(the misadventures of an expatriate corporate dropout)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

une (not so) petite salope!

well I've been up to all sorts of stuff, high time we caught up!

there was that dreamy trip to Paris ... I'll be saving most of the highlights for my shop blogs ... mostly prattling about beautiful furniture and décor, fashion and fashionistas.

you France grumblers will be pleased to know I finally had a less than admirable experience with some French service workers, after nearly 2 years here I'd say that was still a pretty good record.

I had my ticket in hand but had also checked out subsequent departures in case I wanted to linger in Paris (which of course I did). Naive me, I planned to board on the next train ... the friend I was staying with told me I needed to arrive earlier at the station and get the ticket changed.

So I got there (not really early, just a normal arrival for a 1pm departure) and headed into the gare. Bitch woman number one informed me that it would be 30 euros. When I asked why (my original ticket was 40euros), she just glowered and got sarcastic. When I accused her of being sarcastic, she agreed that yes she WAS being sarcastic. When I asked if she spoke English, she pointed at her sign above. When I asked for someone else who spoke english, she told me I understood and basically we argued back and forth for several minutes. I wasn't minding the time, and by the time I got to someone who would explain further (no change in situation) it was too late to take the train I wanted and the next one was 3 hours later. I felt my American rising and wanted to grab the 2 of them, 3 stooges style, and knock their stupid heads together!

I had to wait in the ever-so-dull Austerlitz station. I couldn't do much more because I had 2 giant, unwieldy suitcases. I called JY who lamely tried to calm me down over the phone. I was mostly upset because it was a weekday/schoolday and he would have to come retrieve me at nearly 10pm, 45 minutes from his house.

I was so enraged I forgot I wasn't on the usual line I take (Angoulême) and instead had opted for Limoges, which passes through JY's village. So, happily, once I remembered this, I called him back and told him I would just get off there. He too was delighted and we instead shared a beer and I came home to my pups.

So for those of you who think I'm nothing but the French Pollyanna, there - SEE? - I too can get irritated when something goes wrong here. hmph!

I came home on a Wednesday and Thursday we had a meeting with a potential client for JY. He is Irish and lives up the way. I played interpreter and it isn't exactly easy! especially with 2 fellows talking building repairs. erg. The good news on that is I think now JY can deal with him directly, I hate being in the middle of their business transaction.

Next update, I'll let you in on a great new spot for dining here in my area ... tootles!


Dedene said...

You are lucky that this is an unusual experience. It isn't that rare to run into salopes in Paris.
You were lucky too that there was no grêve.

Jadie said...

i don't know if i have told you how much i enjoy your writing. the fullness of the challenge you have embraced inspires and astonishes me, and i so like hearing your views on the emotional/reality experiences you have encountered.

David said...

"You France grumblers will be pleased to know I finally had a less than admirable experience with some French service workers, after nearly 2 years here I'd say that was still a pretty good record."

And in what city did that happen? ;)

(by the way, "salopes" is not very appropriate to call them, "sales connasses" is better)

Randal Graves said...

Further proof that France is the devil. We all warned you, but did you listen? Nooooo.

Non Je Ne Regrette Rien said...

Dedene, I've lots of years of experience with Paris and few encounters with salopes...truly. in my view, its all in one's outlook ... :P (ps-you've probably missed the fact that I adore greves... heh heh)

Jadie~I found that small but positive comment so encouraging. I love my little blog but lately have felt the quality of and attention to my writing has waned...so when I get this sort of feedback, it is really a shot in the arm. THANKS!

David~JY got a good laugh from your correction!

RG~I don't know about France being the devil, but this SNCF worker was definitely the devil's playmate...!