Friday, August 5, 2011

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It's a beautiful day here in Dublin, which is all the more precious because it's so rare. There's nothing more wonderful than a good summer's day in Ireland, in my opinion. The sky is a deep blue, there's a light breeze, you can hear the faint cry of gulls. It has none of the pressure of a summer's day anywhere else. It's warm, but still refreshing. No one expects you to be out in a bikini and sarong. People make a point of mentioning it wherever you go, at the post office, in the supermarket
[ - ''Ah it's a beautiful day today, isn't it?''
- ''It is, yes.''
- ''Wonderful weather!''
- ''It's pretty warm out.''
- ''Ah sure, it's gorgeous!''
- ''Yep'']
You can't deny people in Ireland are friendly. In fact, it often makes me feel guilty, having been conditioned to display a tight-lipped sort of secrecy in my dealings with strangers. The other day, whilst making a boeuf bourguignon (recipe to follow), a guy came to get me to sign for a letter, and said ''Are ye makin' somethin' nice, are ye?''. I just sort of looked at him, startled. ''I'm sorry?'' he grinned, ''I said, are ye makin' somethin' nice fer yer tea?'' I signed his little digital thing, and said coolly: ''Yes. Stew.'' And shut the door. He probably thought 'frigid British cow' but it wasn't actually me being rude - more just taken aback by a question that to him was simply being friendly. It happens a lot - someone in the shop comments on something you're buying, or the bus driver interacts with you, like the other day when I got on and he shouted at me: ''Stop playin' with yer feckin' phone, you can count your money on the bus, now GET ON!'' It's sort of nice. It feels natural and more human. Not like in the UK where everyone keeps a physical and emotional distance from everyone they come across. Perhaps I should have invited the letter guy in to sample the stew (not innuendo).

So anyway, in an attempt to find out more about my housing situation in September, yesterday I emailed Yannick, and got this reply:
"Je suis absent du 13 juillet au 16 août.

Pour les BGF-BGE vous pouvez contacter [Madame X]

Bonnes vacances."
So I emailed Madame X, and got this reply:
"Bonjour,
je suis en congés du 29 juillet au 5 septembre inclus.
Pour tout urgence concernant les BGF et BGE vous pouvez contacter [yannick] à l'adresse suivante : [email address]
très cordialement"
Then, the scholarship woman forwarded me a document about what to do to get set up financially, and she included a letter from the CROUS, which, at the bottom, includes the following line:
"Compte tenu du parc de logements disponibles, il ne peut y avoir d'engagement formel du CNOUS et du CROUS pour assurer un logement en résidence universitaire a l'étudiant".
Which, despite the non-sensical wordiness of it, basically means 'we can't guarantee you 100% that we will have somewhere for you to live'. For fuck's sake France, honestly. What is the *deal* with this naffing off on holiday for two months of the year? I'm not too worried though, will just see what happens when they're all back from their 7 week holiday in the South of France. When they sashay into their office, mocha frappucinos in hand, crisp white shirts buttoned loosely over their trim, freshly-tanned bodies, blowing the dust off their monitors as they turn the computers on, honking away at each others' jokes and accounts of encounters with the peasants down in Draguignan, and then BAM. That's right, it's the annoying English girl who has flooded your inbox with irritating emails. NOW DEAL WITH IT.

The thing is though, I can't get through to them so I'm guessing it's just not going to be possible for my Dad to take me down there, which is a bit sad really. I feel like I've let him down somehow, which is ridiculous because there's nothing else I could do. He did suggest us going down earlier and me staying in a hotel for a few nights whilst waiting for the room, but....that sort of defeats the purpose, plus I think I'd feel lonely then. Anyway, we discussed him coming to visit in the last week of October, which is when I have a break. And Mum is going to a conference in Zurich, which turns out to be a 40 euro, 2 and a half hour train ride away - not too bad! I'd love for both of them to come and visit. It was great when Dad came to V/Paris to see me and Beefa, and then when Mum came to Chartres....although I remember one day in Chartres, where we had a fight, and I think out of all the days in my life, that's the day I regret the most. She was crying and upset, I can't remember why, but I remember being a total MEAN BITCH to her, and whenever I think back to it, I do that thing where you cringe and actually physically shake your head a bit in an effort to bury the memory. Bit melodramatic, eh?

Another thing I have to deal with today - the uni were asking me how I wanted to pay my fees, and they demanded a response by the 24th of August. The only options on the sheet I have to send back are:
  • ''Go ahead and take 3000 out of my bank account - here are my details''
  • ''Go ahead and take 3000 out of my bank account in installments of 800 - here are my details''
In fact I can do neither of those, as the scholarship pays for it. So I emailed scholarship woman asking what I should do (the uni being closed until the 24th of August, naturally) and she said to ask them to invoice her, or for me to pay it and for her to deposit 3000 in my account, upon receipt of payment. I don't want to do that second option, since I don't have 3000 lying around, plus even if she fed the mulah into my account, it would result in a budgeting catastrophe for me. So today I'm going to email her and ask her to write a brief letter that I can attach to the stuff to send back to the uni, saying that she will be paying the fees, and to invoice her. That should do the trick! I wish I didn't feel so awful about asking people to do things for me, it makes me feel dreadful, even though I know this is this woman's sole job. I feel like a beggar.

Good news on the shoe side of things - the boots have been shipped to good old Barnoldswick. Which means a phone call to my dearest grandmother is required, so I can casually mention that yet again I've been ordering shit to her house. Oh, other good thing - finalized deed poll came! I am now who I say I am :D

Other things to do include finding my brother a job, making an uncomfortable phone call to ensure that my ex understands he is my ex, getting the balls required to send the scholarship email. Infected eye still being a dickhead. Why won't it just LEAVE ME ALONE?

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