Sunday, June 24, 2007
So, following on from my last entry: Tuesday, after the whole rigmarole of the McDonald's job thingy, I met up with Katy Dey at St Michel again. I had my suitcases with me, so we went to a cafe where I ate a crepe, and a baguette if I'm not mistaken. After we said goodbye at Cite, I went to the gare du nord to catch my train and buy the ticket to come back. (For some reason I'm having to control a strange desire to insert random French words here and there) I accidently bought the ticket going the wrong way, but managed to sort it out, so that was all fine. I got on the Eurostar, as one does when going back to England by train, and met my dad at Waterloo, even though I didn't realise he'd be there. Got home around nine, and had a dinner that Thomas prepared. To be honest though, I was so tired I could have eaten polystyrene.
Wednesday, I'd arranged to meet Ali and Jess in Southampton, which was cool. Thomas tagged along of course! We went to Costa Cafe, where the waitresses were rather miserable (made me feel like I was back in France!). That evening, I went to the church youth group, which was the first time in about a year, but it had hardly changed, which was nice. Afterwards, Thomas and I watched Gosford Park.
Thursday, Thomas and I went to Poole to meet up with Kaylee. Weather terrible, company good as usual. Had lunch at Wetherspoons, chatted, had a wonder around Poole, chatted, looked at some little bits and bobs including Poole Pottery, which is obscenely expensive. Then we had a cream tea (not great) to escape iniment rain, and chatted, bought some sweets (not that great either) and chatted. Then Thomas bought the entire works of Shakespeare, all 20 tons of it. And that was about all. That evening, we watched A Corpse Bride.
Friday, I went to the cinema with Jo and Katy to see The Fantastic 4, which was cliched and poorly acted, but it was at least mildly entertaining. But it was nice to see Jo and Katy. The family all watched The Prestige that evening (4 films in 3 days!), which was really good, but the ending was a bit disappointing.
Saturday evening the family (sounds daunting, mafia-like, non?) went to The Fisherman's Rest, Lymington for dinner. The food was excellent, but they ran out of venison, which Thomas ordered, and didn't tell us until they were serving everyone else. Bit daft, if I do say so.
Sunday was Father's day, so Thomas cooked a fried breakfast, while I cleaned up. Then Thomas cooked a chocolate cake and some scones for an afternoon tea (which Thomas so humbly put while plagiarising Mary Poppins, "all of which were practically perfect in every way"), while I cleaned up. The grandparents came round for the afternoon tea, so it was a thoroughly enjoyable affair.
Monday, I didn't do anything, and Tuesday I returned to Paris.
That'll do for this entry, which is beginning to compete in length with a Vikram Seth novel. Till next time, which I believe will be very soon...
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Monday, June 11, 2007
Sarkozy - the cause of all our problems?
Saturday, June 09, 2007
I can't believe I'm leaving Paris on Tuesday for a few months! Although I sort of need to go back to England to find a job (following unsuccessful searching here), and prices became prohibitively expensive after Tuesday, I'm starting to regret buying the ticket. There's people I probably won't be able to say goodbye to and that's sad. I told Jennifer I was leaving, slightly bluntly it must be said (by text), which shocked her somewhat! Sorry Jennifer! And plus, I'm really tired today, having not slept well, got up early, went to the Church Council half day away - which was a lot better than I anticipated, collected my ticket from Gare du Nord (isn't the RER bit scary and confusing?), did some washing and started to pack. My tiredness is contributing to my general state of miscontentedness, but nothing a good night's sleep shouldn't sort.
Church Council not so boring after all
Having joined the church council fearing it would be incredibly bureaucratic, I thought today would be a form of purgatory (if I believed in it, that is), but I was pleasantly surprised! I talked to some of the fellow church councillors who I hadn't spoken to, and there was lots of positive contributions. There was albeit some bureaucracy, some more responsible for that than others, but there was some cool stuff. And the food was really good. Which helps.
Friday, June 08, 2007
But now to the decisions bit... He said that he won't know whether he'll be able to give me a job for another week at least, because a nearby McDonalds is closing for several months and this restaurant is absorbing most of its staff, which for a summer job is quite a long time to wait. So do I wait until I find out for sure, or do I go back to England? What if I stay and it turns out I haven't got a job? At the moment I'm thinking of phoning them some time next week telling them that
And yes, it may seem a rubbish option, but McDonald's isn't actually that bad. Yes, I'm selling myself to a capitalist juggernaut with which, small, worthy businesses can't compete, but the benefits include: all uniform provided, free food on the premises, and most importantly, 50% reimbursement of transport costs. That means McDonald's would pay for half of my Carte Imagine-R. And if I stay in this area (i.e. St Mandé, Vincennes etc.) next year (although I definitely won't be staying in the same apartment), the local Préfecture has announced that it'll pay for half of students' transport costs as well. That means I'll get free public transport in Paris absolutely legally! (no comment Jennifer!)
So I need to make my decision, and pretty soon since Eurostar tickets are really expensive and the longer I leave it the more they cost. Any ideas people?
- The English word hazard comes from the Persian word (via Arabic, Spanish and French) izr which means a die.
- The Spanish word for head is cabeza which comes from the Latin capita (as in the phrase per capita). So where does the French tête come from? From the Latin word testa meaning vase. Bizarre, non? But what's even stranger is that exactly the same thing happened in German. The German kopf comes from the Germanic kupaz meaning (and from where we get the word) "cup".
- Grammar and glamour come from the same word.
- Chicago means garlic.
And that'll do for now.
Not so erotic example of Japanese art
And the Rodin gardens are really cool, and again, with my Histoire de l'art student card, I can get in free! So after my little browse in the museum, I went back to uni, and got back at around 12h10. It was still closed. I waited till gone 12h30 - during which it didn't open - then went and got some lunch, which was annoying since I had already bought some lunch at home - went back to uni to find it was still closed an hour after it was supposed to open. Typical! So I went home. A WASTE OF MY TIME that was. Although I did enjoy the museum.
But while I was at the museum or at uni I received a message from McDonald's asking for an interview, so I phoned back post-haste and arranged an interview for Wednesday.
Fast forward twenty-five and a half hours, and I was at McDonald's having my interview. IN FRENCH! The interview itself went really well, the interviewer seemed really pleased and said that my interview was good, so that was a real boost to my confidence. But... I don't know whether I've got a job. I've got another interview in a McDonald's restaurant in the south of Paris, which is probably too far for me to go. The problem is that most restaurants don't want to give holiday, and I want to go back to England for some time during August, which means it's unlikely I'll get a job. But they said that if I can't get a summer job, I'll go on the waiting list for the rentrée.
Yesterday I didn't really do much. I spent one-and-a-half hours on the phone to Thomas via Skype, which my parents weren't impressed with since Thomas (who arrived back home on Wednesday) was meant to be unpacking his stuff and tidying up.
The evening was church social, and it was the grub crawl. And it was really good. The food was nice as was the company.
And that leads me to today. I shall tell you how the interview went later.
Sunday, June 03, 2007
Saturday, June 02, 2007
The steps leading up to the Sacre Coeur, and as you can see, lots of tourists. Would you really feel any pity if one of those dots stopped moving, forever?
From the Sacre Coeur looking over to the 13th and 5th.
A street in Montmartre. I'm sure there was something important about this street, but I can't remember.
By the way, if you were disturbed by my sudden psychotic outburst about killing people, I was actually quoting The Third Man by Graeme Greene.
As the title suggests, I had my haircut - always an adventure in a foreign language. Which is why I left it so long. I feel practically bald now. And also as the title suggests, I've been continuing in my rather apathetic search for a job. I applied to Starbucks and McDonalds, the great French establishments that they are, as I didn't need to send a cover letter. I really don't want to write my cover letter, do I? Could someone do it for me? Please?
But that's about it in my life so far.
According to the format, a terminally ill woman, called Lisa was willing to donate her kidneys to one of three contestants requiring a kidney transplant, and the viewers could text her to aid her in the decision. One of the contestants was so ill that she could only drink a pint of fluid a day as that was all her body could cope with. Before it was aired, the show was condemned internationally as unethical, asking three people to compete over potentially life-saving treatment.
In the Netherlands, there is a chronic shortage of organ donors, and 200 people die every year waiting for a kidney transplant.
However, just as Lisa was going to give her decision, the presenter interrupted, announcing that the show was a hoax. Lisa was actually an actress, and although the contestants really did require kidney transplants, they were in on the hoax and were taking part to publicize the plight of those waiting for organ transplants. And the show definitely did that - 12,000 people texted the TV channel after the show saying they would join the donor list.
Given the publicity, it's shocking that no-one suspected it was a hoax. Prehaps this says a lot about the tasteless and sadistic nature of today's reality TV.
The chairman of BNN, the channel that broadcasted it, admitted the show was in 'bad taste' but said he 'believe[s] that reality is even worse taste'. And whether it's about the tragic shortage of organ donors or the repugnant nature of today's TV, he's probably right.
Friday, June 01, 2007
We then went for a little walk to Hotel de Ville, had a look at the "Garden of Tomorrow" display they had there - why not, it was free. I then went home. At my metro stop, I bumped into Virginie from church, and we had a little chat (in French of course). It turns out she works not at all far from where I live. Le monde est vraiment petit ! (See The Mighty Game of Go...)
Then I did some washing to resolve my sock shortage.
I NEED TO WRITE MY LETTRE DE MOTIVATION! I also desperately need my haircut, but I'm scared of French hairdressers. I'm gonna have something to eat and then go to Hillsongs maybe. Even though I don't really like it.
A bientot, mes amis !