Sunday, 20 January 2013

Stir crazy

Snow has been falling solidly here in my little corner of France, and unfortunately I'm not likely to be able to pull a fast one and pretend I can't get to work - I can see my office from my window.

The flat hunt continues: I've spotted a couple that are relatively expensive, but the money I'm saving this year is starting to mount up a little bit, so I figured why not? I prefer to have things pre-planned, so I can move straight in and start looking for a job, another prospect I'm actually rather looking forward to - I really enjoy bar work, it's what I'm good at, so the chance to go back to it is exciting. I'm good at plenty of other stuff, but the tips aren't quite as good, although the hours are better and one doesn't usually end up at a casino having breakfast most nights.

Or perhaps you do, in which case I'd love to work in your office.

So it's on to more applications, which are incredibly boring but sadly necessary. I'm currently just making enquiries, because a CV sent now for a job in August is a little too keen, even for me. It'll get put to the top of the pile now, because I've got some good experience, but the top of today's pile is the bottom of tomorrow's and the waste-paper lining of August's. So, like a cash-strapped doctor, we must have patience.

I've got another two students for sunday afternoons which is brilliant, a boy and a girl, so I'm looking forward to meeting them. The snow continues to fall and is about 10cm deep; not much, especially not compared to Aberdeen, but the local government here don't appear to have gritted or salted the roads - so consequently the roads are an absolute nightmare. I don't have sensible shoes for this kind of weather at all; at least not here - back home I have heavy, steady hiking boots that would be wonderful. But I wasn't expecting it to snow here, and so I left them at home - and by the time they get here, the snow will be gone. My advice to third-year-abroaders is, then, pack for literally anything.

My father and brother come back from their trip today, so I hope their journeys are safe and they get in okay. He's taken loads of photos, and it would be hard to find anywhere so vastly different from here - camels and outdoor pools and sand all against a backdrop of azure skies. Here all is skeletal, cold, with white snow against a glowing grey sky providing the background. All the same, we'll see sun before long and I'm looking forward to the spring. Not the summer so much, but certainly the spring.

I've done my good deed for the day and would invite all readers to do the same; a great friend of mine from Aberdeen is hoping to raise money to go to Morocco to build a school, presumably because she felt that being bright and beautiful were not sufficient qualities in a person. She is a shining example and consequently makes me feel like I should do more helping people and less writing, so please donate to her page here and send her off to do some good.

I finally watched Bienvenue Chez les Ch'tis, and I absolutely cannot recommend it enough, especially if you need reminding that even sometimes the French are confounded by the French. The part of France closest to Blighty apparently speaks as though its inhabitants have had top-quality painkillers injected into their jaws. This, of course, is in direct contrast to England, where everyone speaks the Queen's English - nowhere is this more true than in London, our capital city:

Well, I think that's perfectly clear to everyone.


Alright, what about this chap:

The clips above are from the film Adulthood, which is well worth a watch, and the second is a guy called Doc Brown who's just amazing.

Alright, so perhaps we do have some dialects.

In any case, Lille and Calais have a very, very strange accent. I wish I'd known that when I first went with my father and spent what felt like hours trying to understand the very friendly but utterly intelligible butcher. Mind you, that struggle directly led to me improving my French and coming here so, as they would say: