There's a reason why Finistère is known as the end of the world. Really. If you head due west, the next time you touch solid ground will be in Newfoundland, Canada. Heading east, you won't hit either sea or ocean until you get to the Siberian coast, due east of Khabarovsk (no, you can't see Sarah Palin's house from there).
Anyway, I'm here for work, in the city that was ugly before the RAF bombed it (something to do with not trusting the French navy) but that is now the ugliest place on earth in a fabulously beautiful setting - Brest. Surprising how the 1950's concrete can detract from the scenery.
So, I digress. This isn't meant to be a geography lesson. You remember the customer who wanted to get me sacked? Well, I've been paying him a visit with one of the big bosses from work. It's been classy.
I got up at five o'clock this morning, travelled four and a half hours on a train and didn't even get offered a cup of coffee. Instead, I got shouted at for 30 minutes. I remained calm, diplomatic and stopped myself from dragging his sorry ass over the table and beating him to a fine french pulp. But only just.
"He's got quite a temper, hasn't he?" said my colleague, in a useful-after-the-fact kind of way.
"Oh yes" said I. "Is he like this with everyone?"
"No", said colleague. "He told me before you arrived that he just doesn't like you. It's completely personal. Don't worry".
Anyway, the truly great thing about today was that I've pissed him off to the point where he is selling his business and quitting for good. Thank. The. Lord. One less thing to worry about.
Although, as my lovely colleague pointed out, "There'll always be someone who doesn't like you - you're that kind of personailty"....
Hmm. Seems everyone in my German class likes me though. Last night was Deutschkurs, and I'm still unsure about why I'm taking three hours of language lessons on a monday after work. It truly is too hard.
Last night the badly-dressed-even-for-a-German teacher was telling the class how you have to be careful when introducing your friends. If you say someone is 'my friend' as opposed to 'a friend' then you are claiming boyfriend/girlfriend status for that person. So, she pointed out, to the incredibly cute, but ridiculously posh French boy that he may want to remember this when introducing his male friends to his family.
He said that he had already introduced his 'friend' to his family and that they loved him like the son-in-law that he is. Kudos. And one in the eye for the German teacher's amazing lack of tact.
But it doesn't surprise me that she thought he was straight. There's something about the building that we have courses in that screws with your gaydar. It's like it has a blocking signal on it or something.
The older guy who I'm convinced has been smiling at me more since my outing, and who regularly checks out the younger male students, spent the whole of breaktime telling me about his wife. The married guy sat next to me seems to have made a new year's resolution to be as camp as possible and to flirt with men and the aforementioned posh boy has a previously undisclosed and totally surprising boyfriend. And it's all too confusing for me.
At least the Korean guy is the same as ever. Last night he had to tell me what he likes to eat - information that I then had to present to the whole group. I wasn't even close to understanding what he was trying to tell me. So I just said 'kimchi and rice'.
I hope that doesn't make me a racist....