Au Secours!

It’s all just one big, giant conspiracy. So said Ally McBeal, and I often find myself quoting her wise words – such is my experience of The World.

So, I’m about to leave for France and my laptop breaks down. This is not even the same laptop that bit the dust a few weeks before I left Northern Ireland. No, it’s official. All computers hate me. Every single one of them. They know that internet access is important, nay, essential for my line of work (and therefore my survival), and they quite simply do not want me to be happy. Or survive, for that matter.

Le Flatmate, being someone who knows a bit about computers, spent my first night in Lyon hunched over my despondent laptop, muttering in French (Le Flatmate, I mean, not the laptop, which was barely managing a stubborn beep by this point) and scribbling technical-looking notes to himself, which might as well have been in a foreign language. On closer inspection, it turned out that they were, in fact, in a foreign language, but translating them into English made very little difference to my understanding of them.

Alas! The laptop does not want to obey Le Flatmate, and must go away to be repaired. It could take weeks, for all I know. This leaves me high and dry. I’ve managed to track down an internet café, but using it for work is completely impractical because (a) it’s so expensive that it would probably cancel out my earnings, and (b) the layout of French keyboards is completely confusing to me, and it’s taking me at least twice as long to type anything. It’s AZERTY instead of QWERTY over here, and it’s making my head hurt.

I have so many amusing travel moments that I want to share with you, but panic about how to do my work is now cancelling out my ability to think clearly. What to do, what to do? I had an extremely wobbly moment last night, exhausted from travel, worried about money, more than a little dehydrated and sick, and feeling very isolated – I didn’t realise how much I depended on internet access until I lost it. As I lay in my new room, trying to think calmly and failing miserably, I almost decided to go home. This would be silly, of course. I’ll get it sorted out somehow, even if I have to buy a new laptop and clear out my bank account altogether. It’ll be fine, won’t it?*

I feel a little better for getting that off my chest. Cheers. I even feel up to telling you that I’ve had several conversations in French! It’s a little scary to suddenly try to think and speak in French again after not doing so for about 8 years. I can read it much better than I can understand it being spoken; they speak very quickly, and I find myself pleading plus lentement, s’il vous plaît! at irritatingly regular intervals. Still – they seem to understand me. I’d be enjoying it if I wasn’t staring unemployment in the face and picturing myself begging on the streets, playing air guitar for about ten cents an hour. Not that I’m one for being melodramatic.

Blogging may be less regular for a while, for all the reasons here mentioned. If I disappear completely, assume I’ve run out of money and am doing the air guitar busking thing as described. Other non-computer career suggestions welcome.

*There will be a prize for the first person to confirm this.**

**Actually, there won’t really. I’m about to crash into computerless obscurity and pennilessness, didn’t you read that bit?!

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6 thoughts on “Au Secours!

  1. Bienvenue, et bon courage!

    I also had an 8-year hiatus from daily French usage. Don’t worry, it takes a little time, but it will come back!

    C’est comme rouler sur un vélo. :)

  2. Sacre bleu! Do you have a camara? Perhaps you could do a bit of street photography? Waitressing? Dog walking? Never fear Hails, you’re a resourcful lass, you’ll think of something. Is it possible to hire a laptop? (Or would that be more expensive than internet cafes?) Maybe the house you are ‘sitting’ has a spare one hanging about? Good luck to you!

  3. The Sister says:

    I can imagine your poor lil face now…am wondering if you tried to solve the laptop problem with a role of tape like the last time??!

    hehe… will never forget the image of coming home and you sitting holding the laptop as though it were a dying young child, with tears in your eyes, distressed look on you face…and a roll of tape dangling from it!!! :)

    You will find work… and there are always mcds in France ;)

    Good luck!! xx

  4. Merci, mes amies! I don’t have nearly enough confidence in my French to be able to do any work that involves dealing with the public. I’m now hopeful that the laptop repair won’t take as long as I first thought, but I can’t be sure. Will just have to wait and see how it pans out…

    Thank you for the nice, cheerful comments!

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