October 8, 2008


Quaint is my new favorite word. And it totally applies to this little town called Fontainebleau. D and I went there on a day trip, actually more of half a day, during our stay in beautiful Paris. Most people come here because of the royal château and we indeed caught a short glimpse of it, but we were really here to visit the campus of INSEAD. If everything goes well (keep your fingers crossed), this could be our new address starting next September. Although I’m still a bit confused on whether I should get all psyched about moving back to Europe or be troubled that I have finally settled down in Manila and may not be ready for another drastic change. Oh well, that’s a whole other story. And the future is still uncertain anyhow.

So there we are in Fontainebleau after a 35 minutes train ride from the Gare de Lyon in Paris. From the train station we take the bus to the university grounds which lie on the outskirts of the town. The campus is not comparable to the vast US colleges. It’s rather small and we quickly toured the premises. The buildings are mostly modern glass structures that are the antonym of quaint. But I suppose an elite business school can’t be charming. After the official tour and all the question-answer over and done with, we got to use our free lunch coupons in the cafeteria. And in all fairness, having studied in 4 different universities and eaten in several others, this is the best school canteen I’ve ever been to! At least I know that if D studies in INSEAD, I can always talk myself out of cooking for us and eat here.

We walked back into town, had a photo op in front of the famous castle and got a feel of the Fontainebleau. Coming from Manila where most of the historical architecture has been destroyed, we felt transported in some place in the 18th and 19th century. Old buildings, small cafes and very old ladies populate the streets. It’s cute and very picturesque. The epitome of quaint and it does remind me quite a bit of Passau. I can imagine myself living here, for a bit at least. An urban girl like me can’t stay away from the bustling city life for too long. Although, Paris is just a train ride away… Enough daydreaming. Although I must admit that I long to celebrate a white Christmas again.

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