Monday, May 14, 2007

Farewell tristesse?

Terrorists have no chance with the tight security at the Dover ports! This one might require opening in another window to be read

The White Cliffs. Ha, owing perhaps to crazy French keyboards, I just wrote the Shite Cliffs hee hee. I think they probably appear a bit more to advantage plunging into the sea, but still pretty cool

Me - holding my sunnies on in the extreme winds, not saluting - at Dover Castle. White cliffs visible over my shoulder

Can you believe I wound up spending 4 months in London (not counting the brief Prague interlude)? Nah, me neither.

Anyway, Dover was okay. Despite forecasts, it was pretty fine and sunny on the Saturday, although there was a hell of a wind. I went up to Dover Castle and ferreted about underground in the 'secret WWII tunnels' and so forth. Then I wandered down to take a gander at the white cliffs - turns out you can see them from land Mum, although they were of the variety which were fronted by rundown motels, not the variety that plunge uninterrupted to the sea. The next day was not so pleasant: I got soaking wet feet in the morning and rained on later while foolishly dragging my suitcase back from the port to save on currency exchange. Although I was pleased in the end when I got 28.20 euro for my £20 rather than the 21.50 I would have got at the port, result!

The pouring rain prevented me from sailing from Dover looking back at the cliffs. Although I'm actually not sure that I could have done so either. The ferry was of the "we're not in Kansas anymore" variety - fricking huge and complete with lifts, duty free shops, cafes and bars. I was tempted to ask if I was onboard yet or if this was another departure lounge, but feared (no doubt rightly) that I would come across as a right idiot if I did so. It was also filled with approximately 90% over-60s (not that there's anything wrong with that). The other 10% were cute French boys inconveniently located just out of subtle eye-range. Didn't see a whole bunch on the approach to Calais either, although the front of the ferry was basically one big picture window, it was crowded with morons videoing the approach for about half an hour, yawn! From what I did see, it seemed to have more-or-less white cliffs as well, but that can't be right, who's ever heard of the White Cliffs of Calais?

I was picked up at Calais not by the official-looking people I expected, but more or less by two young lads. Highlight of the trip back was when the driver said to the other one "Why the f--- didn't you tell me I was going 150??" Hmmm, feeling really safe there. I didn't in fact meet anyone official on my entire first evening, which was, however, enlivened by a couple of glasses of red wine and a good group of people as far as I can tell.

Today was my first day of work. First up was 'bins and bogs' duty, which sounds to me like scrubbing toilets, but thankfully it means emptying bins and replacing towels, not too bad. Then I got a lesson in how to mop from a crazy French woman (and by 'crazy' I mean she tasted the water out of the mop bucket to determine whether or not it had soap in it already). The rest of the afternoon was spent reading the huge procedures manual (hope some sinks in because I get tested later in the week) and twiddling my thumbs in general. This evening I had to help serve dinner, in French, and then supervise a football match in EXTREMELY cold and rainy conditions. Not happy! Then it was time to set the dining room for breakfast tomorrow, and some 12 (not particularly onerous) hours later, I was done at last.

So far someone has said "I like you, you're funny", someone else said "I love this girl" and one poor unfortunate reacted to one of the other guys calling him a pimp with a very earnest session of explaining to me he was, in fact, not a pimp at all. I was rather confused as to why he took this so much to heart until he explained that he was being made fun of because the other guys "knew I like you". Um, awkward, especially since I didn't hear him properly the first time (for 'didn't hear', read 'didn't understand' since he's proper Scouser - no chance ha ha). Then he asked if I would go out with anyone here, and once I said no they're all too young (seriously I'm pretty much the oldest) he failed to get the hint and later enquired whether "you and me have a chance". I tried to let him down gently by explaining that I didn't think a work relationship was appropriate... Hope I don't break his poor wee heart. Oh, and one of the other guys said that if I was bored reading the manual we could "always go upstairs and have sex", riiiight...

And that makes them sound like a real pack of dickheads, but it's okay thus far, hopefully things will be good. Oh and we get to go on trips to Belgium, how fricking cool is that?


  1. 4 months in london and probably the most vegetables you've ever eaten ;-)
    Sounds like you're having fun! I'm glad they're nice & not surly frenchies. x

  2. Yeah Jess made veges interesting I must say


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