Friday, April 18, 2008

First time Fonty

Browsing through the contents of my lap top, I found the text I wrote exactly one year ago, after we had made our first visit to Fonty. I didn’t have a blog yet, and was still doubting whether to start writing again or not.
Re-reading it feels strange…it seems so long ago, and so much has happened since. Back then, the “Year @ INSEAD” was still a white, innocent page, full of illusions, hopes and dreams, but also with fears of the unknown.
I let you go back into time with me :-)

14 + 15 April 2007 : first time Fonty

This could be “the MBA story – part 1”. However, in reality, it’s “part-I-don’t-know-how-much”. 'Cause it all started one year ago, on the first of May 2006, when P officially decided he was going to do an MBA. Followed : the first of many emotional breakdowns (this was not in my plans). Then came studying for the GMAT, then came the actual GMAT, then came the writing of the essays, followed by my worst emotional breakdown, and then…finally the two last interviews and * the email* : “you’re in”! So as from September 2007 P will be in Fontainebleau for one year. After my emotional roller coaster of the past year, I’ve decided to join him for about 2/3 of the MBA program – probably from January until June.

Why could this be “the MBA story - part 1”? Well, as from this weekend, “Fontainebleau” finally became something real! Been there…and well, not done that – but going to! On Saturday morning we left Brussels at 6.15 AM and arrived in Fonty at 10.00 AM. On our to-do list : visit 4 apartments/houses, pick up the welcome package on campus, visit the town and some surrounding villages.
Before we left we had made up our minds : we would go for an apartment in Fonty. Until it was love at first sight this weekend, when we saw a cozy duplex in Barbizon. ‘Cause when in the rest of our lives would we have the opportunity to live above an art gallery, to have a garden with a more than 100 years old art studio of the painter, our landlady? And we’ll need a car anyway, whether we live in a town or in the countryside. And so many more reasons we could come up with to “rationalize” our choice. In the evening we went back to Barbizon, to have a last look at the village, and at what could become “our place”. We also did a quick tour along all the other ones, like Bois Le Roi, Bouron-Marlotte, etc. to compare them with Barbizon. It was then that we realized that we were on the road of no return : Barbizon was / is the prettiest, we were already making plans about the interior decoration of the apartment we saw there, and the landlady was by far the nicest of all.

Back in Fonty, we had a very nice dinner at “Côte Sud”, and then it was back to our Ibis hotel room. P’s analytical mind was not at ease without doing a thorough market study, so he went online looking for more confirmations of our already made decision. And luckily, he found the final piece of evidence he needed : a recommendation of the apartment and the landlady, by, yes indeed…another Mexican! So at 11.00 PM the email was sent to the agency : “GO for the duplex in Barbizon!” Now let’s cross our fingers that everything will be confirmed on Monday.

So , in spite of the first and worst hay fever attack of the year on top of a sinus, throat and ear infection, and a small heat wave in the middle of April, our first encounter with Fonty was a very nice one. And who would have thought that P could make a decision in one day. Hmmm…this MBA is already making him smarter ;-)

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