Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Are mosquito's miniature Vampires?

Arriving in a country where the spoken language is different to your mother tongue posses a number of obvious challenges but...

And I have to say, yet again, wait for it...

A number of issues which manifest themselves in all sorts of bizarre ways. Not only is there a challenge with day to day communication; and I thought I spoke reasonably good French, the culture is different consequently you struggle to have a simple laugh. Food shopping takes at least twice the amount of time. You become apprehensive about using the phone to communicate. You feel really tired towards the end of the day due to two major factors, firstly your brain is working extra hard to comprehend what's going on and secondly, the heat. I'll cover how hot it gets here in a separate blog. You can't make innuendoes of any sort because you don't want to upset anyone - my world started to become a droll day to day existence as I found myself living - life behind the blue gate.

In the early stages my life in France consisted of:
06.45 Alarm - shower and ready my son for school
07.30 Breakfast
07.40 Sophie leaves for work
08.00 Undo the large blue entrance gate that protects us from the Rat Race
08.03 Raphaël and I leave for school on the push bike, skateboard, scooter or roller blades
08.25 Huge hug for the day and reminder to listen, do as your told and not but in
08.40 Return home via the blue gate that keeps the Rat Race out
08.43 Yet another day of silence - day after day after day

16.25 Undo the blue gate that protects us from the outside world
16.28 Off to pick up Raphaël from school
16.45 School bell rings and I'm reunited with my son
17.05 Return home via the blue gate that keeps the outside world from us
18.45 Evening meal for Raphaël
19.45 Bed and story for Raphaël
20.25 Sophie returns home from a regular days work
20.45 Evening meal that I prepared earlier
24.00 The banquette begins - eaten alive by those god darned mosquito's

During the day I searched long and hard for jobs, I wanted to to work and continue my career in design and marketing, I busied myself and just found things to do to keep my mind occupied but slowly and unknown to myself I started slipping into a terrible trance like state. I had never experienced anything like it previously. It was a strange mindful eerie development metamorphosing itself as - a total loss of confidence!!

Oh shit - me, a loss of confidence that's impossible, totally and utterly ridiculous. I'm a man of steel, let's have a laugh John, did you hear the one about the three nuns...

But there you have it - I couldn't communicate competently in French and as a result I found myself living a solitary lifestyle at the age of 43 behind our blue gate - and it took me a good deal of time to realise just what was going on. And to top it off the flip side is that my wife doesn't get eaten by those god darned mosquito's; that seem to rule the roost here after midnight, whereas they seem to love the taste of my now confidence less English blood. Or perhaps it has something to do with my christian name being Christopher Lee either way I'm certain those blood suckers are miniature vampires.

It can't get any worse surely?