Totally out of control
Trip Start Jul 19, 2009
148Trip End Oct 25, 2010
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The first 8 days here, here at my beloved Clédat, were spent in frustration and a cold that went straight to the bones.
Thank god for the 'sudderlapje' as my mother fondly used to call her electric blanket. Hard to translate, it's Dutch for a slice of meat that is gently stewing, so maybe you get the joke.
Cold in Holland means it's cold outside, while indoors, central heating and maybe an additional open fire, mean it's cosy and warm.
Whereas here, only one of our little electric radiators is working, not exactly radiating, you have to glue yourself to it to feel anything at all. I even suspected it was I warming up the heater..... and then the Godin, the pride of the French nation, is not even bothering to get hot, it just sends the warm smoke straight up the chimney, into the bitter cold night air
What the fuck, this is the Dordogne, half May - it is supposed to be glorious springtime.
The locals shrug their shoulders. L'hiver encore. Someone even had the nerve to tell us it can stay cold till July.
Enough. Today was kind of sunny and the weather is expected to improve - 6 weeks of improvement would suit me just fine. This winter has lasted too long.
I wish I could say the same about the internet. That has been driving me up the wall. I called Orange France a week before leaving to make sure it would be working when we got there.
I have been calling, pleading in my best French, trying to make myself clear to the English speaking department, attempting to speak English with a French accent as they don't understand plain English, trying to explain stuff I don't even understand in English or Dutch.
The French customer services are not there to be helpful; they are employed to be impatient, rude, unwilling and take pleasure in humiliating you
Peter needs it for business, I need it to stop me from worrying. Ha!
It is infuriating.
It meant travelling to Terrason, 20 km each way, every day, sneak into McDonalds, buy coffee you don't want, so you can rightfully use their Wifi.
Never could have guessed I would become a frequent visitor of that etablissement.
And all we needed was a new pass word, to be sent by mail, per express, after a week I was almost in tears on the phone, oh, they had my password right in front of them, but to give it by phone - how could they know it was me? By now I had given them every bit of personal information I had, things that even surprised me, what else did they want? Jean-Paul, my internet-man, we were on first name terms by now, which is exceptional here, finally buckled, telling me over and over again what a great favour he was doing me, he earnestly spelled out my 'mot de pass' as if handing me some government top secret.
I hugged the phone, blessed the high-all-mighty Jean-Paul, thinking I can now fully understand how a victim perversely gets to love his torturer
The internet worked. For one day. The next day the official papers arrived with new pass words and ways of identifying, and informing me that, God give me strength, it would take some days to come to effect.
I have a similar story to tell about my laptop not being able to connect and an even worse one about the installing of a television, very much against my wishes, but people want to watch the stupid world cup football, involving a nightmare satellite dish, tree branches being chopped down, holes being drilled and tempers flaring.
No, I won't go into that, I can't even bear thinking of it.
But, hey, looks like we are all set up, telephone, internet, t.v. at our command. I suppose I should be pleased about the internet, I need it to work on, but is it all worth the aggravation, I wonder?
A new day tomorrow and I vow to myself I will start enjoying my time here.
It is stunningly beautiful, in spite of the weather, everything is green and blossoming. Birds all around, nest-building, singing. Butterflies and bees, lizards and frogs
I must be mad fretting about those silly machines when I've got everything I want to be happy right here.
My next bit will be more cheerful, I promise, I know........it's gonna be just fine,
everything's under control, well, everything seems to be under control -
just need to find out who's calling the shots.