Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Ten pain au chocolat and a keg of Kronenbourg svp (29/10/10)

Still no internet... French technology hates me.

Actually, I think France in general is hating on me right now, in all honesty.

Tuesday, I went to Versailles to have a bit of a wander around and a little look at the palace, to see what the fuss was about, and also to evaluate just how rubbish my drawings of it during GCSE History actually were.

Conclusion: They were fucking awful.

It took me almost three hours to get there. I got to Villabé to find that there were NO trains to Juvisy (where I change) so I went for a little walk, well I say little walk, I actually walked around Corbeil-Essonnes for an hour before I found myself at the station. I got on a train almost immediately, but once I got to Juvisy there was a 35 minute wait for my other train. Which was delayed. Then they sped it up by skipping a metric fuck ton of stations (much to my amusement when half the commuters missed their stop because they didn’t listen to the announcement) but once it got to Austerlitz I think I could have walked to Versailles quicker, on my hands. There are some awesome views of Paris from the train windows on the RER C line once you start heading out of Paris though. Need to get some pictures of these. 

When I eventually arrived at the station I wanted, it was almost 16h00. It was at this point that I realised that none of the vast array of tickets I keep in my wallet were actually valid here. I snuck through the barriers on someone else’s passe Navigo and was thankful that the armed police weren’t frequenting this station at this point in time.

I walked out of the station and started following the crowd (as surely a mass crowd of people walking in the same direction are all tourists, right?) through a path of leaves, where two young children were turning their mother into a tree. After a few minutes I found the palace.

What a beautiful building. It makes Buckingham Palace look like a council flat. Poor show, Liz, poor show. These guys don’t even have a monarch, and their palace is better than yours. 

I didn’t really fancy going inside (as that costs money and it’s something I’d rather do with an equally geeky friend) so I wandered around the outside taking pictures. There’s also a statue outside of Louis XIV, and it’s a pretty good statue, it makes him look like some sort of respected man. I love the French, those crazy hypocritical bastards!

I ventured elsewhere, looking for other stuff to take pictures of. I found a small church, and a statue of a man. I couldn’t tell you who he is. However, I did find a poo bag dispenser for dog owners. That’s awesome. They should have those in England. Would come in so handy on those occasions when your dog decides to do more poos than bags you brought out (yes, that’s aimed at you, Millie).

After this I was bored, so I went home, to be even more bored.

On Wednesday I met up with a friend for some lunch and a generic wander around Paris. It was nice. Although the “well done” steak they served me could probably have been brought back to life by a good vet. On my way home, I went into Auchan to buy some stuff, and a mop. In the centre commercial there is one of those shops that sell a vast array of absolute crap, so I got my mop in there. I was having a wander around, when I found nunchaku in the toys section.

Fair enough, they were the foam practise ones, but still. Martial arts weaponry? In the toys section? Really?
French kids are clearly more hardcore than I thought.

Naturally, I bought some. Well, it’s a project for me while I’m out here isn’t it.

Thursday, seems to have been the day that Sam looked like a complete criminal/idiot/wanker/all of the above all day long. The plan was to get the shopping out of the way and get the flat clean before heading out to Paris or whatever for the rest of the day, tiring myself nice and early before getting up at 7 Friday morning to go and meet Dad and Amber at the Gare du Nord.

Clearly, this didn’t happen. I went to Carrefour to pick up some bedding and light bulbs (and beer) then I decided to go into Lidl to pick up a lasagne for my lunch, and some hot dogs to snack on. I was queueing up to pay for my unhealthy goodness when I was beckoned to the front of the queue by the checkout attendant who wanted to check my carrier bag from Carrefour. She pulled the duvet out of it, realised that Lidl don’t sell that particular variety, and was about to be all like “ok that’s cool thanks” when the security guard decided that he had a few more questions about my duvet before he was satisfied that I hadn’t stolen it from the shop that doesn’t sell it.

On the other hand, seeing as she’d pulled me to the front of the queue to treat me like a criminal over a €10 duvet, she did serve me before everyone else who had got to the till before me. Good times.

I got home, and cleaned the majority of my flat, before deciding to go on a mini voyage to Corbeil-Essonnes station to pick up phone credit, and then to Auchan to do my food shop. I decided to be really lazy and take the train, but there were no trains at all, so I took the bus instead. I got on the bus and went to put my ticket into the reader, when the driver informed me that it wasn’t working. I was like “oh, okay” but he held his hand out, as if to say “give me your ticket bitch”. I showed him it, he asked me if I needed to take another bus after. I replied, no I didn’t. Either he didn’t hear me, or he didn’t like the look of my face (to be fair I have got a MASSIVE spot on it currently) because he gave me an obscene glare, before repeating his question, in a far more condescending tone than before. I responded in the same manner. He demanded my ticket, which I had offered him in the first place; he tore it in half and gave it back to me.

He spent the whole of my bus journey giving me filthy looks through his rear-view mirror. 

He was however, waving at a large amount of pedestrians on the journey. Clearly I do not fit in anywhere in Corbeil-Essonnes. The man who likes everyone, hates me. This became even more apparent when people were getting on his bus without a ticket, a Navigo or anything at all that resembled that their journey was paid for. Maybe it really is just my face.

I got my credit then walked to Auchan to get what I needed. When I was paying, the bar code for the glasses I was buying (for the keg of beer that me and Dad are going to demolish) didn’t register. Whilst the manager was off checking the price of them, the woman asked me to pay for the rest of my shopping and wait five minutes for the glasses to return, so I could pay for them separately and be on my way. I said “oui, bien sur” then she said something else that went completely over my head as she said it so quickly, so I gave it a quick;
“euh, j’ai pas compris” and was about to follow it up with a cheeky “est-ce que vous pouvez parler plus lentement pour moi? Mon français ce n’est pas génial” when she INTERROMPÉ with her,

“euh, you speeking ingleesh?”
“euh, oui?”
“you cahn wait faive meenitz for zer...verres?”

That was most definitely not what she’d said to me, as I had already understood and responded to that request. It was nice of her to be all helpful and bilingual and stuff, but yeah.

I still don’t know what it was that I hadn’t understood. Boo.

In the evening I finished my lasagne, and I finished cleaning, ready for the arrival of my dad and sister in the morning. The plan was to get drunk so I fell asleep early; however I couldn’t be bothered to buy wine in any of the supermarkets I visited today, so I just had half a bottle whilst I pottered about the flat making things look acceptable. It’s not immaculate, but it will do.

I’m still not asleep, and it’s 2am. Someone isn’t going to be sleeping too well before having to get up.

Also, just before I stop writing, I am listening to Voltage FM. James Blunt has a new song out, and they’ve got him introducing it, in French. “Voici mon new single, Stay The Night.”

You’re so cool, James Blunt. I wish I was you.


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