Saturday, 16 July 2011

Birthday Week: Part 3

Oh dear, there were a lot of typos in last night's post. I didn't mean to say that foie gras was 'like butter and meat and baby'- I meant to say that it tasted like meat and butter made a baby, which actually sounds rather disgusting when I read it back, but I just meant that it has the texture of butter and the flavour of meat. Not one for vegans then, really...

Anyway. Needless to say, I didn't sort my room out in time. I ran back home after work and frantically tried to clean the 'kitchenette' but I got as far as scrubbing the sink when there was a knock on my door. It was the landlady and she said somehting to me in French with a heavy Italian accent. I've no idea what she said but I could tell by the tone of her voice that it was something along the lines of: 'Look at you, all stressed with that sponge, don't worry so much!'

She was really nice and wasn't that bothered about the room, she just wanted to check I hadn't made off with the microwave or anything. It was clear that the mum of the family has been making her out to be a Cleaning Gustapo just to shit me up and make me clean up, because she knows I am a bit of a tit when it comes to housework.

The landlady looked around the room and said it was fine, then she touched the curtain rails and they fell off in her hand. She just said 'C'est pas grave' and explained that she was going to get new curtain rails anyway.

I had been panicking for nothing- the room inspection was absolutely fine, although now it is a complete mess again because I've had to root through all my bags to get clothes and make-up out.

Still, it was a nice relief and then I went to see HARRY POTTER at midnight with Mairi, it was magical and a little bit sad, because I remembered the first time I opened the first Harry Potter book, when I was ten years old, and now I have seen the last film and the magic is kind of over for me. The only bad thing about the whole experience was the very annoying audience who whooped and clapped at EVERYTHING. I don't want to be stereotypical, but the people doing the whooping were American and I wanted to stand up and say "Me and my friend here are British. Please let us experience the emotion of this film quietly and privately."

But I didn't, intstead I cringed and scowled and at one point shouting 'For fuck's sake' because they laughed and clapped at the very end, when I was ready to burst into tears, and they completely ruined the moment for me and I have no idea why because it wasn't funny.

Anyway, I'm glad I went to see it. Haz Poz 4eva and all that.

Wednesday night was Kayt's last night, and exactly a week since Beth arrived and put up my birthday banner for me. We went to Chez Prune by the canal at Republique and I got my birthday present from Kayt, Georgie and Amy- some nice pjyamas from Oysho, which I'm very grateful for because I had no idea what I was going to wear to bed in the South of France, I can hardly sleep in my knickers like I normally do when I am sleeping in the living room with all the kids.

But the best part of the present was the wrapping paper. They had wrapped my present in a piece of A3 pattern paper and on the paper they had written a story about me, about all the unusual alternatives for my name that French people come up because they can't say a certain sound in my name; about how the five year old is my sidekick and together we fight Invisible Robots with our Invisible Sword Balls; about how on nights out I frequently discover my ability to speak French, Hebrew, Arabic, Greek and Romanian... and it also listed some of my excellent beuaty tips, such as, 'If you run out of eye make-up remover and you happen to be eating an apple, stick your finger in the apple and rub it on the eyeliner'. (It really works!)

I swore that I would frame it and keep it forever.

Kayt didn't want to stay out too late because she had to be up at 5am the next day, but somehow, one bottle of wine turned into three, and then we went and sat by the canal to drink the bottle of champagne her family had bought her. And that was where things took a turn for the worse.

We sat down on a bench by the canal, in front of a public urinal and somehow we didn't think this was disgusting. We passed the champagne round, swigging from the bottle, and I remarked how it was a fitting send-off for Kayt- getting pissed, sitting on a bench surrounded by rubbish, overlooking a urinal. No Eiffel Tower or nice Parisien bars for us.

All of a sudden we were very, very drunk and we were FOUL. I can barely bring myself to type it, but at one point a man used the urinal in front of us and we started chanting Get Your Dick Out. We were horrible, horrible, HORRIBLE loud-mouthed, binge-drinking English girls. A man tried to sell us a rose and Emma decided to buy seven, one for each of the girls, so at one point we were all sat on a bench, holding a rose in one hand, a Vogue cigarette in the other, and chatting absolute drunken shit to each other. Me and Kayt for some reason came up with a slogan for selling leather -Get Leather and we kept saying it to each other and pissing ourselves.

When the champagne was finished we went to an Irish bar and harrassed the bar staff who clearly wanted to close up and go home. We ordered more wine and a round of shots, but they wouldn't give us the shots, instead they gave us a free bag of crisps and kicked us out. After the Irish bar, Kayt said she really, really needed to go home and we did a Horrible Thing. We tricked her into coming to another bar by telling her it was the way to the night bus. By the time we got to Les Parigots we were too far away from the nightbus so we ended up staying for another bottle of wine.

At one point, Kayt and Amy were huddled in the corner crying their eyes out. "What are they bloody crying for?" I yelled. I stormed over and within thirty seconds I was clinging onto them, crying my eyes out as well as Amy told us what 'special people' we were and how she was so glad to have met us... we were a SHOW.

When we got kicked out of Les Parigots, we decided it really was time for us to go home, as me and Mairi were staying at Amy's so we could all get up at 5am and walk Kayt to the night bus.

When we got on the nightbus, we had to walk past a big group of girls to get to the empty seats at the back and, perhaps because they could smell the alcohol on us and figured we'd be an easy target, they started laughing nastily and shouting to us. I replied in a normal, chatty tone and pretended we were on an even keel, when in fact I'm pretty sure I would have died if one of them had punched me. Luckily this worked and they got off the bus before us without battering us, but then we got into a 'confrontation' with someone else.

I honestly have no idea, none at all, how it started, but all of a sudden I was arguing with these two guys, one of them in a massive red trucker cap. He was saying we were American so I did what I always do when French guys shout abuse at me in English, I say 'Je suis Grec' (I am Greek) because nobody in France can speak Greek and they normally give up... I learnt enough random phrases when I was working in Corfo as a holiday rep to blag it.

But this guy wouldn't give up. He got more and more aggressive, insisting that he could tell I was American by my accent, and so I got more and more aggressive, yelling every Greek insult I could muster. Luckily Kayt was there to translate for me, and I can't remember all of the arguement because it went on for some time, but it finally got quite nasty and because I was so drunk a little voice in my head told me 'He is skinny, you are quite lardy nowadays thanks to all the foie gras and cheap wine, you grew up on the Welsh Estate in Fallowfield and you can take him'.

"Kayt!" I yelled, "Tell him I am going to shit in his red cap."

I wasn't sure if Kayt would translate this for me but apparently she did as he took his cap off and held it out for me. They were sitting quite a few seats away from me and I was boxed in the corner of the back row. I didn't get up to take it so he put it back on his head and said something to Kayt for her to translate.

"Erm... he says he is a rapist, he is going to rape you."

In French I said to him "Great! Super! Go on then!" and right at that moment it was their stop and they got off the bus. At least I think it was their stop, maybe he just wanted to get out of raping me. I'm pretty sure even rapists lose interest in a girl if she says she is going to shit in your red cap.

Back at Amy's, we fell into bed fully-clothed and one hour later we had to get up again to walk Kayt to the bus stop. I thought it was a cruel joke but it wasn't; we actually had to stand up, stumble to the lift and help Kayt carry her bags to the bus stop. I feel so, so guilty about doing that to Kayt- she only had half an hour's sleep because she had to have a shower and get her stuff ready.

While we were waiting for the bus, we said our goodbyes and all of a sudden we were all crying hystericall. I'll be in Paris next year with Kayt, but it won't be the same, our big group will have gone and it's going to be an empty city. Amy and Mairi might not see Kayt for a long time so it was a real goodbye for them.

And then there were three.

Now it's just me, Amy and Mairi. We are going to Favela Chic tonight and we've made a vow not to talk about next year because it will all end in tears.

Shit. I was supposed to sort my room out but it has taken me ages to write this post and now I have to get ready for tonight. I'm going to the South of France on Monday. I really wish I wasn't going. Two weeks with about six kids, no internet and only my Big Fat Belly for company.

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