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 Unending Tale of Woe: my knee

I finally went to the doctor. A sports doctor -apparently they have such things here -and with great difficulty I gained entry to his fortress. (Behind two locked doors and three sets of stairs -no lift, in a place for sports injuries…) I got embroiled in conversation with a French woman, who over-shared information and started making announcements to the entire waiting room about her hypothyroidism and weight fluctuations. She commented that I have very good French, but I have noticed that the people who say this are generally people who talk so much they don’t realise I have been doing nothing but nodding. But Frenchly, apparently.

I eventually got in to see Dr. Ledivil, who was more interested in talking about drinking Murphy’s and recommending that I open up a franchise of crêperies in Ireland than talking about my knee. After a millisecond of listening to me, he wiggled my knee around, slapped me on the arse and proclaimed it fucked. The knee, not my arse, fortunately. Okay, he said it was compliqué, but that is French doctor speak for ‘fucked’. He tried to send me off with a printout of seven useless exercises and number for ‘his buddy’, a physiotherapist of sorts, but I abruptly stopped him and demanded something stronger. He was aghast that I had routinely been lifting 20kg as part of my physio programme, but was happy to write me a prescription for an injection, the utility of which is under suspicion, but which is worth a shot. (Or two, as it happens, fifteen days apart). ‘Good idea’, he says. Then why didn’t YOU suggest it, doctor? He was even more aghast when I asked whether I should give myself these injections. WHAT? he says. “No I am the doctor here – I give the injections!!” It was a plausible suggestion, to my mind. However, as to the plausibility of his doctorness, I am less sure. And as for his buddy!! I looked him up on the Internet. Now I can’t be certain it is the same person, but Don Corleone below is the first image that came up:

NOTE the name of the website. Now call me over-cautious, but there is no way I am going to risk the well-being of one of my only two knees on a PROFESSIONAL GAMBLER!! Not by the hair on my chinny chin chin. No no Doctor Ledivil, I’ll take your injections and I’ll be on my merry way. In the other direction. As fast as my gammy knee will take me.

Terrible workplace grievances

I have terrible workplace grievances. They are mainly linked to one middle aged woman, who will henceforth be known as The Biggest Bitch in the Whole Wide World. She has developed a most passionate dislike for me, and has stopped even the most basic of courtesies. I’m not attempting to do the two kisses or anything wild like that now, but she no longer even responds when I ask her a question. What have I done to her? The best I can come up with is the day I said yes to her when I didn’t mean yes. I meant, I am not entirely sure what you just said Alice, but I am willing to make a stab at it. I stabbed the wrong thing apparently. However, crucially, I did not stab HER, which I now regret, as she is certainly acting as if I did. “How is your sore foot today Alice?” No response. “How about now, BITCH?” (Bloodied dagger in hand). Not shaking the whipped cream before using it apparently amounts to social suicide in our beloved crêperie. I may be imagining it, but relations have seemed stonier with my other colleagues too. I spend most of my shifts trying to work out how I have insulted them. I never get any answers, but I can only imagine that it is linked to the ongoing errors. Which are copious. I may be a little late on the uptake, but I just discovered that Manuel -or the actor who played him in Fawlty Towers -died exactly a year to the day of when I was blogging about him, so I am afraid to make any more comparisons between myself and fictional characters. (I’ve just realised that going by a recent post, Mel Gibson better watch himself…) But such is life. And death.

My relations with the clients however continue to be good. Although I still panic when people try to make small talk with me. I try to convey good manners with eye movements and smiling brightly, while mutely communicating with the same expression “PLEASE STOP TALKING TO ME OR I WILL BE OUSTED!!” Children are the worst -I am actually afraid of them, because I know that they will not understand that I do not speak their language. They also talk very loudly, and loud conversations are the very last thing I want, in the quiet crêperie, for all to judge. So we’re still on smiling and nodding. But there is much more French happening without my noticing it, and I actually feel weird talking in English to people in the crêperie. In fact, that brings me on to another topic -a pickle, that I may or may not have gotten myself into.

Last Friday night, I joined a group that I met through an app on the internet called MeetUp. It’s a great app, and you pick the kinds of things that interest you in your area, and hopefully meet other like minded people. So when I stumbled upon a group in the city called the Have Funners, this sounded like a crowd I wanted to get in with. With some difficulty, I found them at the Christmas markets, and truth be told, it was a roaring success. I met some really great, interesting people, and five of us ended up in the pub together, having a fine old time discussing the links between language and personality. It was fabulous to talk confidently in English and remember that I do in fact have a personality. I love them all and I hope to meet up with them again. But not in a gay way. However, the other morning, I got a notification from the group organiser indicating that he had pressed the ‘good to meet you’ button on the app. I went to press the ‘good to meet you too’ button, and discovered there were many more buttons there for the pressing. These other buttons were inviting me to tell the other people I had met that it was good to meet them, with the simple press of a button. Now being new to the app and unsure of its social protocols, I thought I had better give an old ‘good to meet you’ to everyone I had encountered that evening -especially if it was going to be public news that I had thought it was good to meet some people and not others. However, it has since occurred to me that this is not the done thing, and my intentions may have been misconstrued. Which may or may not have led to a few of them calling in on separate occasions to the crêperie, just for the chats. This may seem like a nice friendly thing to do, but on the first such occasion I got all flustered by several factors. 1. Having a visitor. 2. Not remembering his name. 3. Having loads of customers arrive at that very moment when I was supposed to be manning the bar on my own. And 4. Having to speak in English where I normally speak in French. It felt WEIRD. So perhaps I have accidentally flirted with half the MeetUp group, but in my defense I said it was ‘good to meet’ the women as well! However, none of them have showed up in my place of work. All I can think is thanks be to God the ‘single’ sign wasn’t still up!!!!

The Italian accent is getting out of hand

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…

Fawlty Towers: when fiction becomes fact

It is not that great a source of sadness to me, but I can never again watch Fawlty Towers. I have developed a sudden and powerful empathy with Manuel that I fear can never been reversed. For I am the clumsy, bumbling Manuel of our good creperie.

I can’t explain it, but somehow, when I translated myself into French, I became incompetent. (I must have used Google Translate). The amount of effing mistakes I am making!! It is unforgivable, and whatever about my co-workers, I don’t think I will ever forgive myself. The problem is, these are not mistakes of linguistics, for the most part! They are obvious, no-cop-on errors. Last night I spent many dark moments dejectedly reflecting on the lack of foresight involved in delaying placing an order until people had their aperitifs. Good god, what kind of an idiot am I?? And there are many more. Table placement is another challenge. You can put this down to my limited visual spatial awareness if you will, but for the life of me I cannot seem to seat someone at a table for two without being told that no, I should have put them at a different table.

Now admittedly, there are two aspects to the errors. Or maybe three. The first is that my brain is so busy concentrating on speaking a language that I don’t speak, that once it achieves this it feels proud of itself and decides to put its feet up for the evening. Disoster. And I can only imagine that this is what poor Manuel has been enduring all these years. While being clattered about the head by John Cleese. The second aspect is that I have discovered it is the great hobby of French people to go around correcting other people at every given opportunity. Being told I have done the wrong thing at every single turn (even in the rare occasions it’s not my fault, defending myself seems effortful and pointless), I am reminded of a book I read before I came here. It was written by an English woman who moved to Paris, and was utterly miserable, and even though she was not emulating incompetent fictional Spanish waiters, she was worn out from people stopping her in the street and chastising her. Genuinely, all the time -she was told she was using the lift wrong, walking around the park wrong, and I remember she reported that one woman gave out to her for having the wrong kind of coat on her son. So maybe there is an aspect of that going on as well. They all seem to have a touch of the Mrs. G.s, and her rigid patterns for cutlery arrangement. The third possibility of course, is that I am useless. I have to remind myself on a daily basis that I have had many, many, MANY jobs, most of which I have been reasonably good at (with the possible exception of lying to landlords on the phone and telling them that our company had prospective tenants for them -this was not my strong point, no no). BUT I am getting better. Soon I will remember the importance of rinsing the plates when Brigitte is there, but Not when Alice is there, and of leaving the bucket IN the sink instead of BESIDE the sink for the person who opens in the morning. But only when it is Jeannette, Jackie is more flexible about such things. Aaargh. However, all has recently been forgiven by all of the above, because my work colleagues have realised that for some reason or another, I get lots of tips! Which is a great advantage when all the tips are divided between everyone, and has increased my popularity exponentially. Maybe the customers feel sorry for me, but maybe it is just that I am smiling at people and trying very hard to do what they ask. In other words, I am not French..

On a linked but separate note, I have made a new and dangerous discovery: Espressos. A little shot of alertness and happiness, that I thought I could never get used to, but OH. I’m still not mad about the taste, but who gives a rats arse about the taste?!!!! Indeed, rats arses may not be a million miles from said taste, but it can be sweetened with a tiny drop of milk. But the HIT!! Heart racing happiness!! In a cup! Everyone else in work was downing them goodo, so I thought to myself that I’d get in on the action. I love working in a place where basically mainlining performance enhancing substances is par for the course. Who needs sleep, I hear you exclaim? Not I! Which is for the best, because I may never again be blessed with its mercy… Still, I love them. And I plan to continue in this vein. Putting it directly into my veins, if necessary. But I promise to keep you updated if it gets to this, so that a low level intervention can be staged. But people of France be warned: there is a jittery waitress at large, whose eyes are popping out of her head, and who will refuse to give you Un Déca.

So now that I’ve imbibed three in rapid succession, to get me through the lunch hour, I’ve suddenly remembered the text message I got last night… “Coucou Sarah, ça va ?” It was Karim. Messaging from Tunisia. I assumed he was checking if his parcels had arrived, but he did not seem overly interested in my reports regarding same. No, he was messaging to see how I was, and did I want something from Tunisia? Like WHAT, exactly???? This made me very uncomfortable. Was he offering to bring me a present? And wanting me to ask for it?? QUESTION MARK!!! This chancer better not start thinking I am one of his copines, or he will find himself very violently disabused of the notion..

Personal hygiene is over-rated

Just what does it say about you, when faced with a choice of whether it is more important to make your apartment clean or make yourself clean, that you choose the apartment??? Every time. My Hungarian is coming over in half an hour, and it seems that there is nothing like a dose of anticipated shame to get you up and at em with the rubber gloves. As for me, I’m filthy, but I don’t think I smell so I’m hoping she won’t notice.

Karim has just departed for Tunisia for the next ten days, so it was a good time to start a quick “apartment-is-all-mine” spritz of the place anyway. I’ve been looking forward to this sole-ownership since I moved in, but now that it’s come around I’m actually going to miss him!! Even if he did cover the nicest feature in our apartment -our nice black glass and white veneer table -with a great wrinkled monstrosity that he thinks is a table cloth. In reality it is a large piece of grey lino with a design that looks like bar-codes and television static. I can forgive this however, because he’s great fun and good company. BUT: he does tend to somewhat alarmingly underestimate me.  On the way out the door, Tunisia bound, bags in hand, he told me not to open the door to strangers while he was away and to message him if the light bulb blows or anything, and he’ll call someone to take care of it!! It was kind of sweet, in a totally condescending way..

He gave me some very exciting news this morning though, which was that I had been talking in my sleep. He said he couldn’t understand what I said in English but he understood the French. The FRENCH!!! Talking, in my sleep, in French!! This is the most marvellous mark of progress, and I am Delighted. I might have been just listing off numbers, but sleep-French is sleep-French is sleep-French. I have decided to appoint myself a goal however. One of the usual perks of the job as a waitress or a barperson is being allowed to flirt with the customers. It’s more than allowed -encouraged, even, and I find that I miss that. I’ve only had one decent opportunity so far, but it was with great sadness that I walked away from the table, mute and dejected, as opposed to swishing my hips and fluttering my eyelashes. (Both of which I can do very well in English). So I have decided that when I can flirt in French and concoct a ‘plan de drague’ (literally, a plan of ‘pull’), I will be satisfied with my level. So that is the mission. As a purely linguistic exercise, of course. Although I suppose washing myself would be a positive first step all the same….

Ode to an expat waitress: bumpy, clumsy and inarticulate

There is a strange phenomenon in work that I hadn’t expected, in the dynamic between me and English speaking customers. I had imagined myself chattering confidently with such customers, all of us conspiratorially celebrating our shared Anglicisation. However, I had not factored in the motivations of said customers, who have no interest in conspiring with me, and fall broadly into two categories. There are the ones who are not confident in their French, who assume that I am French and are terrified of offending my French sensibilities by speaking English. They look at me nervously and uncertainly when I speak to them in English, convinced that I am internally en faisant du jugement. So we continue a charade in which we all together pretend to speak French, because we are in France, even though we all have a perfectly good common language at our disposal. The second category, the ones who speak better French than me, are belligerently insistent on demonstrating their fluent French at all times, and are having none of me with my hopeful glances of ‘en anglais, si vous préférez??’ They talk even louder in French and look at me directly and uncomfortably in the eye, as if to convey ‘WE ARE SPEAKING FRENCH, BECAUSE WE SPEAK GOOD FRENCH AND DON’T YOU DARE INSULT ME BY SPEAKING TO ME IN ENGLISH’. And so, the charade continues…

By contrast, all the Actually French people are truly baffled by my accent -I dread to think of what I must sound like -and frequent ‘guess the accent’ games ensue at the tables. They almost invariably sidle up to me and ask if I am Italian. Naturally I am highly flattered that I might be mistaken for any Mediterranean type, but respond with pleasure that I am in fact irlandaise. Unless of course they mean the overweight Mediterranean types, with the hairy faces… then I am distinctly insulted. But Karim tells me that it is definitely because “ils parlent français comme toi”-“they speak French like you.” If this wasn’t followed by so much laughing I wouldn’t mind too much… But I might just try and confuse things anyway by increasing my hand gestures and throwing in the odd “Prego”. That will drive the customers completely over the edge no doubt, during their four hour approach to a chocolate crêpe. (Four bites, is what it would take me -four bites).

Otherwise, petit à petit, I am getting better at the job. Now this is by no means a smooth or graceful progression -no no. Bumpy, clumsy and inarticulate would be a more accurate description of this non-linear process. I’m thinking of it as a ‘mistakes by elimination’ approach -it is generally easier for me to attempt something the wrong way and wait for the panicked “Sarah non, non, non!” cries of my co-workers, than to figure out the French way to ask how to do it. I do find their reactions a bit overly dramatic. My plan to mop up a small spill with a serviette was met with a three-person chorus of dismay that would normally be merited only by a an attempt to set fire to a table full of small children and puppies. All of said chorus, incidentally, we’re sitting on their arses watching me, but as all of them have worked there for at least 700 years, they are all entitled to sit around watching my every move. And criticising it. However, soon I will have made ALL of the mistakes, and there will be none left to make. And then I will be perfect.

Walking to and from work as it happens has become one of the pleasures of my day. In the mornings and the day time, I like to walk by the river, from where I can see the mountains and do my daily assessment of how much snow has fallen. (Very little for the moment, but it’s pretty nonetheless). In the evenings, I take the alternative, and slightly more populated route, through the town. The particular part of town I walk through is quite an old part, and takes in a wide beautiful square, surrounded by a large cathedral, the theatre and a few tourist restaurants. (I have a job here now, which entitles me to distance myself from and judge said tourists). The rest of the way home brings me down narrow cobbled streets, which make a pleasing clunky echo when my boots meet the pavement on my walk home after a night shift. The buildings are high and traditional, and I clunk away the time imagining all the glamorously French things that must have happened here throughout history. I have this very vague and mixed up fantasy image that amalgamates misplaced historical icons, such as Marie Antoinette and Frank Sinatra, having a great time together on these streets. Smoking cigars in long holders and consorting with glamorous guys n dolls at the picture houses and such like. I know my fantasies have absolutely zero links to reality, but they are my fantasies and I’m keeping them. They make me happy.

Sure I speak French, but please God don’t ask me a question

I heard somewhere, sometime, that if you do everything within your power to achieve a goal, the universe will provide. Now read into that what you will, but today the universe provided me with a bona fide job in a bona fide crêperie. Do you remember the crêperie that I was lusting after before Amsterdam? The very one that got me off my ass and to a computer to steal a CV from the Internet?? Well they hired me. Proving that copyright laws are made to be broken. I had a trial run from 11:30 to 14:00 today, and they are happy to keep me on! Delira avec mon staighre, so I ham.

As an aside, Karim has recently started using a landline, with a handset he borrowed from the 1980s, which he has inexplicably set to “loudspeaker”. At this very moment, there is a woman, who I can only assume is related to him, shrieking loudly at him in Arabic. Life is mad.

As for my previous colocataire, Mrs. G, didn’t she show up in the crêperie today!!! Randomly, with her friend that I had met before! However although I am now getting more skilled at showing people to their tables and asking if they would like “autres choses”, my social skills en français are a bit below par, and between that and the first-day-nerves I was struck quite dumb and barely got past beaming and bonjouring. But it’s a winning mix that, I reckon I can’t go wrong. However, I absolutely cannot initiate doing the 2 kisses, the ‘bises’, and Karim has warned me that people will think I’m weird if I don’t do them. Mrs. G’s friend was indeed looking at me very strangely, but I can’t imagine that lurching at her with my face would have made the situation any better. However, I followed up this encounter by showing off to Everyone in the Crêperie that I knew a Person -yes a Person -in their lovely city. I think they all doubted my French when I tried to explain that I had lived with this woman for a month. I can see how from the outside this may seem like the ramblings of a babbling foreigner, but I spoke truth! There is a very small but visible mark on the refrigerator in her apartment to prove it.

The crêperie staff seem very nice so far anyway, although they have all evidently worked there since the beginning of time. The other waitress who was on with me today has been there 15 years, while her mother, in the kitchen, has been there 18 years. The Breton man who owns the place doesn’t look quite old enough to have supported such long-term employment -and I had a good look at him to verify this, as he tends to stand uncomfortably close and looks me overly sincerely in the eyes. However, it must be so. He speaks in a nice low voice and I don’t think I made too many mistakes today. He said it was clear that I had worked as a waitress before (he does not need to know that this was a good 16 years ago) and the other waitress, whose name I will remember tomorrow I hope, said my French was very good. As long as Karim doesn’t show up in the restaurant, with his smirking at my stuttering (considerably increasing said stuttering, I might add) my cover will not be blown. There was a lady in the wash up who insisted I was ‘piquing’ her fingers by putting the cutlery in the basin the wrong way up (which I most certainly WAS NOT), but these people are bound to be there too. She told me in one instance not to scrape the plates as she would be left with nothing to do, but later came to me demanding to know the meaning of an unscraped plate. What can I do?? She was generally nice and friendly all the same. It’s a tiny team of people, but so far I like it.

I spent the rest of the afternoon celebrating my employment by spending all my imaginary future wages on jeans and jumpers. No I still haven’t bought the boots. But the rain has stopped you see. I don’t need them now. Not as much as I need more flimsy shirts with birds on them anyway. (I can already see the next blog forming in the distance…. It will take the shape of a seven-versed lament bemoaning the inability of flimsy patterned shirts to keep your feet warm…)

So the great advantages of employment: 1. I don’t have to worry about being income-less, and can finally stop beating myself up for wasting money on the wrong sized bin bags and a fancy folder with eight multicoloured pockets. (Actually that’s not true, it was €12.99 and I’m still ashamed of myself. I told myself it was in lieu of a filing cabinet, but if I had gone to IKEA first I could have probably BOUGHT a filing cabinet with my €12.99). But I have felt a great sense of ease and relaxation, to know that I don’t have to agonise over buying every cup of coffee. It’s a good feeling. 2. I HAVE A PURPOSE IN LIFE AGAIN!! That purpose may take the shape of rapidly serving crêpes and galettes to homesick Bretons, but it beats hanging around the apartment watching Netflix and traipsing the town en cherchant un emploi. And purposes is purposes. 3. Hopefully, this job will be a way to keep improving my French, and I don’t have to worry about having no French outlet when Karim goes on his holidays to start up his somewhat shady gaming studio in Tunisia. (Yes, life is mad, but more on Karim at a later stage). 4. I really like being a waitress. This place looks like it could get really busy too, and I love that feeling of having all the balls in the air. 5. I can start building things into my free time on regular basis soon, when I know my regular timetable. For example I can sign up to classes, and plan activities. My free time has also actually become free time, rather than work-searching and life-organising time, which will be nice. 5. IT IS MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!! I wanted to come to France, learn some French and find some work, and so far I have come to France, learned some French, and found some work! Keeping said work might be another story, but apparently if you can behave yourself for two months here they’ll give you a permanent contract, the eejits. That, however, brings me to the disadvantages of being employed: 1. I don’t know how they are going to feel about the fact that after just 6 weeks of work, I am planning to skip off home to Ireland for a week and a half. That could jeopardise the old contract quite nicely. Not sure when best to broach this topic, but probably not in the first few days anyway. 2. The nature of this work leaves me with very little free time in the evenings, which limits opportunities for expanding my circle of friends here. BUT there must be plenty people working in the service industry, who find ways to socialise and do sports. We can see… 3. No i don’t really have a number 3. All in all, happy out!!

I ate some chocolate too to celebrate. And as a we’re on the topic of chocolate, I might as well get it out of my system. It is only now that I am willing to admit to what happened on the night of Saturday 4th November, when I got independently and stociously drunk, and ate probably a half a kilogram of dark chocolate. It was a bad one. But now that I’ve confessed, I feel better.

That reminds me, I had another interview this morning as well, in a chocolaterie. The lady said she had already hired someone for the position advertised, but that she liked hiring foreigners (what kind of a thing to say is that??!) and might give me a call. However I think I blew it on the way out the door, when I refused the chocolate she offered me. This may have come across as lack of interest, but should actually have been interpreted as fear. I really just wanted to get out of there before anyone asked me a question. Questions=very scary. Even the simplest ones are always encrypted in some form of native jargon that renders them incomprehensible, and the general result is massive shame, especially when you realise they have just asked you what your name is. It’s tough, pretending your way through France, but evidently, so far it’s working!! Continue reading

It’s not supposed to rain in FRANCE

Honestly, I am not sure how I ever fitted in a job. It is 2pm, and I am struggling to figure out what I have achieved since 8am this morning. Suffice to say I have not yet left the house. The incessant rain doesn’t help, mind you, but it seems to have taken me half the day to achieve what I would normally have done in an hour after work. WTAF. What the Actual Fluck. I’ve showered-admittedly an achievement in itself but hardly cause for celebration -I’ve done my physio (without too much moaning), breakfasted, snacked and lunched, and done multo-job searching on the Internet, but REALLY?? Six hours??? Tormented I am. Someone once described this phenomenon to me as being like Boyle’s Law of physics, where all the particles of a gas spread out to fill the available space -the small jobs of the day can spread out magnificently, making you feel like you have no time to do anything, but in reality achieving very little. Fecking Boyle. I never liked him anyway, the productive bastard.

More worryingly, all this free time is turning me into quite the menace on social media. She who is by nature a complete silent lurker on Facebook has so far this morning shared about six Donald Trump related articles and gone frantically ‘liking’ anything that denounces him. (Do you denounce Donald and all his evil works? I do.) Additionally, it appears that all skepticism has been put on hold and I subjected three WhatsApp groups and ten of my closest friends to a scam that claimed to give me free Emirates flights. WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO ME??? Where is the cynical silent cyber type we all know and love??? Or at the very least that we don’t dislike and block from the group?? (Which is no less than what I deserve, after the whole Emirates Embarrassment). I will have to take myself in hand. Or in boots, to go searching for work, and keep me out of harm’s way.



Good lord, the rain. Incessant, it is, and I do not have the footwear for this kind of carry on. My Dunnes Stores suede boots were not meant for this weather, and quite frankly I might as well not be wearing them. I am currently squelching around in sopping socks, that have, through some sort of capillary action, drawn the water up through my jeans to about knee level. It is most miserable and off-putting. Twice I have had to sacrifice my feet to such abuse, for more traipsing and mumbling about CVs. Most people are still being nice, although I can tell from their faces that they do not have the slightest notion of hiring me. I suppose I can’t start the moaning yet though- it has only been two days. I have also figured out that yesterday’s restaurant man is most likely to have said he has a 24 hour contract available, for which he will consider me, among others. I don’t fancy my chances. ‘Others’ sound highly accomplished and intimidating, with their presumed fluent French and lack of stammer. However, I am refusing point blank to apply for the jobs in these ‘clubs privé’ that keep popping up on the employment websites. They sound far too like strip clubs for my liking, and fortunately, we are not there yet.

The best laid plans of man and mop….

Weds PM

Ah, the best laid plans of man and mop…. Suffice to say that the floors are not mopped. My grand plans were derailed by the lack of bleach, and having been bullied thusly out into the rain and cold, I changed tack and went for the Internet cafe, to print out a few more letters. This inspired further movement and I spent the rest of the afternoon traipsing the town as originally planned and dropping said letters into various establishments, looking for travail. In each place, I fully expected the staff to humiliate me and laugh me out of the place, but surprisingly they all seemed to take me seriously, and consider that they might in fact have a look at my CV before dismissing me outright. However, the smiling and nodding skills that I have so keenly honed may have finally gone too far and caught up with me. I can’t be sure of exactly what happened in Cafe Hippopotamus, but I am now in the precarious position of not knowing whether or not I have been offered a part time job. I BELIEVE the nice man to have told me that he has 24 hours a week he can offer me, but just has to run it by the director (he seemed to be some kind of a manager), but I genuinely don’t know. I am now half hoping and half dreading that I will get a phone call, but with every passing minute I become more convinced that I must have misunderstood. In any case, he must never speak on the phone with me, and the action plan is to let any calls go to voicemail. However, in the event that I foolishly answer the phone, in some ill advised fit of bravado, I plan to pretend the line is bad and offer to present myself toute suite. It will be like Cinderella summoning the fairy godmother. He rings the bell (phone), and Presto! Here I am! I am sure to bedazzle him with my prompt appearance, which I am hoping will distract him from the fact that I understood about two words of our earlier conversation. Unless, like I said, got the wrong end of the stick altogether. Highly possible. As they say here, on verra!