Apparently my written French is a bit ‘lourd’ (heavy) – so sayeth the bloke. I am a verbal elephant stomping through a field of delicate daisies that is the French language, trumpeting ‘IF I SHOULD SO CHOOSE TO GATHER A FINITE QUANTITY OF PRESENT SMALL WHITE ASTERACEA SPECIES FOR AN OFFERING WOULDST THOU BE AMENABLE TO ACCEPTING SAID GESTURE?’
(Here is a copy of my cv for your consideration).
So I’ve been part of the nonworking masses for a whole week now, and so if you, one of my 20 squillion dear readers, are anxiously biting your nails wondering why I’ve dropped off the face of the blogosphere, well that’s entirely down to a lack of access to internet, except at either one of the two lousy neighbourhood cafes in the area (that and blogger’s off picking it’s nose in a swamp somewhere every time I go to post something).
Café 1 is cheap, but only has 2 computers, and a connection with terrible performance anxiety. Café 2 is next door, has a better connection, and is run by what I suppose is a father and son team who have a genetically inherited condition of being complete morons. Lined by a series of telephone booths that generally has someone shrieking loudly at someone very far away (so you need to talk loud so they can hear you all the way over there in Tunisia), the owners add to this cacophony by having a decibel charged argument with every second customer. Their regular chitchats with passing visitors also tend to be held at jumbo takeoff volume. I’d like to say the home connection is coming soon, but that is a saga that’s outdoing Homer at present (with our freebox out swanning about somewhere on the isle of Lesbos).
But between the jobsearch phonecalls and the shrieking Magrebs, I have managed to get some things sort of accomplished. The first on the list was my French identity card (the French love to have as many forms of documentation as possible to identify you, and once you are suitably identified, you have to consistently prove that you are alive, as my mother, now getting a little pension money, is discovering). Well I naively thought it would be a simple affair of presenting my passport at the mayoral office and asking for an ID card to go with it (foolish, foolish, the French will not pass by an opportunity to make you go to as many different offices with many different waiting rooms for as many different pieces of paper as they can possibly justify). So for an ID card, I first need a certificate of French nationality from the tribunal office (my passport isn’t sufficient) – cycle through mad traffic, another waiting room... For my certificate of French nationality I need a recent copy of my birth certificate from their foreign office in Nantes (it would be funny to say I had to go to Nantes, but lying is naughty). Anyway, that’s just the basic paperwork thread, there’s a lot of accessory papers to go with it, bien sur.
Shall I tell you the story about our constantly failing gas heating system? Oh, maybe later. Just imagine getting ripped off for astronomical sums of money and having a heating system that, despite huge cash payouts, is still not functioning. Oh well, might worry about it after summer – we have hot water at least (sort of…Mr Give me all your Money fix-it Man has managed not only to not temporarily fix the original problem, but has also reduced our hot water time to about 5 min. Which is ecologically correct, but a pain in the posterior nonetheless).
Apart from all that, we’ve had a couple of visits – one of Bens friends (over from London), and my mother (over from Australia), who conveniently arrived at 7am (as mothers are wont to do), and gave us a much sought after taste of Paris highway traffic during rush hour. Heuuuuuu :-/
And then more socialising over the weekend at another friends place in a sleepy town called Meung-sur-Loire, close to Orleans, oh the drunken hilarity, oh the cigarette smoke, oh the drinking games with such complex rules that they had to be repeated at every round for 3 hours (which essentially prevented anyone from getting overly smashed). I, of course, as a very mature and respectable almost 30 year old do not participate in such degenerate activities and tranquilly sipped my glass of red ;) teehee (Actually what happened was that about 2 years ago one of those ‘never again’ post debauched half dead alcohol poisoning regret sessions actually came true).
The only downside to the social weekend was that we had to transport Mr Smug and Self Satisfied from up the road. Mostly I just wanted to strangle him, but kept my homicidal tendencies in check. And he in turn was kept in check by my Monsieur who kept ruthlessly beating him at chess, which was enormously satisfying for my part. *sinister chuckle*
Right, back to your regularly scheduled program.