The joys of Get27

Do you know about Get27?? It is à French liquor pronounced approximately ‘jet van set’, which is highly alcoholic. Well needless to say, I did not know Get 27 and was most confused when asked for it in work. I attempted to lie that we didn’t have it (as far as I was concerned we did not) but was quickly caught out when it was pointed out to me on the menu. I thought maybe it could have been something like a Britvic 55, and offered the lady an Orangina instead. Also needless to say, she was less than impressed. So that was my first introduction to Get27, and I was well familiar with it by the time Karim recounted the tale of his grand Get27 binge. A few years ago, apparently he went out for the night with his manager, who suggested they join a group doing all pubs on Grenoble. To say that Karim likes Get27 is somewhat of an understatement, and he decided to have one in each pub. He reckoned he had ingested almost a full bottle by the end of the night, by which time they were in one of the farthest out quarters of the city. At this point his manager gave him the keys of his BMW to prevent him from driving it, and promptly abandoned him. So Karim was a few miles away from home, at about 2am, without a taxi in sight. So he spotted a hotel, and had his friendly credit card with him, and every intention of using it. He was very keen to impress his willingness to pay on me, the reason for which became clear during the remainder of the story. So it turned out the hotel was closed. But Karim being Tunisian, and as of yet unused to the ways of French culture, couldn’t imagine that this could possibly be the case, and so proceeded to jump the barrier, in his much inebriated state. The reception was closed, but he found an open window, through which he slid, to further investigate matters. Finding nobody there, he proceeded to go pushing on doors that might look open, in the hope of finding an empty room -again, with the intention of reimbursing them fully in the morning. However, in the midst of this drunken lunging, he lunged at the wrong door, which turned out to be what I presume was an emergency exit, because the alarm started sounding throughout the whole hotel. Freshly roused hotel guests started emerging blearily from their rooms, the manager arrived, followed swiftly by the police, all finding a young drunk trespassing Tunisian disturbing the peace of their lovely hotel. Karim tried to explain that he had money and just wanted to find a bed for the night, but he took fright in front of the police (and was influenced by quite a significant amount of Get27, I imagine), and forgot all his French. It took him a considerable amount of time to convince them he wasn’t trying to rob the place, but eventually they must have believed him, because they bundled him into the back of the police car and dropped him home! It certainly wasn’t Britvic 55….

Drinks on me

I have fallen for another, she can make her own way home. Okay, it’s a Swedish girl, and I imagine I wouldn’t be the first to be falling for her ilk. Her name is Anna, and she’s blonde and beautiful and great fun. I have a friend crush on her and I want her to be MINE. However, given how empty my wallet is this morning, I also suspect she is a brazen thing who pays for nothing. I met her through the German, who kindly invited me along to the Christmas markets with her and her boyfriend. I was tired and had a comfy crevice burrowed in the couch cushions for myself, but I was so delighted to be forgiven for last night’s puke-fest that I thought I had better go and try and redeem myself. We spoke English for the most of the night, and I once again very much enjoyed having a personality. We ended up in a really cool bar that Anna knew about, where they were having an open mic night. The Germans went home, but me and Anna were having too much fun, telling each other how great we thought each other were. After the first drink there, Anna announced that she had no more money, but this to her mind was no object to having another drink. I obliged, as you would, but I feel a bit stupid about obliging again for the third round… Still, we had a great time, we danced and flirted our way bilingually around the pub. So yes, I’m hungover again, and it is Not A Good Thing. Not least because I have to work 11 hours today. However, sheer exhaustion seems to have descended a strange calm around me, and we got through the midday service without realising until afterwards that it was 30% busier than normal. Maybe I’ll continue the drinking. But that Swedish wan can pay the next time!

The shame, the shame, the shame…

I have lost the run of myself. Not only have I been flirting in French with some guy called Romain (I was holding out for a Benoit but none were materialising….), but I have asked him out!!!! In fairness, he’s the first one to have progressed a conversation past ‘bonjour ça va tu viens d’ou“, (“hello how are you where are you from”) and I think I got over excited. Apparently his car is broken today and I have refused to travel into the mountains to meet him (Internet dating rule 101 -do not go into the mountains with strange men), so I’m off the hook for the immediate future. The weird thing is that I actually WANT to meet him. I have warned him he will flee in horror when he realises how bad my French is, but he seems undaunted, and is apparently currently installed under the bonnet of his car, working furiously.

As for me I’m installed horizontally on the couch, much the worse for wear after last night‘s attempted socialising endeavours. I say attempted because we did not get past the aperatif stage of the evening, and it was all my fault. I had the apartment looking lovely (read: clean), I had all the ingredients for making Kir Royales, Christmas music playing and a selection of snacks ready. The girls came over and we were very proud of ourselves because we spoke French the whole night. However, before they arrived I had worried about looking like a hound in front of them, so I decided I could live with the guilt and drank a bottle of cider before they came over. Quite the self-congratulatory dance I did around the kitchen, so pleased was I with my genius plan. I was reflecting on the fact that this is akin to what those female customers I see in the crêperie do, eating big meals before they go on their dates, so they can be seen to pick delicately at the plate for four hours before elegantly pushing it away from them, half finished. All the while telling myself, ‘sure I’m Irish, I can’t be drinking like a German, but if they know what I’m really like they will judge me”. Oh they judged me alright. Or at least they should have, because I’m judging myself. So I swigged the first cider (about a pint and a half), with a view to delicately sipping some Kirs for the rest of the evening. But having gotten off to a swilling start, I forgot about the delicate sipping aspect of the plan, and was puking in the toilet by 10pm. The sound proofing in the apartment not being what it might be, everyone was painfully aware of this fact. I made valiant efforts to recover, thinking that with time (and focusing on a fixed point in the wall) that I might get better, but the puking recommenced and everyone had to go home a half an hour later. Now the night was lovely while it lasted, but THE SHAME. The girls were extremely nice about it, but Jesus you would think I would have learned how to manage myself by this stage in life. I woke up from my drunken coma having succeeded in removing my jeans and socks but nothing else. I was highly entertained however to wake up and find Karim in the kitchen, still in his work clothes from last night -he apparently had a similar experience. Two right beauties we are.

And the self same Karim is currently installed just opposite me, eating freshly purchased raw shredded carrot from the carton, apparently because I gave out to him a few days ago for not eating any vegetables. He is also lamenting having a bad hair day. He has a piece of hair sticking out that he can’t control and he had to get passport photos earlier, in the process of which he met a girl but got shy and couldn’t talk to her because of the state of his hair. It might be just the lack of serotonin, but I find this hilarious.

Belly’s gonna get ya….

“I’m full, I’m just not ready to stop eating.” These were the last words to go through my mind, and possibly the cause of a lifetime of having four more kilos than I would prefer. I am NEVER mentally prepared for the end of my meal. In fact, no matter how delicious it is, about half way through, I start fantasising about what is going to come next. I look in awe at the 50% of clients in work who refuse the dessert menu, proclaiming themselves to have “assez mangé” -eaten enough. (Although it might be that I have in fact been offering them the ‘desert’ menu instead, as was pointed out to me by a helpful but prissy client today -the dessert/desert minefield equally hazardous en français). This “assez mangé” is a feeling with which I am not overly familiar. Possibly because when I go out to a restaurant, I will often have spent the previous week or so fantasising about what I will have, and the five to ten minutes it usually takes me to imbibe it is not quite enough to make up for this. However, having tried on an old pair of jeans this morning and found them positively roomy, it transpires that working in ‘restaurantation’ is very good for the santé, and the daily scoops of ice cream haven’t caught up with me yet. ‘Yet’ being the operative word here though, I fear. It is only a matter of time before my metabolism twigs that something is amiss here. “ICE CREAM, you say?? And CHEESE??? EVERY DAY, you say? Thyroid, what is the meaning of this?? This woman is 32 years of age, this cannot continue. Fatten her up, immediately. And give her spots while you’re at it. She deserves them.” Christmas is sure to help matters though, and the jeans will soon be mocking me again, with their sneakily moveable buttons.

I’ve noticed that the multiple daily errors have abated significantly in work. Finally. They made a brief reappearance the other night when a bunch of people in headscarves ordered five complicated versions of hot chocolate -Muslims LOVE hot chocolates apparently. (I hate making them and feel an article for the Daily Mail coming on about “How Hot Chocolate Made Me Racist”). I got overwhelmed and all of a sudden recommenced dropping utensils and generally making a hames of things. It was then that I realised -Oh. It was stress all along. That’s was what that thing was, making me borderline malfunctional. This is a terrible habit I have, of not recognising that I am stressed, until I am no longer stressed. Had you asked me two weeks ago whether I was stressed in work, I would have vehemently denied it, and said that no, I wasn’t stressed, I was just useless. However, I can now see that it was the other way around. I’m often like that in general -I tend not to notice inconveniences and irritations. For example, I’m forever finding mystery bruises that I have no recollection of acquiring. (And I’m not always drunk, so it isn’t that either…) I had a dentist once who could not understand how I didn’t remember giving my a tooth enough of a bash to blacken it permanently, and a doctor who couldn’t understand how my dislocated toe was as much of a mystery to me as it was to her. However, this is no great feat of stoicism -it is generally just not being terribly aware of what’s going on in my body. And sometimes outside of it too. Unless,of course, it is a runny nose. THEN, both I and all around me me know all about it. One of the worst forms of misery, if you ask me, and annoyingly, the one thing you’re not really allowed to complain about. “Oh sure it’s just a head cold”. JUST a head cold!!! I need my head!! For crucial activities, like seeing, thinking and BREATHING! A head cold impairs the one bodily function that is so crucial that you will last about four minutes without it, and yet, the majority of the Western world seem not to be too bothered by it. I can only conclude that I am getting THE WORST head colds of all of the people. But maybe I am just a whinge bag. However, fortunately, this particular whinge bag has finally calmed the frick down, and is now a passable waitress. In fact, I had my first fight with a customer last night, of which I am very proud! Normally, this would not be a source of pride, but it was in French, and therefore to be celebrated. Plus, the cause of the argument was not my fault in the slightest, which in itself is cause for opening a bottle of something fizzy and alcoholic.

I have intentions of doing that very thing this evening as it happens, and the Hungarian (which makes her sound like a warrior from the Middle Ages) and the German and I are meeting for a ‘girls night’. We were supposed to also have the Mexican who I have never met, but apparently she is not available. We are having an apero or two in my place to start out with, and heading afterwards for the Christmas markets. I am considering slugging a bottle cider all by myself in advance, so that they don’t get alarmed at the pace at which I always inhale my first drink, but this notion is niggling at me in a way that doesn’t quite sit right, so I’d better not.. Oh she’s Irish alright.

Coffee addiction: Level up

Hah. All coffee problems are officially Solved. I am allowed eat and drink at work, meaning I have access to a very fancy coffee machine, which I can manipulate to do my bidding. However, there is also a team of people in the kitchen happy to do my bidding when I want to eat galettes (gluten free crepes, usually savoury), but these tend to be covered in cheese and loveliness. But they are free and totally delicious. Karim had already warned me that I will get fat in this here crêperie. His advice may be well deserved on this occasion… So now, after my first break in the place, I’m full of cheese and buckwheat flour and have the caffeine shakes.

En Train à Grande Vitesse

TGV baby! En route to Paris, to meet some friends from home who are on a holiday there, before continuing on for Amsterdam this evening, where other friends will arrive tomorrow morning. I’m a bit hungry and caffeine deprived (it didn’t seem right to start at 5:10am) but I’m very excited to see everyone. Much to my amazement, the taxi I ordered yesterday actually showed up -any successful telephone interaction is nothing short of a triumph -and brought me to La Gare for 6am. As a stark contrast of lifestyles, when I turned on my phone first thing this morning, what pops up on the screen but “Bestie écrit…” -My bestie is writing!! WhatsApp messages! The dirty divil is only going to bed as I am getting up! And I only at Greenwich Mean Time +1. Very glad to be on this side of the time difference though, as I am not feeling too hectic and am already fantasising about the pharmacies that are going to greet me when I stop in the next train station. Panadols and coffee and I’m hoping to be right as rain.

For the moment, I am being rudely reminded of my Chinese friends, and their horror at the public displays of lust that are all too common in France. They are particularly upset about the sound of lips smacking against lips, which assaults their ears at all hours of the day and night. To be honest I hadn’t noticed this until they pointed it out, but now that it has been noted it cannot be unseen. Or unheard. It is 6:30 am and the two behind me are slobbering loudly over one another like attention-starved St. Bernards. They look at least 45 years old. I’m with the Chinoises on this one. As long as my hair doesn’t start falling out I suppose we can risk some common ground.


I have finally done it!! I’m on a new TGV now towards Paris, and I have found the holy grail -a nice coffee!!! Un café allongé, avec beaucoup d’eau chaude !!! You add in the request for milk casually at the very end, to avoid risk of contamination. And crème de la crème, they also gave me the much sought after but oft times elusive mini-chocolate. Heaven! It’s taken an entire month, but it’s been worth it. It is so delicious. It probably helps that it is my first caffeine fix in 24 hours, but I want it to last forever.

So with a bit of time on my hands for reflection on the train, I’ve just recalled this phenomenon in rock climbing, that affects the person who is second to climb a route. This is often the less experienced climber, as the leader is the one who takes on the risk, and seconding a climb is a reasonably low risk and easy thing to do. However, as the second, you can often start imagining while you are climbing, what it would be like to lead the route. Even on routes that are well within your ability level, you almost invariably convince yourself that the route is perilous beyond imagination and that you could never lead such a thing. You therefore end up at the top of what should have been a walk in the park, white in the face and covered in sweat. It’s weird. And it’s kind of like that with French. I find that when I’m leading my own route -having a conversation that I actually need to be part of and know the gist of -I get by just fine. However, when I play the game of “let’s see can I understand the snippets of conversations of the passers by” -as I foolishly attempted in the queue for the coffee just now -I immediately become dejected and deflated, convinced that I will never understand a word and am doomed to confused mumbling for the rest of my time here. It’s odd. I don’t have a solution, but I guess just keep leading on up.

Dopamine, serotonin, and of course, coffee….

The coffee quest continues. I have vacated the premises to give Mrs. G. and her daughter their space (she’s visiting for the weekend) and have installed myself in a very nice nearby café, with my iPad and a crossword. Today I tried my careful explanation again, and the very friendly girl working here assured me that it was a double noisette I was looking for. However, the caffeine induced shakes and double vision I am now experiencing suggest that she has in fact given me a double espresso, with a bit of foamed milk. It’s not what I wanted, but it’s getting closer!!

Today is all about preparing for the Paris/Amsterdam trip. Much Googlisation is in order. I plan to do this in English as I have dutifully done my bit for French acquisition today, by listening to my new favourite radio station -France Bleu Isère 98.2. This morning I listened to a fascinating expert-advice show addressing the very serious issues faced by French ladies in their encounters with stray cats. Apparently stray cats are creating quite the social problem here, to the extent that the vice president of the organisation for stray cats (no,I definitely did not misunderstand) was given a prime time Saturday morning slot on the radio. (The actual president was no doubt too busy discussing the matter with Ban Ki-moon). As far as I could follow, the advice was neuter, neuter, neuter. Not sure how this took a half an hour to establish, but there you go.


Having started a bit of organisation for the holiday and suitably relaxed myself, I decided that the weather was fine enough for a ramble into the centre-ville. This, of course, was not before yet another cooking related scuffle with Mrs. G., who now regards my every move in her kitchen with suspicion. What was I doing with the grill? And how long was it going to take to make my toast? And oh mon dieu is it burning? No, calm the hormones, Mrs. G. I’m 32 years old. I’ve made toast before. However, you are nearly sixty and you still don’t own a toaster. One nil to me, I think you’ll find. (Says she whose French crockery collection amounts to a plastic cup and a free wine glass). Still we had a nice chat, even if she did become apoplectic when I explained that the Chinese girls in my French class are all convinced they are losing their hair since they came to France. No this is true, they are all convinced of it and keep showing me their hairlines, which they believe to be receding!!! One of them told me that she had been warned of this affliction before she came here, and hadn’t believed it until it happened! To be honest I can’t say for sure whether it is happening or not, but they are very adamant. However, Mrs. G. is having none of it, and practically spat fire when I suggested that it could have been the change in diet that brought it on, what with the Chinoises typically being unused to dairy products. Maybe they’ve hit the camembert big style, and their little systems aren’t able for it. However, Mrs. G. took this as a personal affront and what followed could only be described as a diatribe condemning China, it’s food, it’s pollution, and it’s general inferiority to all things French. She may have a point though -it does seem unlikely that a bit of cheese would make your hair fall out. But try telling that to my poor balding classmates. Nonetheless, we reconciled our differences, and she is now pimping out her poor daughter to me for social outings. It remains to be seen how her daughter will feel about this, but we may just have a hiking date on Monday.

The ramble in the centre-ville I must say was extremely enjoyable. The town was hopping and I spent a very happy hour and a half exploring cobbled streets and lane ways that I hadn’t found before, taking in the ambiance and casually glancing in the windows of potential workplaces. There’s a crêperie I have been eyeing up, but that is a project for another day. Yesterday’s trepidation has suddenly given way to a great sense of freedom and possibility, akin to the excitement I felt when I first arrived here. The uncertainty is almost intoxicating. I don’t know what’s going to happen yet, but it’s going to be NEW. And I like that.

I am not sure when I became so addicted to this feeling of possibility, but I am very much in the grip of its seduction. I often think of a film I saw a year or two ago called The Age of Adaline. In this film, the main character, Adaline, gets somehow infused with electricity (I am never good with details -more of a vague ideas kind of person..) and becomes incapable of ageing, staying young and beautiful forever. There’s lots in the film, but I remember that what really struck me was that she became completely jaded by what life had to offer. Her youth and beauty lost its appeal, because she had seen it all before. It highlighted the fact that life’s pleasures are made all the more pleasurable maybe because they are time limited. But I have identified with the idea recently in a new way. It relates in a way back to a diagram I saw once in a book that I have now lost, the name of which I cannot remember, malheureusement. But the diagram illustrated the idea that we have drives towards different social and emotional goals at different stages of life. For example, babies and infants are driven to make the strongest connections with their parents in the early years, and this remains the case throughout much of childhood. In adolescence, the peer group becomes the most important social bond, and all of your energies are poured into fitting in at all costs. (These costs can be quite high, as anyone who ever became a goth and hung around Paul Street in long black coats will eventually admit). In your twenties, the strongest drive is to find a partner and probably to start a family. After that unfortunately, my memory fails me, and I would dearly love to find this diagram again, as I am dying to find out what is driving me now! However, I have my suspicions. At each stage of life, you get the greatest pleasure from things that move you, or have the potential to move you towards your goals, and your hormones and brain chemicals assist you in ensuring that this happens, with goodly doses of dopamine and seratonin. However, it is roughly age related, and I am not convinced that the hormones hang around for you, if you are a bit slow on the uptake in getting these goals met. So although I am now in my thirties, I am still single, and therefore living the life of someone in their twenties.. But recently i have been reflecting that maybe, if you spend too long in any one phase -regardless of how much fun it is -maybe, like Adaline, you just get a bit bored of it. And perhaps it is this fatigue that gives rise to restlessness, and leads someone who only ever dreamt of a house on the hill above the River Lee (who couldn’t understand why you would ever leave the country when obliging travel writers and documentary makers had done it for you), to find herself gleefully, joblessly and directionlessly gadding around France like a love-struck teenager. But maybe I’m over thinking it….

The stroll around town was almost like a mindfulness exercise -just taking the time to notice what’s around me. Now as my close friends and family will enthusiastically assure you, I am not known for my skills of observation. I once stood for five full minutes in a room in my own house, before realising that there was a large motorbike in the centre of the room. Which had never been there before. Yes. However, I would argue the point that I am observant, but just with more focus than is considered strictly normal. If you go shopping with me, and if you tell me that you are looking for a grey woolly cardigan (it might be the winter time and you may want some comfort clothes), I will, within five minutes flat, have sought out every single grey woolly cardigan that is to be had in that particular shop or market. However, I will register the presence of absolutely nothing else on my mission. If I am walking to a particular destination, for example, a particular shop or restaurant, then my head is focused on finding that shop and that shop only, and no other establishment along the route will exist for me. I am too busy with my own thoughts. Typically, I find what is going on inside my head to be much more diverting than what is going on outside of it. However, I do have to work on marrying the two, because that is when the magic happens.. If you ever happen to read the book The Tailor and Ansty, you will meet the famous Tailor of Garrynapeaka, who often commented that the truly wise people are those who look around them and learn from what they see. The Tailor saw very little in his life, and yet learned a huge amount from it. He had nothing but contempt for people who were privileged enough to have a very wide experience or education, but didn’t seem to look around them. In this age of cheap flights and easy travel, we are all surely guilty of this, but me more than most. So my venture around town can be taken as a step in the direction of reflection and learning. All in all, I have concluded that a day in which, to the untrained eye, I appear to have achieved very little, can be claimed to be a good days work. Or maybe I just drank too much coffee and wandered around with my head in the clouds.. You decide!

On the dangers of blogging while you walk

The nightly walk, however important, brings its challenges as well as its merits. Polite though they may be, there are many many homeless people in the streets, and passing them always causes a minor surge of cortisol to the system. Additionally, I have noticed that I appear to be living in the slightly dodgier quarters of the city, and the street on which I live is lined with numerous halal kebab joints, outside which sit groups of men smoking illegal looking substances from large bongs. They appear to do this all day and all night, all the while eyeballing you lecherously from their pedestals of mild intoxication. Having experimented with various methods, I have found that coughing, yawning, being on the phone, looking for your lost credit card or admiring the roofs of the surrounding buildings are all methods, with varying degrees of success, of avoiding eye contact. Eye contact is the worst possible thing to happen between a walking woman and a lustful lecher. It would naturally be taken as a sign of romantic interest and I would doubtless find myself in the throes of a loving embrace in the blink of an eye.

However, alas, yes, you read correctly. My credit card is perdu. It was dans ma poche when i set out, and upon my return home, I had only empty poches. I can only blame the repeated overly-enthusiastic “whipping out” of the phone from said poche, in my excitement to record some observation or other, one incident of which clearly took the credit card with it. No amount of retracing my steps retrieved it, although I quickly put a block on it before the homeless person who has doubtless pocketed it can order any Gucci handbags on the internet. However, the number of credit card-like objects one can find on a city’s streets is most alarming, once one’s eyes become attuned to small rectangular pieces of plastic. Chewing gum wrappers, discarded train tickets, even the inexplicable metal studs that line the streets for no apparent reason, all appear furnished with sixteen friendly digits and my own signature. But to no avail. I’ll try a few lost and found places in the morning.

In the course of my continuous loop of traipsing tonight, the city’s fitness obsession became increasingly evident. I had been fore-warned about this -I met a guy in a pub in Ireland who told me a story about a woman he met one night while he lived here. She was after a few drinks and on for more, but he politely declined her offer as he had a long cycle scheduled for the morning. She irately and bitterly complained that “everyone een theece fucking town eece always fucking exercising”. I well believe her, and I feel her pain. It the two hours I have been scanning the footpaths, I have passed the same guy twice, running at high speed and talking on his hands free phone as casually as if he was at home cooking the dinner. Not a huff or a puff out of him. The jealousy I felt of his fitness and posture (lovely knees -perfectly aligned) sent me into a such a fit of inadequacy and despondency that I was almost ground to a halt. Then I saw one of the lechers making to go down on one knee and I quickly thought the better of it.

In home news: Omelettus Interruptus! Following more door banging accusations, Mrs. G. took exception to my omelette making technique and insisted that browning the top of it under the grill was illegal in most civilised countries and considered a crime against pot and person. I sulkily scrambled my omelette and engaged in high level huffing and puffing. Omelettes that is not omelettes is not the same. Interestingly, I didn’t mind her reproaches a single bit -such an exchange would normally have me cringing in shame and in a three day spiral of guilt, but happily the effect of someone sounding off in French is much less pronounced! Additionally, I secretly note the incident for blogging purposes and it becomes not an awkward social situation but inspiration and ammunition. Also, having overheard her continuing a phone conversation through the entirety of a visit to the toilet (unashamedly I might add -she even flushed!), I am not too bothered about Mrs. G’s definitions of what is and isn’t appropriate… Only three days left here though, so I’ll carry on regardless.


The sadness of salad

I’m in the university cafeteria, and regretting a sudden fit of recklessness, in which I deviated from the norm and ordered a new kind of salad. It is 4% tuna, 96% raw carrot. Given my historic fondness for extreme dieting, I am well aware of what this means. Juice diets (nothing but fruit), paleo diets (anything but fruit!), low carb, unlimited carbs (the mystery of Slimming World), low calorie, high protein + lifting things -I’ve tried them all. And committed to them all individually with a determination, rigidity and vehemence that can only be sustained for about three weeks. And which is invariably followed by a 6 month guzzle fest. And once I’ve loosened the reins on myself, my inner savage comes bursting out, with a whirlwind appetite for wine and chocolate. So in conclusion, I’ve met raw carrots before, and I’m wise to their trickery. They have a sustenance quotient of about 4.7 seconds. They insist you are full, and bravely refuse additional nutrition, only to turn around five minutes later, cup their hands behind their ears and say “haaaaah haa, only joking”. It’s set to be a long afternoon..


Said afternoon was spent, incidentally, in the laboratoire with Classe B2.5, where we generally put on our headphones and pretend we are on the phone, causing logistical problems for one another. If I get any better at emulating an unhelpful slacker in after-sales-service, I am sure to be head hunted by a large multinational. We spent more time on our /b/s and /p/s, and afterwards some on our /d/s and /t/s. Nothing to do with /d/elirium /t/remens, but if you could get these by boredom, I would have them. Amusingly, we record ourselves so we can listen back afterwards to how we’re doing. My very audible sighs meant it became difficult to tell whether the playback was my own voice or whether someone had invited Darth Vader to the language lab. I’m not sure whether it was the Chinoises or the chstarvation.