Tuesday, November 26, 2002

About a strike

The end to another letter-week has arrived, so here is my offering. My week was rather uneventful, which can be a good thing. Like if it had been eventful but only because I stepped in doggie-doo, which caused me to slip, break a bone, and while trying to get up, a car ran over my foot, so I had to go to the hospital and have surgery; then I got some hospital-induced infection (but nothing that has to do with Bifidus because that’s been flushed out of my life)…well, that wouldn’t be considered a “good” eventful week, and I’m not even sure I could think of a humorous way to tell you about it. So it would just be a painful experience for everyone. Also the doggie-doo ruined my new scarf.

I saw “About a Boy” twice, which brings my tally to five times. It was the only movie at the theater this week. I saw it on my normal movie night. Then I made a friend, and a small group of us went out for a night on the village Saturday. Wanting to be part of a small group, I went to see it again; not that I minded at all because I love this movie, and I’m one of those people that never tires of watching movies that I love. For example, I saw “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” three times in the two weeks I was home before coming to France. The number of times I have seen “Amélie” is obscene. Some of you know what I’m saying when I talk about repeatedly going to the theater to see movies.

So the new friend I have made, Patty, is the wife of one and the mother of two. She is a member of the LDS church but hasn’t been active for some time. Her father wrote a letter asking people to visit her because she feels a little isolated being, more than likely, the only Texan in Pontcharra. I mean everyone needs someone with whom they can share a good “yeehaw”. Are you with me on this one? I went to visit her and we talked about things like the TV show, “Friends”. Her oldest, a 6 year-old named Thomas, hid from me. Her kids are very cute.

That night after meeting her, I went home and was getting settled in for my now ritualistic/addicted viewing of “Star Academy ” when Patty called to invite me to go out with her and another American, Allison. We had a good time, and each of us now has a new friend…good times! Since I didn’t watch “Star Academy”, Yolande made sure to send me a text message at 1AM that awakened me from my ugly sleep. (“Star Academy” is a reality show akin to the American, summer sensation, “American Idol”. “Star Academy” participants were chosen through auditions and live together in a chateau where they take music, dance and theater classes. The show is aired every night except Sunday. The episodes during the week show the goings-on in the chateau, while Saturday night’s show is when the “students” perform, much like they did in “American Idol”. However, the students perform with famous singers. It can be very entertaining, and it gives me something to talk about with my students.) She had to tell me the results of the show. Jérémie was voted out. YEEHAW! (Jérémie is a freakishly weird and ugly boy whose regular talking voice sounds like your normal, garden-variety frog, but when he sings, he sounds like crap. Every time he opens his mouth to sing, I just know an angel goes up in flames.)

Tuesday was a national holiday, and by “holiday”, I mean there was a strike. And by “national”, I mean that everyone was participating. Striking, as I have alluded to before, is a cultural/traditional pastime of the French. The country was frozen today as Air France and SNCF (trains, commuter trains, and other train-like things that go on rails) were on strike. France Telecom, banks, truckers (yes, truckers!), everybody! Of course, teachers couldn’t coordinate their last strike with this one, so we had to work today. But the inner-workings of the school were striking: the people that clean, les surveillants , and the people that supply the paper that the students use to roll their cigarettes. So Tuesday was chaotic. We had a lot of nervous students ready to kill for the nicotine under the fingernails of their peers and no surveillants to keep them from doing it.

I have nothing else to say, so I guess that means I’m done. In the wise words of Jerry Springer, “Take care of yourself and each other.” Have a good rest of the week.


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