Shitting hell. Last week when the au pair mum gave me my wages, she gave me a one hundred euro note instead of 80 to cover today and tomorrow (although mainly I think she just didn't have any change and I didn't either). Anyway, I just went to the bank on my way home from work to put it into my account and the only way to put money in at my branch is to use one of those 'reverse cash machines'- instead of giving you money, you put notes in and it deposits them straight into your account.
I've always loved these machines because they're so easy and simple, in fact recently I've been loving French banks because, once you get past all the initial bureaucracy crap, they are really efficient.
Well now I've definitely fallen OUT of love with those stupid machines. I put my note in three times and the machine didn't recognise it. I asked someone for help and thank the gods I did, because he was witness to the machine taking my one hundred euro note and then fannying around for five minute making whirring noises and THEN finally giving me my card bank with a receipt that showed it hadn't put the money in my account.
I could almost hear the machine whistling, looking at the ceiling with his hands behind his back, pretending not to notice me stood there gobsmacked, trying not to panic as I realised I had lost one hundred euros.
In my bank they have a little cartoon cash machine on all the screens, who smiles and winks at you as you carry out transactions, and then waves goodbye to you. I used to think he was cute but now I think he is a money-grabbing, dishonest thief and I hate him more... who do I really hate... I know- I hate him more than I hate people who let their dogs poo in children's playgrounds. (As I'm always saying- dog poo makes you blind*.)
Anyway, the guy was really helpful and rang Some People who worked in Some Place- I didn't really understand who he was calling but I was trying so hard to look like I could speak excellent French that I just nodded wisely to everything he said- and then he filled out a form for me to reclaim the one hundred euros. He said that if it isn't in my account by next week, then I should come back to the bank. So... I'm guessing there's a strong possibility that the money WON'T be in my account by next week then. Too bad I'll be in England next week, sitting on my mum's couch and looking at cows out of the window because I won't have any money to do anything.
While I'm being a winy bitch, I also have a potential problem with my au pair family...
For Some Reason, I thought I finished my au pair job last week, so I didn't think there'd be a problem with working in the resto today and tomorrow. But apparently the eight year old comes back from holiday this afternoon, so the mum wanted me to work tomorrow daytime. She was really annoyed when I said I was working in the restaurant, because they leave for the airport (they go on holiday about four times a week) at 15h30 and so she needed me all morning and afternoon up until this point.
She said, "I really need you to work, I really need you!" so I promised I'd try and swap my shift.
But when I left she sent me a really arsey message, saying that she really needed me and the only reason I was able to work in the resto the week before was because the girls weren't there... I absolutely HATE being told the same thing over and over again. I hate it. Tell me ONCE and then shut the fuck up, don't bore me. The message riled me and then I started thinking how stressful and annoying it would be to swap my shift- loads of people are on holiday at the moment, plus there are already a couple of girls who need to swap shifts because they have trips booked and stuff.
I told the mum that there's no way I can change my shift, but I offered to work Sunday for her and I offered to do babysitting tonight and I said that of course I would come in the morning tomorrow and stay until I have to leave for work- I even told my manager that I couldn't make the briefing and asked if I could come in at noon instead of 11h30.
The mum didn't bother to text back and I really couldn't care less. I'm at that point in the year when I get bored and wreckless and can't decide if I want to quit my job or not... I think I'd be secretly pleased if they fired me, so it doesn't matter if she's pissed off or not.
Hmm, I really hope the dad hasn't found blog. I never told you what happened, did I?
Ok, so on the Saturday that me and Olivia went on holiday by mistake, we went to pick the toddler up at about 6.30pm, (I only had to work about two hours in the morning and then two hours in the evening) and the dad came out of the Seafront House singing. Do you know what he was singing?
She call me Mr Bombastic, she say me fantastic...
My heart dropped into my stomach. Why the fuck would he be singing that song, of all songs? I wrote on my blog that it was favourite song. Was he sneakily trying to freak me out? He was looking right at me as he sang it. My eyes widened but I didn't say anything.
Then Olivia said, "That's her favourite song!"
The dad looked at me in surprise. Was he surprised because he realised it must be me who writes Left Bank Manc? Or was he surprised because it's a fucking stupid song to choose as your favourite?
I've been thinking about it... and my blog is really easy to find. I've told the family that I want to be a writer, what if the dad put two and two together and Googled 'au pair blog Paris'? Left Bank Manc is the first thing to come up.
Have I been an idiot?
There's no point worrying about it I supposed until he comes right out and says it, but I'm pretty sure I'm just being paranoid. I don't know...
Anyway, let me finish telling you about the rest of that weekend. Me and Olivia walked to the next town on Saturday afternoon, it took about twenty minutes and it was a lot posher than our seaside town, that for now we are calling The Blackpool of France. There were designer shops and yachts and we had lunch in a little restaurant before getting the boat back across the bay, back to The Blackpool of France. (The boat was so fun but it only lasts about twenty seconds because the bay is small.)
We had to play on the beach with the toddler for a couple of hours and then we were freeeee. We got some mussels from the fish market and cooked them with white wine, shallots and parsley. (We forgot to put the garlic in.) Inside some of the mussels were teeny, tiny pregnant crabs!! I don't know if they are cute or creepy. I think as they have boiled alive in cheap, white wine, I should probably say creepy.
The bright orange stuff is hundreds of microscopic eggs attached to their bellies... Nature is disgusting, isn't it?
After the mussels and more wine, we went out in search of a bar. The night before we'd had a couple of beers outside a bar at the far end of the seafront, the only place that looked like you could sit down and just have a drink, rather than a three course meal. We went back there and had a bottle of wine, maybe two, I don't remember. We were a little bit tipsy at this point and before we knew it, they were closing up. I'd been moaning at Olivia, saying that she always has lock-ins when I'm not there, so she said she'd try and get us a lock-in.
Sure enough, the waiters came up and said we could finish our drinks inside while they locked up.
"Are we having a lock-in?" I whispered.
"Erm... I don't know." Olivia said.
We finished our drinks while the waiters sat on a separate table, not talking to us or even drinking alcohol.
Definitely not a lock-in, then.
We finished our drinks hurriedly and walked back home. By this time it was about four am anyway, so perhaps it was a good idea to just go home, considering I had to look after the toddler in seven hours. But on the way home, we suddenly became really, really drunk. Maybe it was the sea air, but I hadn't felt that bad when we were at the bar and all of a sudden me and Olivia were running onto the beach, singing and high-kicking, wondering how much further it was until we got to the sea.
For Some Reason, we'd decided that we wanted to go paddling. But the beach was so dark and the sea was so black that we couldn't tell how far away it was, even though we could hear it and see the rippling reflections of stars, somewhere ahead. We walked further and further, until suddenly the cold water was rushing over our toes and splashing against our ankles. We kept walking and walking, until I decided that maybe we were so drunk that we would walk all the way out to sea and drown, so we stopped where we were and stood looking into the blackness. It was weird, knowing England was there, in the distance, the cliffs of Dover still and silent in the night.
To be honest we probably weren't looking towards the cliffs of Dover, we could have been facing towards Skegness for all I know... my geography is terrible.
After splashing about and singing at the tops of our voices (I was terrified the family would hear me, as we were directly opposite Seafront House, but we were so far out so I don't think there's any chance they did) for about half an hour, we made our way back to shore. It took an AGE because we were stumbling and slipping in the sand. Looking back, it's a good job we didn't fall over and get dragged out to sea, as the tide was out.
Once we got back to the beach, we turned to look at the sea once more. Olivia was high-kicking and singing musical songs, facing the sea, and I was a bit behind her. I remember thinking I was going to lose my balance as I heard Olivia bellowing in the background:
'Life's candy and the sun's a bowl of buttaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa'
Olivia told me the next day that she stopped singing at this point because she realised I'd gone quiet, then she head a very heavy SMACK so she turned round. I was lying flat on my back on the sand, arms and legs spread out like a starfish, still holding my handbag.
I don't remember the actual moment I fell over, but I remember we both laughed hysterically as Olivia helped me up and we decided it was definitely time to go home. As we walked back barefoot, I felt a dull pain in my right foot, but I forgot about it as soon as we got home and fell into bed.
The next day however, I woke up with a backache and a really painful, sharp ache in my foot. I knew something was wrong. I pulled she sheet of really slowly, hardly daring to look. I had a horrible feeling that there was going to be a spiky fish stuck in my foot, or a rusty nail or something.
I held my foot gingerly and brought it up the bed a little bit. On the bottom of my foot was a huge, bloody hole, with a flab of thick skin hanging off around the outside. It was absolutely disgusting and I still have no idea what could have happened.
As I limped into the bathroom, I noticed there was a trail of bloodspots leading from my bed and down the corridor to the front door. I opened the front door and saw bloodspots across the lobby of the building as well.
Luckily Olivia had a plaster so I whacked that on and went to work looking like absolute shit. I looked after the toddler for a couple of hours and then the au pair mum told me to go home and pack. I kept waiting for the mum and dad to mention something about the night before, like 'So. Was that you two singing like a bag of cats and Broadway dancing up and down the beach at 5am this morning?' but they didn't, so I think we got away with it.
In the car ride back to Paris, me and Olivia fell asleep and I heard the dad talking about us to the mum.
"They partied last night, look they're sleeping! They must have partied last night."
The mum told him we just liked to sleep a lot. It was so funny, because I wasn't actually asleep, I just wanted to fall asleep so I lay very still with my eyes closed for the whole journey. Olivia did the same and rested her head on my shoulder.
I heard the dad point it out to the mum and he told her to take a photo of us. At first she was saying 'No! No I can't!' and then about ten minutes later I heard the click of a camera... She sent me the photo in an email a few days later, no words, just the picture of me looking hideous and alseep, with Olivia asleep on my shoulder.
So, all in all, we had an excellent weekend and it wasn't really anything like 'Withnail and I', although I wish it had been. We spent a lot of money and the dad possibly knows about my blog...
"Monty, you terrible cunt."
(Quote from 'Withnail and I' but if you haven't seen it, you really are ridiculous and you watch it NOW.)
*I'm hoping one day this will become a world-wide health and social campaign and people will start saying this dramatic and effective phrase at the end of important speeches:
"Nobody wants higher taxes, but this is for the Greater Good. The money you pay in taxes today will be repaid to your children, and to your children's children, in the form of cleaner, greener cities and buzzing, vibrant country towns. Together will shape this world into our perfect vision! Today's bigger taxes for a bigger, better future! Dog poo makes you blind."