December 18th, 2006

Sneaky Bastard: Solid Snake

"Those weird people from next door"

We have little contact with our neighbours.  Sure, when we meet on the street, we wave to each other. Sometimes we have a little chat about nothing in particular. The neighbours of both sides have been in our house only once -- just after we moved in, because they were curious as what we made of the house. We never paid them a visit in return.

I'm pretty OK with that. They're good people, but they lead vastly different lives. That makes it hard to really get to know them. Basically, they're friendly strangers that happen to live in the same location.

We forgot their names. They introduced themselves, of course, but if you never use the names, you forget them.
Until we got a christmas card in our letterbox from the right-hand neighbour. She forgot our names as well (the card was adressed to our house number), but she signed it with her name. So now we have a written reminder of that! We put a card in her letterbox in return, signed with our names. We did the same for the other neighbours, and we got a card back from them as well.

It allows everybody to ask for the names of everyone else, without having to admit the embarassing fact that you forgot it during a conversation. Ideal. :)
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Tiring days at work

Last week, the consultants from our overseas branches visited the 'corporate headquarters'. To get to know the people they mail/Skype with, but also to get an update on the product portfolio and future directions.

We sat in on one of the sessions, but Thursday was the 'consultants fun day', when we spent the whole day together with our Dutch consultant-colleagues. ('We' being klik and me, by the way.)
The day kicked off right in front of klik's previous workplace -- we met some of her former colleagues in their coffee break. We split up in four groups, and then did a GPS-tour across Nijmegen, which was great fun! We're contemplating buying a GPS unit to go geocaching in the weekends...
After that was lunch, lasergaming, a tour around the city brewery, and dinner. Good fun, nice to chat with colleagues in a different setting. A bit tiring, though -- lots of walking!

The next day, friday, was the christmas dinner. We collected one of my colleagues and drove to the location. The speeches were quite different from what I was used to, but in a positive way. There was much emphasis on the (commercial) achievements of the company as a whole and of specific individuals. The new employees were singled out as well, to introduce them to the larger group -- the chronological order meant that klik came right behind me in that row.

Later, when we were leaving and said goodbye to the Australian consultant, he told us (wide-eyed) that he had no idea that we were married! I'm not sure if any of the other people from overseas caught on to our marriage, but his reaction was very honest and funny.

Saturday, we went to visit usmu, but that is worth an entry of its own.
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