mardi 13 janvier 2009

World's end

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".

"Great".

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....

24 commentaires:

Valleys Mam a dit…

Ahh Finistere
I like that place and even though its a bugger to get too,we always go when we are in Brittany.
Did this fella say why he doesnt like you to your dear mate?
be good to know, may be its your aftershave?
Funny how those that threaten us we often dislike - and I am sure you threatened him in some way that made him uncomfortable with himself.
Any way hun , he's a dead parrot

A Lewis a dit…

All of THIS going on??? And I'm just sitting here drinking coffee, calmly playing on the internet. Wondering how large my nipples will get when I grow up.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

VM - he's just a fool. I think he's deep down a decent guy but has a thing about not having a formal education - he brings this up every time. I'm guessing he sees me as over-educated, molly-coddled and generally wussy. But hey, I've been called worse.

Lewis...big, would be my guess. And dangly.

conortje a dit…

I'd rather a coherent comment only I can't stop laughing...

Great news on the annoying customer. We should celebrate :)

cb a dit…

At least you didn't say "chien".

Oh, and don't the French have the same "friend" rule?? Un copain versus Mon copain?? Or some such thing?

alan a dit…

Maybe you'll find your husband in German class... hmm? ;)

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Big C, glad my trials and tribulations give you cause for laughter... ;-)

CB - no chien involved. And yeah, the french do have the rule, but it's a bit oddly used....never very clear....

Alan, given that the available ones are all mingers, I hope not!! Me excepted, of course ;-)

Daryl a dit…

Seems we are much more alike than I thought ... I seem to have that effect on people as well ... there's always someone who I am offensive to or have offended.

Frankly my dear I dont give a fuck and (except for business) neither should you

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Daryl, I knew I could rely on you for a bit of class....love it!

12ontheinside a dit…

Kimchi and rice. Laughing my ass off here.

Mike a dit…

as for the kimchi bit ... yes, but ultimately true. trust me -- i live in southern california - the land of rice and beans and a whole bunch of other things. ;-)

Lane a dit…

Actually I'm grateful for that Geography lesson. I had no idea:-)

Sounds like Angry Man has a big chip on shoulder. Doused in vinegar.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

12oti, it doesn't take much, does it?

Mike, I quite liek kimchi - although the stuff I brought back from Korea seemed to ferment in transit and was baaaad. ee-uw.

Lane - well, then I'm glad my effort wasn't wasted. And yes - massive chip. HUGE.

tornwordo a dit…

I love kimchi! I'm sure you were right, and that doesn't make you racist, lol.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Torny, I hope you're right...I'm sure you are. He certainly didn't say that I'd got the wrong end of the stick...God bless little kwang min

Ksam a dit…

Aww, don't be so hard on Brest - I've always had a soft spot for that city because it doesn't even pretend to be beautiful - it just accepts itself for what it is.

That said, I'm currently about 45min away for work as well, and if it makes you feel any better, we're not getting any coffee either. The Bretons are a tough folk to crack (I should know, I lived here for five years!).

Anthony a dit…

He probbaly DOES eat kimchi and rice. The all do :p Give me a Brit that doesn't enjoy a fry up

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Ksam, I guess the guy that I have to work with in Brest has coloured my view of the city a little.....welcome, btw. nice to see you here!

Anthony - exactly. I knew that you'd understand...!

eguinan a dit…

Oh goodness, I do hope you're not becoming like Ms Fat Fighters! "What? 'Fish and chips!" 'Eh?" "FISH & CHIPS!!" "Don't know, must be some kind of curry...."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DP5EQhRuFdA

:P

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Enda, he he, there are many fat fighters moments at german class. little britain guys would have a whole new character in the teacher! And she looks scarily like the coughing travel agent / bank lady.....

aims a dit…

I'm (sort of) with Lewis - just sitting here drinking coffee reading about what you're up to.

The only difference is - I already know what size my nipples are. Sigh.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Aims; lovely to have you back amongst us! And I bet they're just the right size....he he

Louise a dit…

Kimchi and rice! HAHAHAHAHA!I think you ARE a racist!

German teacher's attire was hilarious.

I can tell the posh French boy is gay from here. More obvious than you. (Not that I didn't figure it out with you after reading maybe two posts.)

You made a guy quit his business???
(Good for you!)

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Louise - the german teacher just wears the ugliest - fugliest - clothes imaginable. Not a natural fibre in sight.

And yeah, he was gay from the get go really...