Well it has been almost two months since my inaugural post from Paris. Despite good intentions, I haven’t been able to find the time to sit down and put virtual pen to virtual paper on a proper post. Thankfully I never had any clearly committed to posting schedule, thus I will take inspiration from one of my favourite blogs which has just recently updated its posting schedule from “New Posts Every Tuesday” to “New Posts Every Sometimes”…sounds about right!
As always, for those interested in what I am up to as part of my European adventures, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are the best ways to keep up with my goings on. The long and the short of it: life is good.
Sometime in February I crossed the threshold when moving to a new city where one goes from feeling like a tourist to feeling like I actually live here (if not quite yet at home). It’s a good place to be at coming up on my third month here and I’m feeling more and more settled and comfortable in Paris. The language barrier in day-to-day life is something that I’m conscious of, but my rudimentary (and hopefully slowly improving) French, combined with the occasional need for an impromptu game of Charades, has been enough to navigate most situations. There have been a lot of little differences I’ve noticed in daily life here; in fact that is a blog post in and of itself that I plan to write at some point. However on balance most of the little differences fall into either the “good” or “interesting” category and I can say 2 1/2 months into this journey that I am very happy that I took this particular leap of faith.
Work started to kick into high-gear over the past month and I have to say that I am grateful for the opportunities to travel and learn that this position is affording me. I am currently working on projects related to public governance reforms in both Northern Ireland and Slovakia. Over the past month I have had the opportunity to travel to Belfast and Bratislava to learn first-hand about their systems of government and work with their officials to help identify areas for improvement, specifically in my case in the realm of what we call digital government. I’m also working on a number of broader projects with our OECD member countries in the realm of digital government, taking a particular focus on our work on best practices in government use of social media. Last month I co-authored a blog post with a colleague of mine titled “Measuring Government Impact in a Social Media World” which builds on some research that our team published late last year. We got some good online traction from the blog post and even a few media articles in Chile.
So that’s it for now! I will wish you all well and leave you with a few pictures from my travels over the past month and my continuing exploration of Paris.
My colleague Jeremy took some amazing pictures from our time in Belfast which you can find at this link (I’m sharing with his permission as they put anything I took to shame!)
I will only add to his great collection a shot of the very impressive Titanic Museum that I had a chance to visit on the Saturday morning before I flew back to Paris, along with the scale model so you can see how big the actual ship was compared to the museum (each corner of the museum is the same size as the bow of the ship):
Panoramic view of the Slovakian Parliament and the Bratislava Castle:
View of the Slovakian Parliament from the front steps:
I don’t know what these are actually called, but I call them “Slovakia Sticks” and they were great! 🙂
The small-scale replica of the Statue of Liberty at the Point de Grenelle near my apartment:
Speaking of my neighbourhood, some poetry on the metro by the writer/poet that my street is named after: