Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Naughty girl!

What a silly billy I've been today. It gets pretty intense for me at work (not to mention daily living) having fluent French speakers all around me. Victoria and I attended a presentation in an amphitheatre this afternoon - nearly two hours of torrential french powerpoint and discussion. I recognised a few words and sentences but not enough to be of any use. By the time I got back to work I was thoroughly exhausted. Looking at my watch I decided it was time to go home, strange that everyone else was working late tonight.

When I got to the station  I couldn't find a train for my time and was surprised that trains that left an hour ago were still on the board. I waited on the platform- a train was about to pull away stuffed to the gills with people. Cafeolait? Oui. I hopped on. Odd that it's so busy, standing room only.

And then it twigged. I had mis-read my watch. I had left 45 mins early- no wonder there were some strange looks at work. Oh how embarrassing. I tried to calm down on the trip back to Cafeolait but as I was negotiating the crowds to leave the station I noticed that, as yesterday, there was a heavy police presence. Two young guys were being publicly frisked in the subway. We all surged past but the surging came to an abrupt halt as everyone was checked to see if we had paid. No one escaped. The police were armed. My God, you can get shot here for not buying a ticket? You get arrested on the spot? It's quite intimidating because the police form a line and you can't get past until they've read your train pass with a special gadget. OOeeer. I was innocent but I still felt nervous. Luckily I had a brisk walk in the drizzle back to the studio to settle my nerves.

I'll make up the time of course at work but I must admit, I'm feeling very, very tired. It may be a combination of jetlag and concentration on language and life adjustments.

I paid half deposit for my future car today to the boss - rather a laugh counting out 1600 euros in cash for him. I hope he doesn't get mugged on his way home.

Tomorrow I hope to be a wee bit more productive at work but at least today I picked up my new french visa after two attempts. French lunch breaks are scrupulously observed in France-never try to bank at lunchtime. Three men literally barred the door and refused me entry because I dared to enter after 1pm.

Photos are from a recent trip to Rambouillet where I took a walk to the Palais du Roi de Rome (Napoleon's young son's place that he only got to spend a few hours in before he was exiled to Austria)


Alison said...

Ah yes - misunderstandings. My grasp of the language was such that I had quite a few of those! I think you are doing SO WELL! New stuff like this is really hard. It's good that you have someone to talk English to in the mornings. It will be just a bit of a daily tonic. :-)

Brooke D said...
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