Monday, July 3
Upon getting up and looking in the mirror I notice I forgot to put suncream on a tiny little pot in my neck. It's all red there now. Despite the fact that I don't feel anything, I decide to keep an eye (and some suncream) on it these next few days
At work I'm continuing my research for authorisation and I'm harassing some people in order to get them to do what they promised to do. I feel like quite a drag, but it's the way things work so I just have to get used to it.
If I ask, the testing environment isn't ready yet. Apparently the import crashed over the weekend. Harald has restarted it and now it's just a matter of waiting until it finishes. Then later during the day I get an e-mail saying we can perform the satellite connection test on Thursday. This puts me behind schedule, but I've got a final date now and that feels like a big step forward!
Tuesday, July 4
If I look out the windows I see it promises to be another hot day. I don't really mind today, as I will be in some nice air-conditioned buildings during working hours. I'm quite surprised actually at how I am reacting to the higher temperatures here. Usually I cannot cope with heat, at least not in the Netherlands. They say it's a different kind of heat here and it turns out to be correct. I'm not sure what exactly is different: I think humidity. In any case, windchill factor is a lot lower here than at home and as long as you drink plenty of water and stay in the shade there's no problem at all.
Today is real talking-day. By the time it's lunchtime I finished three mini-meetings already. The result of all this talking is that in the afternoon I am getting my first details. They'll e-mail me the official details, but now I can tick off one thing from list. Another step forward!
By the way, did I tell you the keyboards are different here from those at home? Most characters are in their usual places, but a few, like the quotation mark and the at are switched. This makes me type “”” where I should be typing @@ and vice versa. By the time I'm used to this my five weeks are up I think.
In the evening I don't really feel like going out, but I don't really feel like staying home either. As a compromise, I decide to to go the Verde Smeraldo restaurant. It's right next to the hotel and I still have "eating a Pizza con Salsicce" on my to-do list. Ferry has recommended that one to me last week, but I didn't get to trying it yet. I look it on the menu and try to remember its spelling. I don't want to too much stupid typing errors in my weekly report.
The pizza is indeed a good idea, because it tastes delicious.
Wednesday, July 5
Italy has won from Germany with two against zero. When I watch BBC World this morning I see images of cheering crowds somewhere near the Circus Maximus. It scares me a little and I decide to check out when the world cup final is, so I know when to not be in Rome city centre. All those people drunk from Italian success and no doubt necessary alcoholics don't seem a really good idea to me. (now I wonder whether I should go to conquer my fears or something like that??).
At work I receive an e-mail from my Mummy. She doesn't have internet herself, but she was visiting two aunts of mine who do have internet. I enjoy reading it and immediately send a response. After that I start my work. As I'm busy, several point are addded to my to-do-list. During the morning I have a conference call with home, being TNT and Ordina, and in this meeting another couple of points are added to my list. I've really got to tick off some of those points, there are some many right now!
In the evening I decide to go shopping at the Parco Leonardo shopping centre. While I'm there I remember I forgot to take my camera. I should at least take a picture of till number 50 in that very large super market. And if they allow it some pictures of the strange things they sell. At home supermarkets usually sell groceries, not tv's and car tyres.
Thursday, July 6
Today is the day of the great "satellite-test". I hop very much it will produde some usable results. And the satellite connection simply works well, because without a network connection we can forget about this whole centralization thing. I wouldn't know how to go about it without network. We start testing and Harald, Drago and me are very surprised about the good responsetimes we get. The systems reacts immediately, it's almost like being in Headquarters (which we actually are, but we pretend to be in the middle of nowhere at the moment). We are all very happy about that. The satellite-connection was my greatest worry. There are other difficult issues, but nothing we cannot solve I think.
At the end of the morning both Drago and Joachim invite me for an Out-of-office lunch. I don't know what the plans are, but since everybody's going, I'm coming too. I'm getting a ride with Joachim together with some other WFP-collegues. Joachim turns out to be driving a cute and old little van (it's army-green and it looks like a sixties Volkswagen van but since I forgot to look at the brand upon getting in, I don't know for sure). We follow the road out of Rome and a couple of minutes later we end up at a small well hidden restaurant. First they bring us all kinds of different dishes with antipast and once we finished that they discuss in italian about the necessety of a secundo. Some people ( like me) are already completely filled up because we ate too much antipasti, and some others want to have a second course. I don't understand the conversation, but it turns out they ordered some kind of mixed grill. I don't really feel like eating anymore, but I do try a few things which Joachim recommends me and they turn out to taste terrific.
As we walk back to the parking lot in order to get back to work, I notice the clouds in the air. Suddenly I realize I miss the rain. Would it really be raining the next couple of hours?
Friday, July 7
The alarm clock rings. I open my eyes and look to the curtains. They look like no sun is shining right now. Now I am awake. No sun? Later, when I'm dressen I open the curtains and notice it's raining. And by the looks of the streets it's been raining for some time. Then vaguely I can hear thunder. Wow, not just a show but an actual thunderstorm! At the reception of the hotel they have umbrellas, but I don't take on. I want to enjoy the rain on my way from home to work.
At work I draw up all curtains. From my desk this gives me a great view at the thunderstorm. Some fifteen minutes later the weather starts getting worse. When it's raining, it's raining allright! It's raining cats and dogs right now! Half an hour later it deminishes and another hour later the sun is shining again. Beautiful songs don't last long J.
As far as my impact analysis is concerned, I'm trying to work out some functional-design-like things. Once that is done, I can start trying to estimate how much time (and therefore, money) it will cost to actually design and build it. Hm. I don't think I know enough yet. I get my trusty notebook and start interviewing people. That helps. Now things are much clearer and I can write down my first (well, actually it's Harald's and Daniela's but okay) hour-estimations. This feels like another step in the right direction. It's nice to close up the week like this..