Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Being A Grown Up

Yesterday was the busiest day I have had for a LONG. TIME.

I had to leave the loving embrace of my bed at 7am because I had my first 'drama lesson' at 8.20am. Nobody mentioned that the 'drama lessons' are for kids who have been thrown out of traditional French schools because they are too naughty, sorry, educationally-challenged, to cope with the strict, old-fashioned French teaching methods.

Unfortunately, it would appear as if they find it difficult to function in any kind of lesson, no matter how 'unconventional' or stimulating the lessons are designed to be. I'm glad I wasn't teaching on my own; over the summer the lady who runs the company decided that as I was 'so young' it would be better if I didn't teach lessons on my own to begin with, so she found two French actresses who moonlight as teachers to do the lessons. The idea is that I am going to assist the lessons to start out with and then, in a few weeks when they start rehearsing for plays/going to auditions, I can step in and teach the lessons on my own.

It's a bit depressing actually, chatting with them about their acting careers until they ask me "So, what are you doing with your drama degree?" and then the conversation takes an awkward turn when I say "Well, I mostly play Barbies with other people's children."

Anyway, the actress who was teaching the lesson yesterday really didn't do any drama-type activities with the children; she played games with them that were designed to help them with their English vocabulary, but I don't know how much vocab they learnt from climbing the walls (literally, they are like little hairless monkeys in skinny jeans) and punching each other in the head.

Still, I suppose it will be good experience. For something. Maybe?

After the drama lesson I had my job interview at the English-Themed Pub. I almost didn't make it on time because I got stuck on a bus at Montparnasse. The bus driver tried to squeeze in between two parked trucks, but by the time she realised she couldn't get through, a huge traffic jam had formed behind the bus so she couldn't reverse and she couldn't open the doors to let anyone off. There was a lot of angry French people marching up and down the bus and for some reason, four English tourists. They were clearly two couples on holiday together and even though there was one Cockney amongst them, I reckon he'd lived in Yorkshire for a long time, as all four of them had that very Northern habit of keeping up a constant running commentary:

"By 'eck look a' that! He wants t'go down thurr, then across thurr!"
"Nahhh, he cahn't fit dahn dey-ah, I don't fink!"

(That was my written impression of a Yorkshire and a Cockney accent respectively.)

Their accents were so strong that I was the only person on the bus who could understand their annoying twittering and therefore I suffered alone, gradually losing the will to live as I struggled to drown out the sound of their commentary.

Luckily, after twenty minutes, the two disgraced truck drivers came back to their vehicles and moved the trucks. Everyone on the bus was banging on the windows and yelling French expletives at them.

I arrived for my interview on the dot, but here's the thing... it wasn't really an interview, it was basically a meeting to discuss when I can start. It appears I have a job working in a 'pub'.

It's more of a restaurant really and I start on Thursday lunchtime which means I can't do my old ladies! I'm really sad, because I actually enjoyed our little discussion group last week and I hate saying goodbye to the easiest €25 I'll ever make. I was really worried about letting them down but luckily Kayt can take over for me, so they shouldn't be too put out.

On the bright side, it looks like I have a proper job! Even though it's an English-themed pub, the customers won't be English, so it should be really good for my French. The thing is, I kind of played down my lack of language skills, so the manager might change her mind about me once she sees me in all my stuttering, misunderstanding glory on Thursday. We'll see. If I get fired after a few days there's still the possibility of that morning nanny job (its €10 an hour and might involve weekends to London and Cyprus, just to jog your memory) which I find out about in November, so it won't be such a disaster. In fact, I was hoping there was some way of doing both jobs, but for now I'm going to focus on the pub.

I hardly dare to say it for fear of jinxing myself, but if this pub job works out well, I will be able to pay off my overdraft and credit card within a few months, plus I might finally learn how to speak French!

I'm just a little stressed out worrying about how I'm going to fit it in with my au pair job, because the pub needs me to work weekday lunchtimes which is fine for the moment but I have no idea what's going to happen in the school holidays. My guess is that they'll fire me for being a Bit Fat Evasive Liar and failing to mention that I won't be able to work the same shifts every week, but I will deal with that bridge when I come to it...

The other 'Thing' is that I'll have to work New Year's Eve. My au pair family told me the other day that they need me to work until the 23rd December, so I'll have barely a week back in England. I feel sad about this, but when I was coming home from my interview yesterday I had a bit of An Epiphany...

I was thinking about how NYE was going to be my only chance for a London rave for a while and how maybe I should just stick with the old ladies and not take the bar job, but then I realised that maybe, maybe, for once, I should do something that I don't want to do, because it might pay off in The Future, a time and place I normally try not to think about.

Then I realised that all of my friends and family do things that they don't want to do and perhaps this is why they all have money and I don't.

And then I realised this amazingly surprising thing- that maybe we have to do things we don't want to do sometimes!!!

And then I had a flash of inspiration and I thought 'Maybe we can't always do the things we want to do either!'

I feel like a Very Wise And Knowing Person.

It all makes sense now! Last year if I wanted to go to London for the night, I went. And I had a brilliant time. BUT, as a consequence, I had to sit in my mum's house all summer looking at cows and eating biscuits.


Hold on...

An idea is forming...

Bare with me...

Ok. So maybe, what I need to do is... Do Things That I Don't Want To Do, such as working NYE, In Order To Do Better Things In The Future, for example Kat told me that they are all going out raving on New Year's Day, so maybe I could come back to Paris for NYE, work all night, then go back on the Eurostar for a one-night stop the next day, using the money I've earned from my bar job!!

You see!!! I am really, really learning a lot about life and I feel like this what Being A Grown-Up Is All About.

Sorry, I am so amazed at my revelation that I can't remember what else I was going to tell you about...

Oh yeah, I went to Abby's flat to help her with an English presentation she had to give, but because I had no phone credit, I couldn't tell her I had arrived and I couldn't remember which flat was Abby’s, so I wandered up and down her floor for FORTY MINUTES yelling "Abby! Abby!" and knocking on random people's doors. Only two men answered, both in their underwear (come on, if you live alone and you're not expecting anybody, put clothes on before opening your door!) and neither of them knew who Abby was/could understand my accent.

Eventually Abby rang me to see why I was so late and I had to explain that I was sat on her stairwell, letting the frustration and hate for life slowly eat me up inside. She opened her door and I had been wandering up and down the wrong floor.

Anyway, that is my news. I have become a Grown Up and also a Waitress, let's see for how long...

In other news, a little birdie tells me that someone has been Googling 'left bank manc falafel', so I feel obliged to help you out; if you are trying to find out where the best falafel in Paris is that I always talk about, it's L'as du Falafal on Rue des Rosiers, metro station: Saint Paul. It costs five euros and don't be put off by the queue- it goes down really quickly. As for the person who has found my blog three times by searching 'cavemen having sex'... there can be no helping you.

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