Sunday, September 09, 2007
Sad French...
They didn't win against Argentina, I've never seen such long faces..... really it's all about rugby here at present, I went to Hippo for lunch yesterday, and they have a poster with a hippo kicking a ball, saying "don't let your hunger go into extra time". Also my bank is a major sponsor, so every letter from them is decorated with rugby balls. And the railway stations have gone mad, at Gare du Nord yesterday, you could have your face decorated in rugby colours. Even children's clothes shops have little rugby balls in the windows. And every cafe has imported a big screen, including my restaurant on the corner of the street where I sometimes eat. Don't know about downstairs - there is a rather nice restaurant with specialities from the east of France, and I know they are big soccer fans, so maybe they will not be watching the rugby.

Heaps of fans in the streets, but so far I have seen no obvious New Zealanders, I guess they are down south for the moment. It goes on for over a month, which may be a bit too long.

I did a heap of shopping yesterday, went to Zara Home and bought a white towel, a set of silver woven baskets and a patchwork quilt, just perfect for my bed at present, as it is too warm for a duvet, but my little blanket is just a bit too light. Then bought two big baskets at Muji, one for my works in progress, the other for this season's shoes - presently occupied by the ten pairs of black work shoes I found in my wardrobe purge.

David's present is progressing a little: I am using the recommended R&R Alabaster linen (it came specially from the US), and it is better than the last R&R I had, I really like this one. It's a 30 count, very pleasant to work on. The threads are GAST and WDW, and it will look a bit more colourful when I get to the top half, with its big tree and flowers.

Not looking forward to the return to the house of horrors tomorrow. Madame LA will be back, so I expect she and Gil will have a fight. I told Gil I really can't stand this whole situation, the commute is killing me, and the attitude of the client is beyond belief, she's now claiming all the configuration is incorrect and saying she will reject the whole system. And of course I haven't been able to get on to the system and "fix" anything in the last week. Poor Gil is going through the PA report and making lists of points to verify, so I expect I will cop my share of those, and to be honest, I'm happy with that sort of thing - it's just all of this accusatory "it's wrong, and no I'm not going to tell you why, because you should be able to read my mind" sort of thing that I cannot stand, especially when said mind changes every day. Both Madame LA and the client are guilty on that count.

In fact I hope that now, having told Gil about my views, I may stand a chance of getting out of here and going somewhere else in the not too distant future. I'm going to beef up my winter wardrobe a bit more, in case it's Poland or the Netherlands. At least in those two places, I would get to stay in a nice hotel where they make breakfast for me, and either walk or get driven to work. Plus, if people say weird things, I wouldn't understand them, at least not in Poland, in the Netherlands, I probably would, after a while.

The only positive thing about this project is that I have proved my ability to work in French, which is not easy for a foreigner to do. I keep on hearing my former Australian colleagues telling me that, of course, Australian IT people are very sought after in Europe. Well, I'm afraid not, maybe in London, but somewhere like France, if you don't speak the language fluently, it's impossible. Mostly, if they advertise a job here, they won't even look at people if they haven't graduated from the right schools (i.e. the right French ones), so you have to be extra-lucky even to get an interview without that. I've been fortunate to be working for an international company and have a lot of project experience, but without the language, it would have been impossible.

Plans for the rest of the day include getting dressed (yes, it's nearly midday and I'm in bed with a laptop!), go for walk, buy papers, do some knitting.....

posted by Ally at 11:56 am ¤ Permalink ¤