The sign has come down. I suspect there has been a conniption of sorts thrown by Jeannette, whose relationship status is apparently “moitie-moitie” -fifty fifty. That or maybe she just didn’t take too kindly to being touted as merchandise, with her single status advertised right under our artisanal teas. Pity. I quite liked having it up there. I’ll just have to get a t-shirt printed.
I can hear it now. The Italian accent. For ages, I couldn’t figure out exactly what I was doing to sound so Mediterranean, but now, I can hear it. Involuntarily escaping from my lips. Voothrrrrrai vhoo othrrrra chose, madammmme?? And what’s worse, I can’t do anything about it. Which is weird, because in English, funnily enough, I’m not bad at accents. Not perfect or anything, but I can usually make a plausible stab at them, and I get unreasonably upset and offended when I hear actors making a bad job of them. Will you gimme the effing script and the kilt Mel Gibson, I thinks to myself, and I’ll do a better Braveheart than you. (I could be Braveheart -I have the shoulders for it). So I had thought that emulating How French People Speak wouldn’t be a bother to me. But the more nationalities I meet in work, the more I see how wrong I was. Or should I say, how-a wrrrong-a I wassss-a.
The sign has gone up in work by the way. “Nous garantie que le personnel est 100% célibataire”. Our staff are 100% single. Guaranteed. It’s not on the window, but the next best thing -the blackboard, just underneath a suggestion for a hot drink. Naturally we are all waiting for the offers to start rolling in…
Karim is back from his vacances. He is very sick with a head cold and a chest infection, but tells me he has a fear of doctors, and will not go. So when I casually offered him some Sudafed, he leapt on the packet like a hungry leopard. “How many of them should I take -two? Three? Four?” “ONE!!!!” I shrieked!!! But he had already hoofed three of them into him, before he even asked if he should take them with water. He then returned with my ‘present’ from Tunisia. Oh dear. Oh dear oh dear oh dear. I can’t make out if it is a handbag or a bonnet, but wearing it in either sense would lead to similar levels of social exclusion. It is Revolting. But it was very very nice of him. He tells me it is hand made. Men should never be allowed in shops. Oh god I hope his sister didn’t make it or anything. It might come in handy anyway. For storage. In a drawer. In the dark.
He makes me laugh though. I was at home tonight after work, watching something mindless on the television (as our Wifi is on the blink and ‘mindless’ is the only type of telly I can understand in French), and there was a woman on the Meilleur Patisserie, or the French equivalent of the Great British Bake Off, whose name was Chelsea. Karim walked in just as Chelsea was having some sort of chocolate egg related emotional breakdown, and was highly tickled by he situation -“CHELSEA is her name?!” he says, with great incredulity. “Why not AC Milan???” He might give borderline inappropriate presents, but he’s great entertainment value.
Another job offer!! Everybody want me!!! (To be read in an Italian accent). (But not a French Italian accent –I am resisting same and do not believe in it). I’m on the tram again for the carte vitale/ social security number application. I believe myself to have gathered all the necessary documentation, but you can never be too sure….
21 minutes later
My documentation is immaterial apparently, as I have missed my tram stop. By nine stops. Having run, yes run, on my sore knee to catch the tram and save myself three minutes, I then wasted those minutes multiplied by eleven by not paying enough attention. I am so sick of myself.
My knee is so sore at present that I have noticed myself launching myself at the toilet seat from about three quarters of the way down, hoping that the final leg of the journey won’t break anything. My first thoughts were for the toilet in this instance, but myself included in that hope. I’ll search for some sort of a knee-fixer at the next available opportunity. That or find Jesus. I haven’t seen him in a while, and I’ve heard he has two good knees. He might be willing to surrender one.