The reason why I came to Laval wasinternational conference about virtual and augmented reality with about 200 people. I’m not sure why this event was held in this town, somewhere in the centre of France in very countryside. It was something to think about even for French visitors, at least for those few who spoke to me in english. On the other hand, I wouldn’t probably have other reason to go there, so I suggest it was kind of propagation of this locality. To get there, I took the TGV train from Paris. Except the fact that everything behind the window was moving somehow faster than usual, I didn’t notice that we went really fast. The only thing I was afraid of was falling asleep, as it had only two stops and the second one was only about hundred kilometers farer :)But I won a tasty chocolate bonbon on the train, so it was pleasure to travel.
It was easier to speak english in Paris, but with slow speaking and some key words (according to a situation), I always got what I wanted also in Laval. The only big disappointment was the language barrier at the conference. The majority of people were French and it will be probably unchanged thanks to their approach to international people. The ladies who were there to help conference visitors had huge problems to understand even very easy english sentences. Presentations were mostly in english, but discussion usually in French, as it obviously couldn’t be learned by heart. The result was that all the international people were just listening to the translation through the headphones. A gala evening was only in French without headphones, so later I asked one French guy what the main speech was about … he concluded it as “thank you, thank you, thank you” :). Well, fortunately I met two very nice Holland guys, so I wasn’t bored. I could even say that all the mentioned things were fine, but than I came to the exhibition hall and I was thinking about buying the dictionary. The majority of leaflets were in French only. It was easy to speak to Japanese guys and some people from companies, but not to French students, although their projects were really interesting. Well, to conclude, the conference was nice, but there is a lot to improve to make it international.Beside all the bakeries there were many little shops called chocolatiers selling chocolate candies.The town was charming. I spent hours by walking in the narrow streets with lovely historical buildings and churches.