Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Already mid-november !!!


Its been a while again, i know !
Halloween was fun but according to some colleagues it was a bit disappointing at IBM.
Only 10% actually dressed up and the prizes werent that great.

I went to Belgium and had great fun though !
We went out on Friday and Saturday night and it was great !
Thanks a lot guys for the great evenings ! I miss you and hope to see you again soon !

In the mean while, its already November 10th, which means tomorrow is a bankholiday in Belgium so i have a day off and im also off on Thursday and Friday coz my mom is bringing my car to Scotland !!! When i was in Belgium, i made a list of things to put in my car so my mom stuffed it and shell bring the stuff tomorrow. Theyll be going through the tunnel and then its about 900kms drive.

I booked them a room in a very nice B&B in the small town of Inverkip. Have a look at the website if you like: http://www.forestershouse.com/
I already went there to pay and I saw the room they will stay in and its so lovely. I think they will like the bathroom very much coz its a large shower, one of those corner models. Really nice!

Anyway, just wanted to let you know that i havent forgotten you. Its just a bit busy this week...
The internet in my apartment is working but very very very slow. Uploading 1 picture of 100kb takes about a full 5 minutes.

Well, for the coming days i wont be online much but i guess starting from next weekend ill be driving around and making lots of lovely pictures again...
Theres so many places i want to visit but i need my car for it so get ready for more pictures soon ;o)

have a great day and take care !



Monday, October 26, 2009

Poem 6: I wonder

Sometimes I wonder what it is
that makes me feel this way
whenever I look at nature
I suddenly know what to say

I've never been good at writing poems
never found a way for the inspiration to see
but now with all these beautiful things
it just transforms into words for me

At first I was astonished
about how amazing it can be
then I discovered the wonderful trees
in the small town of Skelmorlie

IBM made me wonder
about whatever it is they do
I soon realised they always say "we"
and not ever just "you"

I guess I mostly start wondering
when I've got nothing to do
and then I think about all the great poets
is it the same for you?

Written Oct 26th, 2009

Poem 5: Nature and Humans

Poem 4 is a bit too personal to post so I'll skip to poem 5

Red, orange, brown and green
those are the colours that I've seen
a playful rustle of leaves
proves to me that i believe

Humans try to change the world
into what they call "a better place"
but they will always be in the footsteps
of what nature had to face

Nature is strong
nature will prevail
humans can try as much as they want
but in the end they will fail

A tree can bend in many ways
whether it's wind, rain or ice he has to face
it takes its time to go through this fase
and doesn't escape to outer space

By wanting to move "fast forward"
humans forget to see
that nature is much stronger
than they will ever be.

Written on Oct 14th, 2009

Poem 3: This is where I am...to find out who I am

sounds like a dream come true
wait till you actually get here
you'll think it through

Nothing goes easy
everything goes slow
it's not to sound sleazy
it's just so you know

Greenock, Greenock
what is there to tell?
everybody is really friendly
it's not even close to hell

Service Center Benelux
what is it that we do?
though we do not wear a tux
still i got a little clue

Skelmorlie, Skelmorlie
upon a mountain high
you get this amazing view
which makes you want to fly

I'm working here, I'm living here
this is where I am
I'm living here, I'm working here
to find out who I am

Written on Oct 13th, 2009

Poem 2: Mystery

Mystery, mystery
I love you
misty, misty
don't make me blue

water, water
comes out of you
druling, druling
that's what you do

whisper, whisper
along the sea
who or what are you
oh my mystery

Written Oct 7th, 2009

Poem 1: Sunrise and the sea...

What a beautiful sight
What a wonderful view
it makes me realise
how much I love looking at you

Time doesn't age you
but makes this world look young
I wonder who recognises
the song that you've sung

It's never the same
there's always something new
that's why I love
listening to you.

Written on Oct 5th, 2009

Lost count of days

Hi everyone,

it's been a while but i have some things to post. Unfortunately, my internet connection isn't fast enough to upload pictures (unless i want to spend the rest of the night uploading them).
However, I discovered that the many beautiful sights around here just transform me into a poet.
So i'll just post the poems i've written so far.

I'll put them in different posts, so it looks like an actual poem ;o)

Enjoy your evening !



Monday, October 19, 2009

Day 22: Finally back to Earth


Sorry for the long silence. I moved into my apartment on October 8th which meant that I didn't have internet connection nor mobile connection. My apartment lies on a mountain in the small town of Skelmorlie.

The day before yesterday, I finally found a solution for this and so now I do have internet and mobile connection.

A lot of things have happened. I moved in, didn't have any warm water or heater coz the thing didn't work. Now it's finally fixed but makes a hell of a noise.

I have internet and mobile connection which makes me very happy coz at least now I can talk to people again :o) I also bought a cable to connect the tv (which the previous tenant left behind) to the antenna so when the weather is nice, I can watch 4 channels. If it rains or there's a lot of wind, I can only watch 2 channels.

Last week, I spent most of my time sitting with my colleagues in the SC/ITS Benelux team. Listening to conversations and watching them while they use the programs. On wednesday, October 14th, I answered my first call and on Friday, October 16th, I did a test on the SC part for which I passed :D

During the weekends, I mostly walk around in the neighbourhood, checking out the mountain and making lots of pictures. Now that I have internet again, I will post them online but it is a very slow connection so it might take a while before they are all online...

Today was much the same as last week. Listening to HW conversations and answering SC calls.
Tomorrow I will have my first "late" shift. This means that I start working at 9.30am till 6pm.

This is it for now...

I'm sure I'll start posting more regularly again now that the internet connection is back.

Take care !!!



PS I almost forgot !!! The ship QE2 passed in Greenock today. I saw it through the binoculars of a friend and it was just very very very impressive !!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Day 9 : Lucky day


This is my lucky day today !!!

This morning, I didn't want to go to IBM because I didn't like the idea of being in the D&B team. However, around 9.30am the teamleader came to me saying they had found another team for me and so I sat with that team for the rest of the day. I had sooooooooooo much fun. I am now actually doing the inbound calls !!!

There are 3 types of calls :

1) communication within IBM : anyone (IBM or non-IBM) calling for an employee of IBM/contractor working for IBM will come to us and we'll put you through to the person you request.

2) HW (Hardware) Calls :

a) New HW Call : when you have any hardware (printers, scanners, copiers, ...) which doesn't work properly and requires a technician. You call us, we'll put the request in the system and a technician will call you as soon as possible. It's not necessarily IBM material but under contract with IBM.

b) HW Update Call : when you already made a request but haven't heard of the technician yet, we'll make an update of that request.

3) SW (Software) Calls :

a) New SW Call : when you have any software (don't know the details yet, that's for in 2 months) which doesn't work properly and requires help of a technician. You call us, we'll put the request in the system and a technician will call you as soon as possible. It's not necessarily IBM material but under contract with IBM.

b) SW Update Call : when you already made a request but haven't heard of the technician yet, we'll make an update of that request.

At 4pm my day was over so I could go home.

At 6pm I had an appointment to take a look at 2 apartments with each 1 bedroom. My friend and I were both interested and we worked it out. I got the first floor and she the ground floor and we're moving in on Friday. Take a look at the pictures, they show you the apartment exactly as it is. The only thing is that the white couch won't stay ;o)

It is a renovated coach house in the tranquil setting of the garden grounds of Balvonie House on Halcketburn Road in Skelmorlie. If you look out the window in my living room, then you have a wonderful view over the sea between all the trees ;o)

I'm having my lucky day today !!!

Day 8 : Dinner


I finally managed to get to a restaurant with indian food.

Most of the restaurants have tandoori on the menu but this one had all kinds of indian food :

To pass time, the house offered us :

spiced onions (tomato sauce with slight mint taste)
with papads

For starter, I had "Alu Tikka" which are deep-fried slices potatoe with Tikka Masala (typical spices) and a tomato sauce.

Ingrid went for the vegetable Pakora (deep-fried vegetables with a tomato sauce)

Vegetable Pakora

As a main dish, I had the "Alu Gobi" which I have never had before but it was delicious !!!

Alu Gobi

with chapati

And Ingrid went for the Chicken Tandoori style with Naan

Chicken Tandoori
with Naan bread

Sunrise and the sea...

This spectacular view got me inspired this morning...

What a beautiful sight
What a wonderful view
It makes me realise
how much I love looking at you

Time doesn't age you
but makes the world look young
I wonder who recognises
the song that you've sung

It's never the same
There's always something new
That's why I love
listening to you

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Day 6 : Scottish bagpipe band

Hey everyone,

My camera was dead yesterday afternoon but I could use a friend's camera so here are the pictures of the bagpipe band, though i couldn't make a video.



Day 6 : Pictures


here are some pictures of today :



if you look closely, you can see the rainbow which i woke up with...
on the right sight, there was this ...

Day 6&7 : Weekend

Hi all,

How are y'all doing? ;o)

Oh, i forgot to tell that i went to some estate agents on friday afternoon and i have 4 appointments for next week. I found out that it's a lot cheaper to go live alone coz you get a discount on the council tax for being alone. And for the apartments I saw, the costs of electricity and all are already included :) Eva has found some flatshare somewhere in the neighbourhood.

Yesterday, i had a great day. We went into town to check out some nice architectures. We went for a sim card for Ditte (danish girl). It's just a crappy system here. You get a sim card when you buy a phone. The phone is already connected to some provider and every provider has a different price for the same phone. For example, the LG KP500 Cookie costs in Belgium 125 euros for just the phone. Here it depends on the provider. If you go for Tesco Mobile, you pay £89 but if you want to go for O2, you pay £109. T-mobile and Orange don't even have that specific phone...

So i bought the LG KP500 from Tesco Mobile coz unfortunately, my phone is become crappy as well. I've had a couple of times that i'm texting someone and in the middle of my text, it just falls out, eventhoug my battery is full. Or I charge it during the night and in the morning it says battery full and 10min laters, again gone, no battery...

So i bought the LG from Tesco Mobile and gave the sim card to Ditte coz I already have a sim card of T-mobile, which i got earlier this week. The only problem now is that i can't use my sim card in the LG unless i pay to get it unlocked...

I went to this weird store where you can get your mobile unlocked and i saw he's just using a website to crack a code so that my mobile gets unlocked. I didn't trust the guy and when he told me i had to leave my cellphone for 2 days, i told him i couldn't coz i was expecting some calls.
So i went looking online myself and i've downloaded a program to unlock it myself for free.
I'll try it today and hopefully it works...

at 3pm, the boys were of course already at James Watt pub and they called us to join so at 3pm yesterday i was already having beer again. On friday night, we mostly tried out all the cocktails and strong drinks so yesterday we went for the different types of beer...

we again had a lot of fun but this time i didn't stay that long coz one of the girls couldn't walk straight any more and she wanted to go home so i took her home. It's only 2min walk but i didn't want her to run under a car because she forgot they came from the right instead of the left ;o)

today is a very quiet day. the sun is shining again and i'm just enjoying internet. during the week, the connection is really slow coz of all the students being online but today it's quite fast :D

another thing i noticed, is that i'm no longer thinking in dutch. we made a rule in the group that with all the different nationalities , it's better to speak english and whomever speaks their native tongue will buy a round of drinks. i haven't spend a single coin yet ;o) but the danish and dutch people have paid a lot already :p i think this rule helps a lot to think completely in english LOL

this afternoon, i might go and check out the leisure complex. I only saw the outside so far and have heard about the things inside, but i'm getting curious so i'll go and check it out.

as for now, i'll try to unlock my phone.

enjoy your sunday and so far this looks like a monologue thing but feel free to comment on my blog :D


Day 5 : Induction IBM

Hey !

Today was our first induction at IBM. We were picked up at 8.45am.

When we arrived at IBM, there were 3 more new people : again a dutch girl, a canadian girl and a german guy. We all got the names of the teams we'll work in and got a presentation about the history of IBM, the history of Manpower and how both of them work together.

Then we got a small tour in the building. The main floor is huge. It's an open room, the size of 10 rooms where the walls were cut out. Lots of windows, high ceilings and of course all IBM material.
All the teams have their own small "island" and there are lots of banners with team names and flags of the countries.

I'll be working for D&B (Dunn and Bradstreet) in a team of dutch people where Eva and me will be the only belgians. We will be dealing with the belgian queries. Dunn and Bradstreet is a company that looks up all kinds of information about companies. For example, you need an address of a company called Pauwels in Boom ;o) but the address you find on internet doesn't match the phone number. Then you can request D&B to find the right information. We will check all our sources to find the right address and if necessary we'll make outbound calls to ask 10 questions to get our information.

At noon, we had lunch in the cafeteria. You can use your card to put money on it and then pay for anything you want : snacks, drinks, coffee, warm lunch, cold lunch, dessert, ...
I had the haddock with lemon and fries, though i was a bit surprised coz they advertise "haddock, lemon and chips" for £2.30 but when i got at the register, i had to pay £3.05 coz apparently the fries are £0.75 !!! The lady was very nice and didn't charge for the fries coz i was new but still why do they advertise one thing and still charge for another?

from 1pm till 2.30pm we had "buddying" in our teams. we mostly just chatted about working for manpower, the experience of scotland and how to find an apartment LOL

at 2.45pm a bus was supposed to pick us up but it only came at 3.30 so we stood waiting in the rain for about an hour. then it dropped us off at the mall, we all went to look for the things we wanted and at 5pm we were all drinking beers at the James Watt Pub LOL

boys will be boys of course ;o) they had been drinking all week already and they finally convinced us girls to go with them. it is a bit different from belgium though coz you have a beer at lunch, you have a beer at dinner and after that you drink the rest of the evening and get kicked out of the pub at 1am LOL

we had a lot of fun and we agreed on doing it again soon...

Hope you all enjoy your weekend !!!


Day 4


Today i got up at 8am, went for breakfast and took a walk along the water. this time i didn't bring my camera and of course that time the sun chose to shine with full power. ;o)

I came back to my room and started looking for apartments. That time, the plan was still to share with Eva and maybe the danish girls so i looked for 3 or 4 bedroom apartments. Out of a list of 20, i only had 2 appointments coz you need to have a license for 3 or more bedrooms and not all them had it. The appointments were in Paisley.

I like the name of the town, probably coz it's an indian design ;o)
But when we actually got there, it looked terrible. Some taxi drivers had already told us that Paisley is a bit "dodgy" but we wanted to see for ourselves and i have to admit, it is reaaaaaally dodgy. I don't know how many of you have been to Berlin in Germany, but if you visit the eastern side of Berlin, you'll find houses with holes in the walls coz of guns and stuff. Paisley reminded me very much of that, do i need to say more??? ;o)

we decided not to go for the apartments, even though the second one was really nice and big on the inside. so we took the train back to greenock and at 4pm i was again online looking for more apartments. the danish girls decided then to just go for a 2 bedroom and stay in greenock. they visited some real estate agents and they will go back on friday to sign the rental contract.

so that leaves me and Eva without apartment. The guys also found a place to stay, they will also sign tomorrow. Ingrid, the dutch girl, also hasn't found an apartment yet so i'm not worried yet coz i'm not the only one ;o)

tomorrow will be our first induction day at IBM so probably not much time to look for apartments. we'll see what happens.

talk to you later !


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Day 3 : House hunt


Today we went househunting with the Manpower representatives. They were supposed to pick us up at 10.15am coz at 10.30am we had an appointment at a real estate agency but they only picked us up at 10.30am so we missed the first appointment.

The flats (mostly 2 bedrooms) we saw were not bad but they ask a lot of money for it just because it is situated in Greenock. Online, I saw 3 and 4 bedroom flats for the same price in another town, called Paisley (which sounds much nicer I think) ;o)

There are 6 girls in my group and so Eva (other belgian girl), the 2 danish girls and me are thinking about sharing.
We found online a very nice house/villa for a very reasonable price (if you include the council tax and monthly costs and then split it by 4, it would be around 500 per person) There's a fifth bedroom in case someone else would like to share or when we have visitors, they'll have a place to sleep ;o) Take a look at the link here : http://www.s1rental.com/renting/search/200710011023636137.shtml I already called the agency to ask about the council tax. They'll call me back today and then we'll ask for an appointment to go look at it.

It is close to Paisley Gilmour Street Railway Station which is what we need to get to IBM. The train trip would take about 25min and we get £50 discount on the season ticket coz we work at IBM.

After the househunt, the Manpower ladies took us for lunch. It was actually really funny coz we were driving in the bus and I told Eva that there was a restaurant which had a banner "eat for free" so I joked about it and said that we would probably be eating there. 2 seconds later, the bus stopped and we had to get out to go eat there LOL

The food was very nice, I had a steak pie which is what we call in Belgium "stoofvlees" but you get the sandwich of a "worstenbroodje" on top of it. There were some mashed potatoes with spring onions and it was very nice.

After that, they dropped us at the mall and we went looking around. I found a Clarks store, where I found some very nice shoes but I haven't bought them coz there's no room in my suit case and when we move, we have to find our own transportation and all so if we go by bus, I'll have to carry my own suitcase...

Then we came back to the Campus and searched further online for some nice flats/houses. And now I'm going to buy some dinner...

Enjoy your evening and see you next time!

Cheer(i)o !!!


Day 3 Scotland : Morning walk

Good morning everyone,

Start of day 3 : It's 9am and I just got back from a morning walk along the water.

Take a look at the pictures I made...