Today (Wednesday) has been rather a long day. Not a bad one but certainly one full of petty little irritations.
To begin with, the (incredibly efficient and polite) painters arrived whilst I was still getting ready so I just scooped up what I could and headed for school to try to use the internet. I’d been at school for around 10 minutes when I heard a weird noise. It turns out that this was the fire alarm although it was incredibly different from any I’d ever heard in England – it was a drill but all the same I’m glad one of my colleagues decided to swing by the staffroom on the way out and caught me looking confused.
The fire alarm highlighted a couple of key differences between England and France:
1) Northern France may be colder than the beautiful south but it’s still not exactly freezing, especially when compared with England. This led to me standing outside in a t-shirt next to a large group of teachers in coats.
2) Smoking is way more popular in France. It’s not something that bothers me - I have loads of friends who smoke, especially at work – but in England I can’t imagine ever hearing a teacher repeatedly shouting ‘No one is allowed to smoke during the drill’.
After we went back inside I headed to the town centre to post my collection of blog entries using the free wifi at the shopping centre. This was a good opportunity to catch up with things online – hopefully by the weekend I’ll have unlimited internet on my phone and will be able to be a bit more active. Sadly I couldn’t find the other thing I wanted (stationery – so rock and roll) but this got me thinking that so far, the shops I’ve found in Le Havre have been fairly limited (food and clothes). There are definitely still sections of this city that I need to find.
When I got back my room was looking pretty awesome – I now have shelves which look great and the painting’s coming along really nicely. I found a parcel slip from La Poste so went to try to pick that up but unfortunately the postman had messed up the date of availability so I have to go back tomorrow after teaching – not fun.