I just made the easiest €25 of my life and no, it didn't involve anyone putting their penis in my mouth. That will cost you €50. (Mum, I told you not to read my blog!)
Thanks to Laura, who did it last year and passed on the contact details, I now have a teaching gig every Thursday, chatting to five French ladies in English for one hour. In fact, it isn't 'teaching' at all- I literally just chat to them and correct their English. Laura told me about it at the end of last year and they said they'd contact me in September.
September came and went without so much as a whisper from the Five French Ladies and I'd kind of given up on them, until last week, when I listened to a message on my phone that went something like this:
"Hello. . . I. . .Re...ceived. . . Your. . . Tel...e...phone. . . Num...ber. . . From. . . Lau...ra. . . My. . . Name. . . Is... Mad...ame. . . Binoche. . ."
You get the idea. (She's not really called Madame Binoche, but I feel all paranoid about using people's real names, so that's what I shall call her from now on.) Madame Binoche is the lady who organises the group and holds the meeting in her apartment. I rang her back and got her answering machine so I left a message, making sure I spoke as slowly as possible. Kayt was with me when I left the message and she can bear witness to how painfully slowly I spoke.
"Heeeeeeee. Llllooooooooo.... Myyyyyyyyy.... Naaaaammmeee.... Iiiissssss...."
It was like that, but about eighty times slower. I didn't hear anything for a few days and then I got a phone call from Madame Binoche:
"I received your message, but I could not understand it because you were speaking so fast."
You cannot fathom how slowly I spoke on that message. I guess in real life I have a tendency to talk quite fast, so perhaps when it feels to me as though I'm talking in slow motion, I actually sound more like a Grand National commentator to other people, especially French people who are trying to learn English.
Anyway, today I met Madame Binoche in person and her English is good in Real Life. She lives in a beautiful apartment inside a sixth form college, because her husband is the headteacher. (I kept wandering up and down the street, getting more and more panicky, until I finally texted Laura saying 'Madame Binoche said she is number 42, but all I can see is this fucking sixth form college!' and Laura text back saying 'She lives in the sixth form college' and then it was fine.)
The weird thing is, she lives near Family Thrift! As soon as I stepped off the metro I realised I was stood on the street that I used to tramp up and down four times a day, going to and from the kids' school when I was an underpaid, underfed au pair for Family Thrift, living under their scratty, impoverished roof. Ergh. That seems like a lifetime ago. Actually, because the weather has just turned autumnal, (it's been boiling hot for two weeks and today it rained and there are brown leaves blowing everywhere) and because it was the middle of the day and I wasn't in work, it really took me back to when I first arrived in Paris...
Anyway, now is not time the for reminicsing; I've got to go to work in a bit and I've not written on here for agesss. I've got a lot to fill you in on. ('You' being my 26 followers, how exciting! I know some people have 26,000 but I never thought I'd get any. I just hope those of you without photos aren't all my mum is disguise, making fake profiles so she can stalk my blog despite my express warnings that she Stop. Reading. Now.)
So, the meeting with French ladies went really well. (I want to call them 'old ladies' because they all have grandchildren and are retired, but they honestly don't look or act 'old' so it feels insulting and incorrect.) We chatted about French healthcare (not enough doctors), English healthcare (too much waiting) and even Hungarian healthcare (apparently French people go there to get their teeth sorted because it's really cheap over there). We discussed the weather, what we did over the summer, how they are struggling to understand my accent after a year with Laura who is from Glasgow...
It was really nice and I'm so happy to be getting an extra €25 a week! It means I can save €50 a week and still have €55 to spend on cocktails etc.
I am clearly going to spend all the money, every week, because I have a serious, serious problem with handling my finances, BUT I might have another job which could mean I can finally try and pay off my overdraft and credit card (and Amo and Clare) and maybe even save up some money for when I move to London next year.
I had a job interview last Friday and I really, really hope I get the job. It's basically looking after a three month year old baby for ten hours a week and it pays €10 an hour. The baby's mum looks about my age, is insanely attractive and speaks fluent Greek because she has spent most of her life in Cyprus, even though she was born in London and English is her first language. She speaks to the baby in Greek and her financé, who is from Paris, speaks to the baby in French, so they want me to speak to it in English. This baby is going to be trilingual before he can even walk, whereas I can barely order myself a drink in a Parisien café these days.
The mum said that she is going back to work in November, so she'll let me know nearer the time what her hours are. For all I know they could clash with my au pair job, so I'm not going to get too excited. She did ask me though if I was free to go away with them for the occasional holiay... She said they often go to London, Corsica or Cyprus for the weekend and they are also planning on going to the West Coast of America for three weeks in the summer and they'll need a babysitter with them... but I'm NOT getting too excited because my au pair job comes first so it might not work out.
Oh my God I really hope it works out.
Also, I finally heard about that drama teaching thing. I am starting on Monday, but now I am starting as a teaching assistant instead of having my own classes, but that could be a good thing I guess. The deal is the same- €700 in expenses, in exchange for about thirty hours throughout the academic year. The only problem is I don't have any money in the first place to go to London, otherwise I could get about seven round Eurostar trips this year, claim it back on expenses and not have to pay a penny.
It's really sunk in now that I won't be going back to England for the Halloween Mulletover. Very sad times, but in a way it is good because I have learnt my lesson... kind of.
So. I have got about four jobs up in the air- things could be looking up. Think Positive.
I feel a bit disrespectful actually, writing a blog today. Something really sad has happened to my friend back in England. It seems ridiculous to worry about stupid things like money when I am healthy and happy and here. So I'll finish there. Even though I don't 'do hugs' in real life, I'm going to sit awhile and send some telepathic hugs over the Channel to my best friend, who needs them. xxx