The weekend was amazing!
It started off by A. finding me at the Jouy en Josas train station... I had just gotten off the train and was starting to look for the bus stop when he came running behind me and gave me a big hug. He had also just arrived and was waiting for the same bus. It was quite a coincidence since I thought he would've been at the university much earlier. We spent the day going through necessary stuff like getting the apartment key, opening bank account, signing up for classes, etc. Mostly A. was doing it and I was tagging along. In the evening there was a big welcome party on campus (they even have a bar on the 1st floor of the residence hall!).
On Friday A. had math and finance classes and I worked on my laptop... not much there.
The apartment is not big, but if I found anything like it here in Norway (at a reasonable price) I would surely take it. It is about 35m2, and has a bathroom, a bedroom and a living room with a hot plate, small fridge and sink as kitchen. It is also well furnished (bed, side tables with lamps, 2 desks with chairs, table + 4 chairs, couch). Overall it is quite a good deal for 2 people, especially considering that the individual rooms are about half the size, no kitchen and only 100 euros less per month. A.'s colleagues are already planning parties there...
Saturday A. had classes again and I went shopping for apartment essential such as bathroom mats, and all kitchen stuff (from pots and pans to dishes). It was a day excursion and I would have gotten a lot more if it wasn't for the fact that I had to carry everything through 2 train changes and a hike up the hill to the apartment... But that meant that we could cook! The cafeteria at the university sucks big time (seems like they boil everything down in water, so it is pretty tasteless) but VERY cheap (lunch for 2 people costs about 3.5 euros). I love bread and cheese, and since these are the sides at the cafeteria I don't mind eating there... but the spice withdrawal was already apparent in A.
In the evening we had a nice bbq by the university lake. As with the party the day before, the previous incoming class organized it for the newcomers and it was quite nice. The MBA class seem to be an interesting mix, and the answer to "where are you from" usually starts with a "it's complicated...". People that have lived in many places, done many things (from the usual finance guys to doctors, translators, IT...) and somehow decided to all take a break from work (to... ahem, study) at the same time. I do think their reaction to my reply when they ask what I do is quite funny. "I'm a postdoc at a university in Norway." Blank faces look back at me, with no resemblance or recognition of what that means... definitely a different world than mine.