Oh my good lord.
I thought this Year Abroad lark was supposed to be fun.
The reason I haven’t posted anything yet is because I’ve not had internet access since getting here. In the hotel, the man looked too scary to ask for the wifi code, and since I’ve arrived at my flat (which is pretty fit btw – more to follow) the internet codes don’t seem to want to work. Le blah.
I have been amusing myself with books and cooking, and being taken out for lunch and other French stuff with the head teacher (who lives above me). I don’t know how much longer I can do this. No internet, and no key for the front gate, so I can’t actually go out either.
Anyway, on with my story.
Tuesday morning, I woke up at 7.30 after going to bed at 8pm (yeah, I don’t know what was wrong with me either, I didn’t even go for dinner) and decided to go on the hunt for some breakfast. McDonalds breakfast in France SUCKS. They have Bacon and Egg McMuffin, but 1) I don’t like McDonald’s bacon and 2) it was 1euro, I only had a 50euro note on me. Haha. After walking around for half an hour Leader Price opened (I think it’s like a shit equivalent of Lidl) so I got a ham sandwich and an orange juice, which was awful.
Once I’m ready to leave the hotel and make my way down to Corbeil-Essonnes, I grab my bags and suitcase to discover that the handle on my suitcase is jammed. So I’m going to have to carry this 28” dead weight through the Gare du Nord. Très amusant. Not.
Get my ticket sans effort, find the platform sans effort, get myself onto the train sans too much effort (they have double decker trains here – AWESOME) and let myself chill out a bit until I reach my destination.
Once I arrive at Corbeil-Essonnes, I make a fatal error. I look for the exit sign, and follow it, forgetting that I’d been told that the head teacher would find me in the waiting room. Well, no waiting room here. Just some stairs for me and my environs 50kg of luggage to get up, followed by a dirt path into what I can only describe as an absolute dump. People arrived to get the bus. That is it. I plonk myself down near a bus stop waiting for some kind head teacher type to take pity on me and let me get in her car to go and find my accommodation. Naturally, after an hour and a half of waiting, I begin to think “Maybe I was meant to wait somewhere else”. Back through the dump, through the dirt path, down the stairs with my 50kg of luggage, to find a waiting room that opens out onto a much prettier side of Corbeil-Essonnes, one that actually might be quite nice to live in.
Obviously, it’s now almost 1 o clock, I was meant to meet the head teacher at 11, so guess what? There’s nobody there. Beginning to panic, and already feeling slightly ill from my Leader Price Ham Sandwich, I take out my phone and begin to dial the number for the college I’m going to be working in, practising my opening sentence (French – I have to prepare myself). Just as I am about to press call, the head teacher finds me, and informs me that she’s been to the station 3 times today to find me, and didn’t actually think I was coming.
She’s awesome though, she showed me my flat then took me to the canteen to meet some other members of staff (including the majority of the English staff) who all seem pretty decent too.
I spent the afternoon unpacking and sleeping (never eating a Leader Price sandwich again) before going to dinner with the headmaster in her flat, with two young women; I didn’t initially realise that these were her daughters. Dinner was good, and I did this really French thing where you eat cheese after dinner and drink red wine. I can’t believe how well I coped with the wine. It was actually quite nice. I did, however, feel a little bit drunk after once glass.
Note to self: - drink more wine.
Wednesday was pretty cool too; head teacher took me out to lunch with her and her younger daughter (and paid for me – result) before leaving me to go and buy myself a mobile phone and some food. I have been so bored since, that I have eaten all my food and need to go again. Well, I still have pasta and Golden Grahams. And Nutella. Oh, and lots of garlic. I’m sure I could make an interesting meal with this. I found horse meat in the supermarket; it’s really red isn’t it!? I want to try it, but I can’t say it looks particularly appealing.
Another cool thing they have in the supermarket is a scanner that you take around with you, and scan things as you put them into your trolley. Le awesome. That way I don’t have to speak to anybody. French supermarket workers scare me. Especially the managerial types on roller blades. No, really.
Thursday, I have actually done nothing but cook, eat, and read. I can’t go out because I have no key to the gate, I might have to go out tomorrow anyway, and jump the gate or something. I can’t stay here without even the internet to pass the time. Oh, apparently someones mum is making couscous. I might have to attend, seeing as I don’t have any food. (By the way, camembert is like 1 euro here, expect to see me about 3 stone heavier when I come home!)