Kenny Cat’s travels

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New York, New York (part two)

Published December 20, 2011 by Dorothy

If you haven’t read the first part of this story, it’s here. So I will proceed with my list of things to avoid:

Thing # 4: do not bring an under motivated Bernadette to museum or monuments visits

  • I found the Ellis Island museum was a wonderful place, the air was still charged with history, I loved those expos of personal belongings and family pictures of first immigrants. Bernadette’s reaction : “what are these pictures of weird old dudes?” and then “what are you looking to these old clothes and shits for?” “Well, I’m looking at the tags to see where they are from.Look, this is from Ireland. It has the Donegal blazon on it!” “great. Now you know where that granny got her dirty stinking coat from, can we go to the food court? I’m starving.”
  • Atop of the Empire State Building right on the minute we got up: “Great we been here so let’s take the elevator back down!” “But wait!” I said, waving the map of “New York landmarks from up above” I’d just bought at the 368731897435735th floor souvenir boutique. “I want to check out the Brooklyn Bridge! And the Rockefeller-” “okay okay!let’s get this over with and then we’ll get some tucker at Five Guys!” (he sighed, convinced I’d felt obligated to buy it when the shop assistant had shown it to me) “You know you didn’t have to buy this stupid useless map! I reckon that guy who made you buy it ripped you off!” “no He didn’t!” I replied, “I wanted the map!” I dragged poor Bernadette all the way around the roof to see NYC south, NYC north, NYC east and NYC west from above. He seemed totally exhausted by the time we got to Five Guys.

Thing # 5 : Do not pick out the one taxi driver who will get himself lost

So one morning I decided to go on my own to Madame Tussaud while Bernadette was sleeping in; I was supposed to meet Bernadette at twelve thirty so we would visit Harlem in the afternoon, But time ran so quickly so I decided to take a cab versus getting back home using the exhausting NYC subway. First, everything seemed to be just fine, then the driver said he was going to take some road that turned out to be closed; after that he panicked, braked on the highway then ended up driving around in circles waving desperately to other taxi drivers out of his window, shouting “HOW CAN I GET TO NEWARK??!!”. He finally found the way but once in Newark he go lost once again! “Er, we’re supposed to go left!” I said. “Are you sure? No I think you’re wrong” he told me but a few miles later, he pulled over, stopped a car with a bemused old granny in it, and asked for directions, then turned back around. “she said this way but I’m not sure…” I saw the familiar sign of the Burger king that was only a few blocks away from the guest house and asked in a shrilly voice to be dropped off here right now. I’d spent money on a cab ride, but the journey had been waaaayyy longer than a train ride. I grumbled about this and managed to get 20 bucks off the fare.

A cab ride to the airport : 52 $. Checking in luggage : 25 $. breakfast at the airport : 7 $. a 4 days adventure in NYC that sound like the scenario of the next Ashton Kutcher movie : Priceless.

stay tuned!! mxx

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New York,New York!

Published November 9, 2011 by Dorothy

Times spent with Bernadette are always eventful; I don’t know why but he has an ability to get himself and others around him in all sorts of weird situations. So a trip to NYC with Bernadette was bound to mean : trouble.

Having had such a strange time in New York, I have decided to publish a list of things not to do when you go on an NYC back2back, so all of you who are going to do this after us can benefit our great experience.

Thing #1: Do not check your account balance a minute before your plane is scheduled to take off

Yes, I know, you are mighty sure you know how much you’ve spent, how much you’ve earned, you’re a live calculator and who needs bank statements when you’re so good you’ve got your balance worked out in your head! But still. You might end up like poor Bernadette; who discovered, at the ATM, right on the morning we left,that whilst he thought he was practically a millionaire, he disposed, in fact of the substantial sum of 4, 53 $, for four days of tourism in NYC.

thing #2 : Do not assume your luggage will arrive with you on the same plane and you’ll be able to go your merry way

at least, that’s what the employee at JFK told us. When we landed, we waited for our suitcases to come out; and waited; and waited. Everybody left with their cases, except us and another couple of people, and then a woman who reminded me of Queen Latifah came out of her office and motioned for us to follow her, telling us “not to panic” words which, of course, made us panic right away.

“Not to worry, not to worry” Queen Latifah assured. “I have some stray suitcases in my office. I’m pretty sure that’s where your luggage is.” we followed her in the office and the cases weren’t there.

“Not to worry” she said, her smile wavering a little. “where did you guys take your connecting flight? Philly? they must be there. I’ll call the airport.” And so she did.After a few nod, a few “humhum” “okay” “are you sure?” “well okay” “thanks anyway” she hung up and turned to us, and I could tell our luggage was in trouble. “well isn’t that funny now!” she cleared her throat embarrassed.” They are not in Philadelphia either! my files says they left Orlando but we have no clue where they are now!how funny!”

Neither I nor Bernadette found any of this funny, but we still filled in the “funny little forms” for lost luggage. “Now there was a flight to Oahu departing at the same time as your flight!” Queen Latifah explained.” Wouldn’t it be funny if your suitcases got to Oahu and not you guys? have you guys been to Oahu yet? I bet you haven’t!”

I casually explained that we were on our four days holiday on a tight budget and that, given that everything we needed, clothing, toiletry, travel guides, adapters for cameras, etc (…) was in our cases, it wouldn’t be that funny if we had to wait for our stuff to come back from Oahu. After that she got cross at us, she snorted that we had no sense of humour and it was a pain dealing with customers like ourselves, that we were difficult and so on! Bernadette mumbled a reply in French about her shoving her funny little form up her arse and about her moving the aforementioned arse out of her chair to go find our luggage, an answer that I translated to Queen Latifah by :” My friend asks that you do your very best to help us retrieve our luggage and he feels that filling out forms is not enough.”

She nodded and said we should hope for an appearance of our luggage in the afternoon; After all it was “funny how sometimes lost luggage turned up out of the blue!” so we left and went to visit New York. We went to Fifth Avenue and had a great time eating free chocolate sample in Godiva. Luckily for us, the cases were not gone to Oahu and they arrived at the airport at 3 o’clock.

thing #3 : Do not check in to your guest house late

With all the shenanigans at the airport, plus the time we took to find our way around in the subway, we arrived at the guest house way later than we were supposed to, 1 pm; when we put down our cases in front of the house, it was 8 pm and pitch black outside; we were bone tired.

“At laaast, we’re going to have a rest!” Bernadette said, satisfied. we knocked at the door. Nobody answered, and that’s when I noticed it was also dark inside the house.

“Don’t tell me  the check in dude is gone” Bernadette sighed.

When I climbed the few stairs to the door, I noticed the guest house owner had left and stuck a note to the glass panel :

Bernadette and Kenny Cat,Welcome to NYC guest house!! please call me on your arrival to get your keys, George 321-xxx-xxxx

Bernadette and I looked at each other. Both of us had lost our cell phones just days before the departure. We were in a quiet suburb and there was nobody around.

“Allright.I’ve had it with New York.” Bernadette slouched down on the porch.”I wanna go back to Orlando!”

And actually, now we were on our own in the cold heartless city, I kinda wanted to be back in Disneyland. I think living in Disneyland is highly addictive. Whether you have lost your keys, crashed your car, wet your pants,run out of m&m’s or whatever, there’s always one of Mickey’s employees here to ease you out of any situation; it always seems to take them nothing but a phone call and a Colgate smile. After a few month there, you are totally freaked out when you go out on your own. Anyway, after sitting on that porch for a few minutes, we both decided to make our way back to the train station, dragging along all our cases with us, in the vague hope of finding a payphone that I thought I’d seen when I got off the train.

“Ahhh here it is!” Bernadette pointed out and we sighed with relief.

I picked up the receiver, fed the phone our quarters and dialled George’s number.

“I am sorry, the number you have called is no longer in service.Please check your number and then dial again” said a female robot voice.Before swallowing my quarters and asking for more money! I screamed abuse at the payphone and slammed the receiver, so a guy waiting for his train took pity on us and let us use his I-phone. But I hadn’t dialled a wrong number, the number was not in service, simple as that.

We eventually made our way back to the guest house, and that’s when one of the neighbours, walking past us on his way home, noticed our miserable faces and decided to help. He knew George’s number and so he called him; George had hidden the key in the pot plant, we retrieved it and got inside to rest…

…the story is nowhere near finished, so stick around for the end 🙂

Go here for part two

mxx

Travelin’ Band

Published July 31, 2011 by Dorothy

Everywhere, everything,huge.

Skyscrapers that lauch themselves high up, trying to reach up to the clouds; bodies sculpted, modified, touched up so much that their sheer, unnatural perfection no longer looks human;  houses painted insolent colors, buttery yellow, mint green, Pepto Bismol pink; restaurants, tables loaded with impossibly huge chunks of meat and mountains of golden chips; margaritas so huge and strong that your head starts spinning when you’re not even halfway through the glass.

That’s Miami for you!

We arrived early in the afternoon  and checked in our hotel. First good surprise: The reception and bar had this cool, retro vibe and the suite was really nice.  We explored the minibar and basket of snacks, and Barbs and myself found some cool shades, they  were plastic and had the American flag on them!!

“This is sooo fun!” Barbs declared. “Let’s bring them to the beach and take fun pictures!”

“Hum, are they free?” the two boys asked.

“Course they are!” I told them, ripping the plastic package off the shades and trying them on. “They couldn’t ask us to to pay for that! Look, it’s just cheap plastic.”

“Oh. Right.” they said.

There were two sofa and a giant bed, in which all four of us could fit! But we didn’t feel like trying it just yet : we were a few yards away from the beach and after a quick lunch at a French bakery, we directly went for a swim in the ocean. The sea was hot like a bath and I stayed in there with Barbs in there for hours, after what we joined the boys who had slopped down on their towels and were now  fast asleep on the beach.

“Come oooooon!” Barbs shouted enthusiastically in their direction, startling them both awake. “Let’s take a picture with those funny America sunglasses, it will be so fuuuuun!”

She reminded me of Michelle in American Pie a bit. The boys both grumbled vaguely than what they found funnn right now was sleeping and so Barbs and I took photos of each other  with the shades, and then we headed for the hotel because we had been told it was happy hour between 7 pm and 8 pm and we didn’t want to miss a minute of it.

About the happy hour: I thought the free cocktails were going to be like the “shakeitbaby” and the “sexyboyz” in the Chillers: those are only worth one dollar per glass but there’s one drop of tequila for one gallon of margarita flavoured slush, so after wasting ten dollars and remaining completely sober, you have to go to the other bar in the Chillers, the one that serves normal drinks, and get plastered on proper concentrated alcohol.But in the free cocktails of the hotel,there was so much alcohol and so little juice that they were almost shots! after about five or six of those each (ten each for the boys) I started to get kinda wobbly on my feet and so did the others; the Adam Rodriguez looking barman, spotting that we were behaving kinda oddly eyed us suspiciously and snatched the “free drinks”sign away as soon as he got the chance, probably worried that we were going to pull a rolling stones on him and destroy the place in a drunken fury.

When we left for the restaurant, we were completely gone over the hill and far away off our faces. We walked along Ocean drive and all the mixed sounds,scents and colors and lights made me feel like I was on some sort of a Las Vegas Parano trip. We stopped at a restaurant and we absent mindedly ordered three king sized margaritas (with two Corona bottles upside down in the glass for Alex) and they were like, huge! I think there was at least a liter of margarita in there, no kidding! I kept drinking and drinking out of it and I could barely see the level of margarita going down! this was the best margarita ever.

Then we ordered the meal.

“How much is the special plate of king sized rumsteak sprinkled with caviar and Veuve Clicquot sauce ?” Dorian asked the waitress.

“35769183685741368 dollars” the waitress said.

“oh! and how much the giant fresh lobster ?”

“hum, 86953987 dollars sir!”

I though he would them shrug and have a modest 3 pound steak or something that was  at a reasonable price but he enthusiastically went for the lobster that cost a zillion dollars! After fifteen minutes, it started raining. Not a drizzle,but heavy, tropical rain, complete with thunder. It took us quite a while to react.

“Oooooh it rains in my margarita” I said, drunkenly.

“It rains WATER.” Barbs blinked, stoned.

“Should we get like, out of the rain or something?” Alex asked.

‘Yeah, there’s like, a canopy there” rain was bouncing on Dorian’s head. “we could maybe go there, what do you think?”

“yeah, let’s do that! I’ll be funnn!” Barbs vaguely said.

After a good ten minutes of slow thinking, we finally pulled the table under the canopy.

The food was pretty good, the bill, less good: with three giant margaritas worth 30 dollars,plus Dorian’s supersized lobster in Bollinger sauce or something equally extravagant, and all the appetizers and maxi burgers and everything we ordered, the bill was:350 dollars! I don’t think I’ve ever managed such a high restaurant bill ever. Ah well. Youth and pissedness are our excuses!

That night we couldn’t find a place to hang out big enough for all our coolness to fit in (furthermore, the boys were wearing shorts and flip-flops so we couldn’t get inside any place that mattered 😀  ) so we went to a couple of pubs and then simply went to the beach to take a midnight bath and take some pictures of us in the deserted rescue patrol cabins pretending we were Mitch Buchannon and Pamela.

The next day was also terrific: We went shopping for souvenirs and I got myself THE tacky shirt : “f*** me I’m famous, Miami beach”. I hesitated between that and “Bitch, I was in Miami”, but I decided for this one, it’s tacky in a classy kind of way. Anyway, this is the right shirt if you want to get rid of your mom or your nanna for a couple of hours: If I wear this in front of them I’m pretty sure they’ll faint!! Also I can wear it in the Chillers: It will be assorted with my cocktails heehee.

Awesome!!!

PS: actually the bleedin shades were ten dollars!!!

Gotta Get Along Without You Now (arrival,part 3)

Published July 3, 2011 by Dorothy

Day 3 :

I arrived to discover I would be trained to use the cash register. Handling money is always a bit stressful; so I stressed all along the day as you would expect from me. I wasn’t with my usual trainer but this new one was okay too; especially as I kept panicking and messing everything up, I must have been kinda annoying, but Trainer 2 did not say anything about that. I think if I ever have to train someone like me I’ll resign 🙂

I did every mistake I could possibly do:

  •  thrown away receipt I had to keep for paperwork (“it’s okay, it’s only your first day” Trainer 2 sighed. Before overturning the bin and gesturing for me to help him find the missing ticket.)
  • charged a grandad for 270 chocolate croissants when he had only ordered two. “oh f**k” trainer 2 said, then looking from my  face growing panicky to the ticket saying the grandad had been charged 695472729.65 $:    “herm, t’s’okay, don’t stress. I’ll sort this out. Hold on to the register and no more catastrophes for 5 minutes while I’m looking for the manager?”
  • Drove the coffee machine crazy;I punched the wrong button and it served me a whole liter of decaf even though I kept shouting at it to stop pouring coffee this instant.
  • Somehow managed to make 11  dollars disappear from the till; whe counted and counted the money again about a dozen times after we closed the bakery (poor trainer 2 stoically helped me and smiled through the whole process) but we still couldn’t find it.The manager gave me the cross looks but let us go unscathed, ordering us to clock out.

So now that’s it. I’m trained at every job in the bakery! no more trainers! though I’d probably need some more training!

later that day I met trainer 2 at a party and he toasted me,calling me his little “full of shit checkout girl” ! humhum. He probably shares my views on my needing more training.

stay tuned!!!

mxx

Sugar Town (arrival, part 2)

Published July 1, 2011 by Dorothy

So that’s it: I’m officially on my week end! So I’ll start these two days of complete and utter freedom by pouring myself some Margarita and updating the aul blog! I can now tell you about the beginning of the Floridian adventure! I will skip all the boring details about the first days of welcome sessions and skip directly to the first day of work, shall I ?

Day 1 :

a few of us new Cast Members got in the bus. Having heard all sorts of Urban Legends about work at the bakery being extremely difficult, we are all scared out of our mind and very skittish, so it took us a little while to realise the girl we had sat next to was also French. She was tiny and had a small, heart shaped pixie face. She told us she also worked in the bakery and so we pressed her with all sorts questions like “did anybody survive the job?” and all. Pixie Girl smiled at our anxiety and dismissed all the Urban Legends with a wave of her tiny hand, so I felt a little reassured.

We then followed Pixie Girl who hurried out of the bus, like a row of little ducklings (and we really looked like ducklings with the bright yellow shirts of our uniforms) onto the next bus and in the bakery. As soon as we were in she ran off someplace wishing us good luck; then the manager greeted us and told us to go to the kitchen where our “lead” would tell us what to do. Pixie Girl was there, bent over some food that she was apparently setting on fire; then she yelled for someone to come pick up the burnt stuff “Creme Brulée!” she shouted in a voice bigger than herself. Then she pointed at us one by one “you! Go to line one! You!to stock! you! stop talking when I’m talking! You! (me) drinks two!” Turned out our Pixie Girl was the lead and she got to boss us around! hadn’t see that one coming!

So Pixie Girl sent me to drinks, which is quite easy : All I had to do was ask people if they wanted any drinks and pour them some of whatever they asked for,and also keep the bin near the exit empty, plus I had to restock the table with all the plastic cutlery and sugar, cream and straws. Each of us were assigned a “trainer”, meaning someone who was here longer than us and could explain everything about the job. My trainer should really pursue a career in education, he’s the coolest trainer ever 🙂

I spent the rest of the day serving drinks with Trainer who didn’t get mad when I made mistakes even when I spilled Iced cappuccino on his freshly polished shoes and when a little blue haired granny shouted her head off at him because I’d forgotten to put ice in her drink.

Day two :

Time to try ou the line, where we serve food to guests. and  be paired up with a new trainer! A little nervous, I walked up to the line only to find my same trainer, fortunately! He looked a bit drained when he saw me coming (and did he look at his new shoes and flich? I shall never know) but anyway I was glad I didn’t change trainer.Everything went smoothly except when I had to call out guests to my register.

“you have to call out loud” Trainer advised. I was shy but I would do it, I thought.

“Bonjour,” I shouted on top of my lungs “come over this side!”

But then I turned to Trainer so happy with myself for speaking superloud and he cleared his throat.

“Humhum,louder, trainee, they can’t hear you if you’re muttering like that!”

“but, but!that’s the loudest I can do!” I said, offended, and Trainer laughed heartily.

“go again” Trainer said and I tried again to call people. Nobody budged or even turned their heads and at my third attemps, Trainer called out bright and clear, covering up my voice with his, and as soon as he spoke, heads snapped up and a whole herd came to our line.(note to self : there’s no way I can speak that loud. Should buy myself a vuvuzela)

(to be continued in next post)

m xxx

the Star Spangled Banner (arrival, part one)

Published June 25, 2011 by Dorothy

Arrived! and it was a long long way!

Level 1 : Make it out of Ireland

Easy, will you say? well, not if you spent 5 days prior to your departure drinking vodka with Shirley, Hev and Dot! I’d promised myself that the night before I left I’d totally go to bed at 8 in the evening, but the evening came and the kir came about and Matt the Miller’s came up in the conversation. And before I knew it I was locked, in a taxi, heading for the pub. We made it back home about an hour and a half before my airport shuttle left Kilkenny, and I drunkenly fell asleep on top of Dot and almost missed it!

That’s not the funniest part, though; still intoxicated, I arrived in the airport, checked in my luggage and after that I got lost in the terminal and my flight was delayed because of me! I’m telling you, I’m meant to be a star. This is proper diva behaviour, isn’t it 🙂 ? The American air hostesses gave out as soon as they saw me coming at the boarding gate, and I did deserve it 🙂 but then when I went through security check and the Irish security lads had a good aul laugh at me. “had your goin away party last night didja? had fun didja? haha yeah just give da passport to Liam there!” And so I ran and shoved the passport in Liam’s face, he was trying not to laugh too hard and he said : “ah, don’t ye worry yourself, ye’re grand! ye’re not the last one, we’re waiting on other people!” Still I snatched my passport back and ran away. Ah, I’m so going to miss Irish people!

The flight was okay, only the beef Stroganoff we had for lunch was really bizarre (beef Crapanoff,more like) and it was the definition of “bite size”;one spoon of mashed potatoes,one spoon of spinach, a bit of beef floating in Crapanoff sauce and that was it! And also,the landing felt like being in the Tower of Terror; apart from that, fine. I arrived in Philadelphia completely exhausted, and waited for my connecting flight to Orlando; That was okay, I had a rest and I even got time to play Matrix with the American payphone; that phone was really cool, it looked just like in the movie so I couldn’t resist.

Level 2 : Make it out of Orlando Airport and to home

first, I hand a zillion bags (I don’t know how I managed but this time none of my bags were overweight.Still, they were fierce heavy). And second, I had no clue where I was and where to go next, and I’d had the excellent idea to not come with the group of French people, but on my own, so I had nobody to rely on for help. But then a young luggage kid came by to offer his help carrying my luggage out of the airport. The poor guy ended up an improvised travel agent, telling me where to go in the airport to find an atm, finding out for me where the airport shuttle counter was, organizing my transport, holding on to my luggage while I went to the restroom…Given how much of a pain in the backside I was being, I estimated I had to tip him ten bucks. I do hope it’s enough. Because without him I’d probably still be in Orlando airport dragging my suitaceses around in circles 🙂

level 3 : find food

I rode in the bus with another two new Disney cast members (that’s how people who work at Disney are called : Cast members) ,and we were greeted, at our arrival, by a super smily dude, with gleaming teeth impossibly white and glowing skin impossibly tanned, looking like he had stepped out of an ad for Colgate. He happily waved at the bus  and invited us in the welcome center, where another cast member was waiting to brief us.

“Sooo” Colgate said. “here are some cookies and apples, you guy can help yourselves while we review your files…” I was starving, because I had had nothing to eat since the beef Crapanoff but I don’t really like sweet things when I’m hungry, so I passed. I’d rather go and do some shopping, I thought…

“If you want to do some shopping you can go to Wal-Mart” Colgate’s colleague said.” But you have to take bus Z235 which leaves from commons clubhouse which is there, (he had unfolded a map and was pointing out places to us) you take a bus from here, then stop at the clubhouse bus stop, and then get out ans take the H689 but then when you arrive you must go left, right, wait no, left, left , then past the market.”

…or not. I’d rather go for the cookies and apple than get lost in Orlando, actually. I’d go the next morning, when I and my brain would be fresh and rested. Colgate gave us paperwork to fill out and also a timetable for the next few days.

“So do you understand guys ?” (flash of white teeth) “tomorrow, be there at eight o’clock sharp for your first welcome session!” Meaning no time for Wal-Mart tomorrow before the reunion. I extended my hand to the cookies bowl and subrepticely grabbed a few more.

“Yeah, yeah, take more, take more, it’s all for you!” Colgate’s colleague encouraged. We were then driven to our homes, mine was totally empty, all the flatmates were still at work. You can see a picture of the house above 🙂

the next morning I went to the reunion and decided to go to Wal-Mart with my colleague to be, Sam, and we got off the bus at the wrong stop; we still found a small supermarket, Publix, where I was able to get some food!

now I’ve got to go get ready for work so no time left to talk to you about my first days,, but check back for part two of this post, coming soon 🙂

m xxx

Everyday, it’s-a getting closer

Published May 24, 2011 by Dorothy
ha'penny bridge

5 days stop in Ireland before heading for the big smoke!

Time to go apply for my visa at the Embassy!

21h30 : I turned off the light, went to bed,early because I had to catch the 5.30 train the next morning; but I couldn’t sleep so early in the evening. Maybe music would help ? I turned on my Ipod and tried to relax and go to sleep.

 22h00 :  Music:not efficient at all. Maybe a nightcap would help? I got up and poured myself a little something. Well, if I was to be completely honest, it was more a nightbucket than a nightcap ^^ (but anyway it didn’t put me to sleep).

23h00 : Decided to log on facebook and play “Burst the Bubble with Mister Raccoon-the Challenge”. No point staying in bed when you can’t sleep, right? But I kept missing all the bubbles, due to nightcap abuse, so I quit.

00h00 : Two episodes of Glee.

1h59 : “Janey mack it’s laaaate! Two hours and one minute left to sleep. Okay I’m definitely sleeping this instant”

2h45 : Dozed off at last!

4h00 : Rose and shone. Actually no, I wasn’t shining so much, but I did rise.

8h20 : Arrived at the metro station near the embassy. Fortunately, the Embassy was easy to find; there were loads of fences around it, and even more guards than at the Paul McCartney concert I went to at the Stade de France; so I spotted it from miles away. I was early so I headed for the Champs Elysées to get myself some coffee . Now, I forgot how big Paris was; the Champs Elysées were close enough to the embassy but they are 597254865 kilometers long, and it took me 30 minutes to get to the first opened food joint (Quick, the French McDonald’s) I could find. Got in there pronto,and walked to the counter while looking at my watch; I had now approximately 25 minutes to eat and then I’d have to walk back to Embassy. Luckily, the place was empty.

9h10 : Young fella at the counter exceptionally unenthusiastic and not in a hurry at all to serve customers.

“Bonjour, what would you like?” he yawned, utterly bored. “would you like our special brunch?”

“Er, what’s in the special brunch?”

he scratched his head and pointed to a big poster that said special brunch was like bagels,eggs, rashers,yoghurt, orange juice, coffee, pancakes, saussies,beans, and about everything you could think of having for brekkie was in there. Janey,I thought, there must be a million calories in that breakfast and I don’t have time; and also I thought if the young fella had to prepare and bring me all of that he’d pass out from exhaustion, so I just ordered a bagel and coffee.

“K” he said and then proceeded to type that on his register. He yawned again as  thrust money at him, counting down time till I had to go back. Then he asked me to wait on the side because the bagel was being warmed and stood at the register till a couple more customers came in.

“Oh, I forgot to tell the kitchen for your bagel!” he said when he saw me still waiting on the side.”I’ll go in a minute after I’m finished with that broken dispenser. Only you have to wait 8 minutes now.”

 “Get a bleedin move on!I haven’t got all day to wait for the likes of you!” I felt like saying but that would have been really rude of me so instead I said I was rather in a hurry could I please have it as quick as possible? He sighed and nodded, then left the broken straw dispenser he was trying to fix on the counter and slowly headed for the kitchen. Janey that joint isn’t called quick for nothing, I thought to myself.

When I finally got my bagel I had to shove it in my mouth and leave pronto.

10h00 : Met another guy who is going on the 7th of June too. We were controlled by policemen before we had reached the door of the embassy, and then one more time at the entrance. It was impressive; we had to empty our pockets and take off our belts, and go through a metal detector like in the airport. The guard said something I didn’t understand pointing at me so I thought he meant I had to take off my coat. so he could see I wasn’t hiding anything under it. But then when he saw me taking it off he waved his hand.

“Madam! Please do not remove all your clothing.” he pointed at the belt of my trench. Just the ceinture.”

I also had to get rid of my coke zero (no liquids, like on the plane) and my croissant au beurre ( I wonder about that “no croissant au beurre in the premises” policy, it’s a little surprising?) but eventually we arrived in the waiting room. I was called at a desk; the employee was a jolly man who joked around about my photos;he took my fingerprints like in the movies (really cool) and I had to answer a few questions about the job I was going to do, how long it was going to last and if I intended on coming back home after that. I think they are concerned about people not wanting to go home and staying illegally. But I said yes definitely unless Mark Wahlberg proposes to me in which case I would definitely move to LA, I planned to come back. The employee chuckled, looking reassured that wasn’t about to happen, and said okay no problem then 😀

I had to wait for a second round of questions with a second employee, and that was over in a tick: she said I’d receive my visa soon. I’d waited about two hours (not too long, because I had someone to chat with) and now it was done! yaaaaaay!

12h00 : Met one more guy who is going away the same day as us. We decided to have lunch together at the closest chipper. Which meant, the bleedin Quick fellas again 🙂 but they were very efficient this time around, on the midday rush.

14h00 : Bid farewell to two guys. Both seem nice enough. had time in my hands before the train going back to Nantes arrived so I went to see “Water for Elephants”.

16h30 : Waiting for train. Good thing I’d thought to bring Jack Kerouac novel with me.

20h00 : Phew! home at last! ah bring on the nightcap, I need it again 😀

Stay tuned!

Mxx

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