 20th century, around 1999-2000 when buying packs of Pokemon cards was every kid dream with their pocket money ? I would be one of them, trying to get the most rare ones to have them all in my dedicated card folder. They were of course physical cards, the size of a card game and they were not unique but some of them were pretty rare. Well NFTs are the modern digital version of these. As simple as it sounds.

I am not sure outside of Pokemon online games, NFTs of these card exists yet. But I am pretty sure its licensing company, Nintendo, is planning on releasing them soon or late, either in their own metaverse or on a dedicated marketplace.

A NFT can be anything from a unique piece of art, a copy of an existing piece of art, a copy of a card (like Pokemon cards would be, or Magic cards etc…), a GIF, a song, an item for a video game, a piece of land (yes you can buy a piece of land in a metaverse).

As for today, there is already a craze among generation Z for those digital items. They are literally spending all their pocket money into it, and the richest one are spending crazy amounts into it.
But not only the gen Z but any big players of the crypto craze is already buying them, as well as bunch of high net individuals like artists who are getting attracted by this new world of possibilities.
As I was saying in one of my recent article about the Metaverse, these items are the things you will be proud to show your friends on Instagram in the future. It will not be you new crazy expensive watch, it will be your digital monkey that you bought for the crypto money equivalent of $10k.

I am mentioning the metaverse because in fact since it’s a digital asset you can only show it to people in for example online art galeries on the metaverse. I am not sure yet there are companies offering in real life displays of NFT’s that you own but this might become in the future a product that everyone will own to be able to show their recent acquisitions.

You also have to understand that the those assets are localized on a blockchain, and that the blockchain is keeping tracks of who owns this particular item. Blockchain is also already a complicated thing to understand, to give you an example, let’s say the blockchain is like an online database, that keeps tracks of all data and connect those date on a chain of blocks. You can not modify an existing block but you can add a new one containing for example a new NFT. ( in reality blockchain is way more complex)

A popular NFT you can buy on OPEN SEA nft markeplace

So you are wondering probably, what are they buying and why are they buying something that is fully digital and that has no value but the one people are ready to pay for ? Well it’s exactly like those Pokemon cards, their real value is almost nothing but the price people are ready to pay for the rarest one is crazy.

And also it is a fashion trend and also surely the desire to own something unique that may very well increase in value in the future, a form of investment. Also with the new developments of metaverse, a totally new system of artefacts and assets is being developed.

For example the new players of the Sandbox game (link), which is using the $SAND token, to be able to be among the first players of the full game you have to buy on Open Sea an “Alpha pass” which is available for 2,76 Ethereum or $13 083,86 (link).
Just Yesterday, a piece of land of the metaverse of the sandbox was sold more than $4 million (link). Knowing that it’s only the beginning of Metaverses and that 99% of people probably don’t know anything about it yet, the potential is probably HUGE, but still with it’s a super high risk investment for something 100% virtual.

Of course NFTs are far from being perfect, first of all there is an issue of licensing since anyone can copy any piece of art and sell it as if he/she was the artist who made it in the first place. Marketplaces and buyers will have to be vigilant before buying and making their own research on whether or not this NFT they are buying is a legit one.
Also blockchain is well known for not being the most environmental friendly technology with all the power it needs.
There are security concerns as well, since you digital assets are located on a dedicated online wallet, there will always be at risk of being stolen by hackers.
And of course, as I was mentioning it on the article about the ugly reality of metaverse, people will probably tend to hide in the VR world if their “real life” is not as good as it can be in their dreams, risk of addiction are high.

Open Sea one of the largest NFT marketplace : https://opensea.io