Thursday, June 28, 2012

QED International School 2012 @ Corsica

Time elapsed really fast as I have now headed in to the second year of my Ph. D. studies. Life is of course, as interesting as usual. From mid to end of April, I had the chance to participate in an international school and workshop on quantum electrodynamics (QED 2012) at Corsica, France. It is a beautiful island situated in the Mediterranean sea and also the place where Napoleon was born. The school took place at Cargese, a small village near the seaside with mesmerizing views.

I have booked the flight two months in advance from Zurich to Paris CDG and then from Paris Orly to Ajaccio airport. However, no matter how well you have prepared, there are dozens of ways to screw up your plan. I woke up earlier in the morning (5:30 I guess) and arrived more than one hour before my flight. Everything went well and I was on board punctually waiting for it to take off. Only then I was told that the flight has some technical problems and it could not be operated. After a while they announced that the computer system hanged and they need to start it and redo all the necessary procedures. By the time the problem was solved almost two hours has passed and I told myself I am gonna miss the next flight.

Arrived at the Paris CDG airport, quickly I rushed to the counter to ask for the direction to the Orly airport. Since I have checked the bus option beforehand, so I took it but found myself stuck in the hectic Paris traffic. OMG ....... As expected, I arrived at the Orly airport one minute before departure. Needless to say, I missed my flight and the person at the counter even laughed and said "oh! you flight has just taken off ~". Experienced this for the first time in my life, I had no idea what to do, other than to think that I need to buy another air ticket to fly myself to the destination. Luckily the airport staff suggested me to go to the Air France customer service counter to seek for assistance. I made myself look very sad and explained everything to the "big boss" in the office and after calling several phones he decided to issue me with a boarding pass at the night to Corsica! Phew!!! I was lucky but then needed to wait for eight hours at the airport (after rushing here and there I had no more energy to walk around Paris anymore of course). Even worse, it was just a small airport and within 20 minutes I have went through every corner of it. Finally I sat down at a place where there is a clear view of all the airplanes taking off and even fell asleep a couple of times before this damn long 480 minutes has passed.

(to be continued ......)

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