Cédric's trip in San Francisco

March 25th 1998 version

This text has been reviewed by Paul, the best supervisor in all the world (for the Millbrae bacteria laboratory). For complaints, send to Paul an email at Paul@nowhere, and for the compliments, send to me at cedric.

Thoughts and feeling

After 2 months, when my first friends from Aspect left, I began to think about France. For two weeks I was really home sick, I read only in french and listened only to my french tapes. But after the El Nino rain, when the sun came back and with the help from my friendly colleagues at work, my smile also came back. So I decided to change my attitude. Last week, I went to a party in Aspect to meet others student, especially some others interns. I met them on Friday and on Sunday, some of us went to Golden Gate Park to go rollerblading. I was their teacher and it was very nice.

One of the other interns knows a lot of nice places in San Francisco, and I hope we'll go dancing soon. But staying in Lafayette is not easy for having a nightlife (due to the last BART train at midnight). I plan to dance as much I can. Carla promised to teach me Salsa and I found a Rock'n Roll dance school. Last Friday I went with some friend from work to dance in a nightclub with disco and funk music. It was good music, but I was one of the youngest persons there…


My relationship with Sophie is complicated, as all relationships are. But my main point is that we are trying to rebuild something together. I am happy, because we are looking for the same thing. Perhaps we may fail, but at least we are trying and this is better for our happiness.


After Alison moved to Beresford Manor, I stayed alone in my room for two month. I organized the furniture in the room to receive Sophie when she came for a week. With the two beds, I made a big one. It was nice of Zac to allow Sophie to stay with me.

Last week I got a new roommate, a Japanese boy who is very friendly and smiles a lot. He sleeps all the time (I can make all the noise I want; he will just sleep through it). Last weekend he tried rollerblading with me. I hope he had a good time.


Everyday, I take the BART train from Lafayette to Colma (the last station) and after that the bus to Millbrae and the Water Quality Bureau (close the airport). It's takes 1 ½ hours every morning, and the same to come back home. But most of the time, I go back to San Francisco or Oakland with Jeff, a friend I met at work. It's better because we can talk, I save time and money, and he can use the car pool lane when there are three in the car.


For the first month in Millbrae, I was working as a chemist in the chemistry lab. The job was easy. They receive water samples from everywhere in the San Francisco water system. They perform lab tests such as pH, alkalinity, turbidity, color, organic compounds, chlorine residual, fluoride, metals… with many different instruments. It's a routine job, so it's always the same job on the same samples. It's not very exiting, but instructive, especially the lab guidelines regarding quality control and quality assurance. I will not explain this notion, but I have learned the strengths and the weaknesses of these analytical methods. What I have learned will help me in the future if I ever have to manage employees using those methods.

An other point is the relation between colleagues. The samples to be tested arrive at a precise time, so we have some free time and some very busy time during the day. I use the free time to speak with everybody about anything. I learned a lot about the american culture just talking to people.

For the second month I was assigned to the bacteriological laboratory. Here they test to see if any bacteria are present in the drinking water, raw water or wastewater. For the drinking water the test is only qualitative: yes or no. For the others kind of water they make different quantitative test to count how many bacteria are in the water. This job is less interesting to me because it's biology and I am chemist. In one week, I have seen everything. It's a routine job, as in the chemist lab and I have nothing more to learn. I am currently trying to work with the water quality engineers, but it's not easy to fit in their schedule.

Next month I will move to the wastewater treatment plant, in San Francisco. It will be new, so I am sure I will learn some more.

More next time; bye.

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