My arrival at Paris.
It was, after having recovering more or less from a nervous
breakdown, that I had decided to go to take a training course in
Paris, in a place located in Vallois-Perret. I,
after the American firm "Control Dated" had been
constrained to close its Swiss-French offices, had just started to
work on my own account as independent computer engeneer.
It was thus after having finished my training course of project
management, in Lausanne, that my attention had been drawn by an
article in a weekly magazine of data processing, "Le 01",
treating the training which took place in Paris, or rather in
So said, so done, that I went in the month of June of the year 1993
to Paris for an abstract appointment with the company “Hommes
which ensured this training course. I concluded that
this training, which was directed towards the type of "Systems
engineer", would be, in spite of a rather high cost, beneficial
to continue my profession.
The only problem which remained to be solved; was the problem of
housing. The people, who lodged me during the days that
I went to Paris this June of 1993, were very nice, and had proposed
to me to remain these three months that these training courses lasted
in their hotel. Me, however rather badly saw myself to
remain in a hotel room during these three months, and I to look for a
furnished room or studio. This was, however, easier said
as done. Then there was in fact a choice between
unavailable and expensive. To finish, the cost of
housing proved to be as high as that of the training course it self.
I went therefore to look for a studio outside the town
of Paris. I came, having a little chance, across
a small advertisement proposing a studio, payable by the month, in
the town of Draveil, visible on the photograph, at the edges of the
Seine river, in a fashionable country inn.
I went, after having taken a telephone contact, by RER (regional
express train) to the station of Juvisy, and there I tried to find in
vain this country inn, at other side of the Seine river.
It was from a small café, located just at the other side of
the Seine river, that I telephoned again with Mr Granger, the manager
of the country inn, to require the exact place. He said
to me that it was rather far and not easy to find, and that it was
better that he would come to pick me up. I was charmed
to see the place, and I reserved myself right away a studio for the
three months of training which I was going to follow.
L'Hostellerie de la Forêt.
L'Hostellerie was located a little apart from Draveil, at the edges
of the forest “Sénart”.
There was a principal building, there where you could
find the offices, the restaurant, and the apartment of the manager.
At the backside of the place, which had the aspect of a
small park, was a two story building, having on each level ten
independent studios. These studios were available as as
hotel room, or as furnished studio payed monthly. They
where charming studios, with a small kitchen, television, as well as
The place had a parking bay for the cars of the customers, which was
closed during the night. Which was a small disadvantage
for the manager, because it was necessary to open the gate for
certain customers, who tended to return late.
Beside this parking bay, there was an old barn, which had besides
having kept this name, being used as room for banquets and meetings.
There were regularly company meetings during the week,
as well as marriages Saturdays.
The photograph on the right shows me, one of the rare photographs
which I even have of me, with "Poussy", the cat of the
manager, who regularly came to me for a visit, and to claim some
The training itself, which was called "General-purpose Expert
Unix", consisted in learning, and to get further knowledge
of the management of the systems Unix and Novel, and their
integration in the world of Mr Gates. Our training group
received the French denomination of "EUP5",
It was a company in Vallois-Perret, which was called "Hommes and
Communication", which ensured these training. Each
training group had one or a person in charge, and our person in
charge was a girl named Armelle. I have never seen any
of the other people of this training back, Mrs. Armelle and her team,
on the other hand yes. I returned once them to say
hello, and Armelle, I crossed her once by chance at the CNIT, where
we where both for a seminar, but not at the same manufacturer.
Impressions of Draveil.
The town of Draveil was, and is always is, a rather middle-class
city. It was composed in majority of the small and
average houses, and buildings of small and average size, without
having created the ghetto aspect, so typical of other dormitory
The town of Draveil was located at the edge of the Seine river and
had, contrary to the other cities located at the edges of the Seine
river, a marina with an adjacent park. This park made
party of a field of a castle which was there, but part of the field
of the castle was built, and the remainder was transformed into base
of regional leisure.
Put aside the marina and the base of leisure, the town of Draveil
also looked after the aspect of the city. There was a
market hall, which took, and still takes, place on Sunday, allowing
the citizens to make their weekly purchases. During
these Sunday mornings, one should better not seek to enter, nor
station its car downtown, because the parking bays were either
unavailable, or prohibited.
Another asset of Draveil was the proximity of the forest “Sénart”,
which was mainly closed for cars, and was appropriate perfectly for
walks, or even for jogging.
A house in Normandy.
As ravishing the studio was, it became
clear that I could not, for financial reasons, remain in this studio.
Because I had, after having finished the training
courses at Hommes and Communication in the beginning of 1994,
registered my self as self-employed worker in France.
Even as I did not plan yet to remain there definitively, I
nevertheless searched for another solution. Because, to
make a comparison, the hiring rate of the studio on its own
corresponded to that what I needed to live. I went to
visit various areas, cities and villages, places where certain
promoters proposed houses, even grounds to be built.
It was by chance, that I ended out in the area of Gaillon, in
Normandy. Moreover, while going there, I had passed in
one ravishing village at the edge of the
Seine river, just at the other side of the Seine. I said
myself; hey, this people are well there, not too far from a city,
with its conveniences, and shops, very close to a SNCF railway
station, then the motorway is not far either! Later,
when we where already in 1995, when I had begun the prospection, and
started to do computer breakdown services, that I had contacted an
estate agency in the city of Andelys. It is this agency
which proposed to me to come to see certain houses. It
is then that I had retained, among the selection that we had visited,
the house which appears in the foreground on the photograph.
I could therefore invest the money of my Swiss pension fund, which I
had recovered by leaving Switzerland, in this house.
Some important events of the time (of
1993 to 1995).