I’m a Ch’ti bitch, baby

This weekend was one of those belters you have nothing really planned for, but turns out to be frankly outstanding and one of the best yet. Started on Thursday, heading through to Lille after work. Had date numero dos with a new French fancy (I’m coming round to French men, we’ll just ignore their mentalness) then he dropped me off at Ava & Coralie’s. Thank fuck he did, because I assumed it was like a 10 minute walk, it turned out to be a 20 minute drive, plus Vieux Lille is like a maze of tiny identical-looking streets. Anyway, had a good old catch up since it’d been 3 weeks since I’d seen Ava and even longer since I’d seen Coralie. After getting ready, headed out for a few drinks in the VL hood, with a couple of assistants who were about to head back to their respective countries. When the bar was closing, my drunken klepto came out since I’d just ordered a beer, so took my glass with me. Minutes later, we found ourselves, down the street, standing against a wall, me leaning into a windowsill like it was a bar for my beer (picture of class as always) when a door opened and a guy invited us in to what was a closed bar. When this happens, you say yes, naturally.

He took us into a teeny bar, made up of 3 floors, the first being the bar, the second being a restaurant and the third being toilets that could only be accessed by what seemed to be a wooden step ladder at an unfathomable angle. On returning from the toilets we found a massive tin bucket of popcorn in the restaurant, which naturally we begun to help ourselves to, thinking we were as stealth and as criminally genius as Bonnie and Clyde, until a barman who literally appeared from nowhere, gave us a wee tub to put the popcorn in. I bet he thought we were homeless. Not mortifying at all. Talking in English attracts a ridiculous amount of attention, so after about 4 seconds of conversation in the bar, we had people demanding to know where we were from and then dispensing unto us whatever random English phrases they knew, context be damned. I met a man who was English, but when I said something about me being British, I was told that I was Scottish and not British, to which I stated that I was both. He repeatedly denied this, then finally conceded and said “oh, so you feel more English than Scottish then?”. I get that the French don’t understand the UK, but for an English person to be unable to differentiate between British and English is horrendous. So, since this was a lock-in, we were offered drinks, when we weren’t at the bar, and then when the barman returned with them, charged us for them. I’m not sure when this sort of behaviour became acceptable, but it prompted us to make a drunken complaint to the owner, as you do.

The next day I went with Ava to get her hair cut and contented myself playing with a chihuahua while I waited. It was quite funny when her hair was finished, she makes an impression everywhere she goes, does our Gizdavitch and when the guy was done, literally everyone in the salon was staring at her pretty new locks. The woman sitting next to me obviously assumed we didn’t speak French, and made a comment to her boyfriend about how perfect her hair was, so naturally I turned and smiled at her and she turned scarlet and looked away. After leaving the salon we ended up walking past the bar we’d been at the night before, and at the end of the street the barman ran up to us and asked why we’d been annoyed the night before and why we’d told him he was mean haha. All very embarrassing. Headed to a place that sells the best sandwiches in Lille then headed home for a nap. We realised that our daily routine is Nap-Eat-Activity, and since the livingroom we nap in looks out onto a busy courtyard, I feel like her neighbours must see us in bed continuously throughout the day. And judge.

That night we headed out for clubby fun. Since the club we were going to was a bit away from chez eux, we constructed the genius plan of getting the last metro, then drinking at the station once we arrived at our destination, so that we didn’t arrive at the club to early. All was going well, we had regressed to 14 years of age, sitting in a train station, drinking and listening to songs from our phones. Then, suddenly the escalators stopped moving and the music stopped. Thinking we might have inadvertently become part of a horror film, we decided to leave and realised that since the entire metro system is automated, the doors were now locked. This led me and Coralie to practically break our faces laughing, whilst Ava took the what-the-fuck-are-we-going-to-do-approach. Banging the doors at passers-by we were told by some men that a cleaner would arrive at 2am. We insisted this would not be acceptable as we had a night out on the cards and they told us there was an SOS phone upstairs. A short phonecall later, they released the doors. Success! On to Magazine, which was good craic. At one point I looked round the dancefloor, and me and Ava were shaking what our mommas gave us, Coralie was grinding with her new man, and all the French people just looked like ‘yeah, really enjoying this night out, might nod my head to the music in a bit if I feel like getting wild”. We met the barman from the night before who was fine until he was leaving at the end of the night and absolutely wrecked kissed Gizdavitch’s hand and told her [in English, no less] “I’m kissing your hand, because I want to kiss your pussy but I can’t”. Ew! We decided to walk home and 1h15 later we were eating olive pasta and getting ready for bed.

Went for burritos the next day, had some more napping and cake and such like, then started getting ready to go out. I met Ava & Corali’es flatmate for the first time, who was raging because another of their flatmates had sold household goods (which had to be sold, and which he’d get the money for…but hey-ho), and since Ava and Corcor were getting ready he felt the need to vent at me. I find the yanks hilarious, they just don’t talk like we do, they speak for about 5 minutes, when they just need to say one sentence. He kept telling me he didn’t know “how to process this”. He also phoned his parents and asked if he could “run a scenario” by them to say what they thought “the recourse would be”. If I phoned my dad and spoke like that he’d stop laughing only long enough to tell me to shut the fuck up. Also, we went to the shop and on our return, his long-suffering German friend was standing outside the flat because the guy had told him he needed space to deal with it. Fuck. Off.

Anyway, it was the French cup final that night and against all odds Lille were in it, so we decided to go and watch it on big screens that had been set up in town. It’s amazing, all the businesses and cafes and bars and stuff had flags up to support the team and all the buses in the city had “Allez le LOSC” (“Go Lille!” flashing up along with the destination, and it was funny to think that’ll never happen in Glasgow. If you had a flag up in your shop window for Rangers or Celtic, you might as well have a flag up saying “Smash this window, and maybe spraypaint a misspelling of ‘paedo’ on the wall surrounding it for good measure”. We watched the first half on a laptop, then headed to the square to watch it, and met our friends. Lille scored in something like the 90th minute and everyone was going wild, running about with flares and jumping about and what have you.

Walking through the city was amazing, every car in the city had people hanging out the windows, waving flags, peeping horns, and the pedestrians were all running about crazy. I also appeared on French radio, giving my opinion of the team (well, you can’t go wrong with bien, can you). It was just like the whole city was a street party. Headed to Solferino (the main clubbing street) and found a bar to cosy ourselves into till club time. Here we met a variety of English rugby players, some of whom were alright, and some of whom were just standard English rugby guys. They latched onto us since we spoke English (Despite being drunk enough that they frequently forgot this and complimented us on how well we spoke English), so eventually our table was crammed with rugby players, who every so often, got naked for no good reason. Even the coach who was like 50, was getting his out. When I told them to put it away or they’d get kicked out, one guy was like “You women all react the same, so shocked like you’ve never seen one before”. I can honestly say I’ve never seen a 50 year old man’s cock, that made me wonder what kind of STD makes a winky look like that, out for all to see, in a bar. Headed to La Boucherie afterwards, which was awful, so headed to old favourite Latina, wearing a Lille flag as a cape, and a good night was had by all.

Headed home on Sunday to have an afternoon at a colleague’s gaff. Was impressed when she cracked out a 1.5L bottle of champagne for starters. I was then fed shop bought patisserie, followed by homemade tiramisu….c’est la vie!

This week classes haven’t been anything to write home about. My timetable’s changed so that I have the classes I had before Christmas again, one week out of 2. I did have to take 5 points away from a kid yesterday for basically telling me “he would”, you’re 13, I think you should be more worrying about if you could. On a lighter note, finally got round to booking my trip to Paris with Gayle, hurrah! I warned her she has to brush up on her French, she’ll even struggle with pronouncing our accomodation…….Mary’s Hotel. No, really.

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