Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Cafés and Canals

March 29th- (12:15pm)

(Little note I made on my phone.)
I’m sitting by the canal in S.A. (the town where I work), on my lunchbreak, ‘avin’ a bask in the sun. I usually eat at the canteen with the other teachers and then go for ‘coffee’ and a ‘chat’ at the cafe across the road. But I don’t actually ever have a coffee, because the very first time I went, one of the teachers offered to get me one, and upon realising that they planned to pay for me (something which makes me feel très awkward and uncomfortable), I panicked and said that I don’t drink coffee. And then as an afterthought added, ‘... in the afternoon...’ Ah shit. So now every time I fancy a coffee (at most moments of the day), I sneak it from the staffroom, sometimes drinking it in the toilet, and always feeling like a criminal if I’m spotted clutching a coffee cup. As for the ‘chatting’ part, I very often sit there in silence, because coffee conversations always lead to 2 topics: politics and children being misbehaved. Funnily enough, I don’t have very much to offer up in discussions on Sarkozy or Luca’s behavioural problems.

So the teachers were suitably apologetic today when telling me that I’d be eating on my own, whereas I was internally ‘wahoo’ing. Nothing is better news to me than knowing that I can have two hours off from forcing French chit chat out of my weary, unaccustomed English Rose mouth. In fact, I think as a little personal treat next week, I'm going to take my own food in and avoid the whole farce! YEAH! Lonesome lunches are my faves... Can do my lesson plans in the sun, or text L.T. (American BFF) with our usual dramatic problems ('just ate all the chocolate eggs I brought in for my kids' Easter egg hunt', or, 'one of the teachers tried out some English on her class and told them to "Close your trousers now!"', are prime examples of the shit we deal with daily.) Also, it's pretty nice to just be in silence and be normal for a couple of hours, and not be smiling manically at everyone, or replying to numerous 'HELLO's from all my 8 year old fans (it's been 6 months and they still say 'Hello' to me like they're the first child to ever think of it.) 
Anyway, two hours for lunch is literally ludicrous, but it's France summed up- soooo long and leisurely. I get to 1:45pm having forgotten that I’m even in school.

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