Friday, April 11, 2008

Which do I hate more? [Part II]

... this week - Leaners or the EDF?

In the second instalment of the Which do I hate more? I look at two Parisian phenomena which have recently pissed me off.

I'll start with the EDF since that is the easiest to explain. The EDF is the electricity supply board of France. Like every organisation which the French government has any control over directly it is a heaving sweating bile-spewing lump of bureaucracy. Anyway, now and again an embodiment of this organ in the form of a technician has to inspect your meter. Fair enough, standard procedure in any country. I routinely manage to miss these visits though for whatever reason and I thought it was acceptable to fill in the form they leave with the level of the metre and get on with it... but apparently not.

Since I've not had my metre read in a year a technician must call at this hour (which is completely inconvenient to me) and check your metre. If you want to rearrange the appoinment - you'll have to pay! This is three weeks in advance of the appointment and I have to pay €30 when if they could come 30 minutes later than the stated time I'd be fine! Anyway I'll be spending the hours of 14:00 to 18:00 waiting around for the technician on that date. Exciting stuff.

I think the winner of who I hate more is fairly clear though as even as I realised I was coming to the end of my previous point I began to feel a tension across my shoulders thinking about the Leaners.

Imagine if you will a crowded metro carriage in the morning rush-hour. Not completely packed to the point where you are pressed against other but crowded enough so that everyone is standing and fairly close to each other. If there is a sudden jolt of the carriage you'll surely give a should to the sternum of one of your fellow commuters, so most people are holding on to the poles in the middle of the floor for support as this is what they're there for.

Now imagine five people are holding on to this pole when some twat decides that they want to lean on it. Where they are going to crush your hand, press it into their sweaty back or have your fingers moulded into the abundant fatty tissue of their ass. They don't care, they're going to lean on the only source of support in the fricking carriage!

Vainqueur - Leaners!

Special mention has to do to DHL who are really pissing me off right now!

What's been going on in France lately?

April is a relatively quiet month for me in terms of travel anyway, with all my competitions in Paris or it's environs, so I'm taking the opportunity to enjoy Paris a bit and take in the atmosphere of what is still my favourite city in the world.

A war is raging in Paris at the moment, or more accurately in the miles above Paris, as the biting winds, snow flurries, hail and downpours compete with burst of exquisite sunshine and crystal blue skies. It seems though that the Spring and late the Summer will likely win out though and finally I'll be free to walk around in my shorts and sandals like the hippy bum I was born to be. Hoozah!


I've been taking intensive French classes in the Alliance Francaise for the last few weeks, an investment I hope will stand to me when I eventually get a proper job in this place. The classes are good and I can feel the jumble of awful grammar that I have in my head starting to unravel and make sense. I've picked up some bad habits in French over the last year of speaking the language but never really studying it, so hopefully this will get me back on the right track.

It's nice to meet new people as well and with the weather starting to improve and relatively light month for competitions this month, I'm sure I'll find time to have some more fun with my classmates.


In terms of my training, I've been training intensively in the club but also trying to seriously hit my fitness this month as I've perhaps let it slide slightly over March. I've headed back to the gym and the pool in a big way. Need to buff up a bit before surfing holiday in the Summer anyway.

Last weekend saw the quarter final of the French team championship. I was selected for my clubs second team, a step up from the fourth team last year. In the end, my team ran out fairly easy victors against Chatou - 45 - 25. We have a return leg to fence next weekend on the 19th in their club and then hopefully it will be on to the semi-finals.

Our women's team that fenced that day also claimed a convincing victory against Chatou's women's team but unfortunately our men's first team dropped their match against Orleans in Division 1 and will have to get a victory in Orleans next weekend in order to force the fixture to a decider.


Anyway, I hope the sunshine will keep up for the weekend (even if the forecast which is never accurate) is for showers and thunderstorms. At the minute I'm waiting impatiently for a delivery from DHL which I was promised would come between 14:00 and 18:00 [Thanks, DHL!]. One of these days I'm definitely going to update all that I've missed over February and March and then after that I'm going to go back and update everything from August to December (well, maybe not everything).


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