Our friends Électric(ité de France)

I’m not sure which I hate more, small airports or large airports. In the little ones – like Edinburgh where I write this – there is absolutely fuck all to do (I’ve got six hours to kill and my two hours of internet is nearly up). In larger airports you can look at STUFF you don’t want and get charged in the ass for it if you cave in and CONSUME.

The littler ones are insidious too; not half an hour ago I found myself drawn to a piece in GQ magazine written by Rod Liddle as I attempted to kill time browsing in *WHSmith. Imagine! Wanting to read the ignorant burblings of that tedious asshat in David Cameron’s favourite wank mag! Next up I’ll be marvelling at how dapper shiny-pated über twat Dylan Jones is and wishing I had savings so I could sink them all into an expensive watch. GQ, for the twat who thinks Boris Johnson is a laugh and gets a wigwam whenever a James Bond movie goes into post production.

The last 24 hours were trying. I tweeted what a great week I was having and things fell apart from there. This was a coincidence, it just didn’t feel like one. First up the electric went. Despite having a letter from the leccy company confirming we were now valued customers, the person on the phone had no record of an account with them. Claire coped valiantly on the phone in spite of the all-but-inevitable piss poor quality of customer service. I’ve never seen her cry before and I hated feeling so helpless.

I get quite annoyed when British people moan about French people being hostile, especially those that go to France expecting everyone to speak English and get angry when they don’t, but I’m beginning to reluctantly concede that in general, customer care leaves a lot to be desired in my new country of choice.  I am speaking in general but when I say “in general” I actually mean “every single person working in customer service in the whole of France is shit”. Generally. Each time I’ve asked for something in a store I’ve found the “assistant” will pretend they don’t understand what I’m saying, then shrug, say “non”, and go back to talking to their mate or reading the paper. Often I then go and find the thing I’m looking for that they just told me they don’t sell. Also, I’m sure I will one day write a blog on French bureaucracy and its labyrinthine corridors of stultifying ennui but I’m conscious that I’m starting to sound like Rod Liddle.

The upshot is we don’t have electricity for a whole week, and that’s rather a tricky thing to cope with in modern society when you have a freezer and an Internet addiction to maintain. In the old days you could probably court or spend your time **praying or something. Rather conveniently I’m on the way to Iceland and I’m going to be there until Tuesday, but that’s not the point!  And THAT was touch and go for a little bit and I only got my flight details for Reykjavik as I landed in Scotland ***a few hours ago. Phew. I should probably best leave that business where it is (in the past) but it wasn’t conducive to a good nights sleep I can blimin’ well assure you.

*I went for a job at WHSmith when I was 16 and spent most of the interview talking about Bob Dylan. At the conclusion the interviewer asked me: “Jeremy, who’s the most important person in the shop?” to which I replied “Mr Smith”. I didn’t get it.

**I’m sat across from the Prayer and Quiet Room and it’s looking more inviting by the second as the accident prone George Michael sings ‘Praying For Time’ in my bored brain. BORED! BORED! BORED!

***Quite a few hours ago now. I’m actually uploading this from Iceland as my Internet connection ran out in Scotland where I got even more BORED! BORED! BORED!

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