Sunday, September 6, 2009

The return...

Signalling the end of the summer holiday, the majority of Parisians are returning to the city. Unfortunately the cockroaches have returned with them and I arrived home the night before last to find one of the largest I have ever seen sitting on one of the shelves, just at eye level, waving her antennae menacingly. I feel sure this one must have been female because, although unfamiliar with the anatomy of a cockroach, she seemed to have a big pouch on the end of her body, presumably where she was storing her eggs. They say that cockroaches would be the only animals to survive a nuclear explosion. This certainly seems to hold some truth since one can spray directly on to their shell for however long a period of time with absolutely no effect. In order to finish them off completely one must spray to the side so the spray can come into contact with their body.

In a cruel twist of fate my electricity was cut off yesterday. Emily had asked EDF to transfer the account into my name but, instead, they had closed it altogether. I called them and arranged for it to be reconnected but I had to go a day (and a night) without. Yesterday evening I was working a trial shift at an American diner called ‘Breakfast in America’ so, fortunately, was able to have some hot food there. However, I returned home, just before midnight, and spent an uncomfortable hour or so examining every piece of lint and every crack in the floor with my phone checking for cockroaches. Surprisingly I didn’t find any but this was of little comfort since I felt sure they were there somewhere. It would almost have been reassuring to have found one or two so I could give them a good spray before lulling myself into a false sense of security and falling into a peaceful sleep.

I felt the shift at ‘Breakfast in America’ went well. It’s a tiny little place in the Marais, (although there are two – there’s a bigger one on Rue des Ecoles). This one seats around 35 people I would say and is decorated with typical ‘American Diner’ decor – red leather booths, a tiled floor and vintage art deco clocks on the walls. The staff were friendly as were the customers and although it was busy – at times there was a queue outside – it didn’t feel frantic like it used to at Corcoran’s. I was taking orders, serving food and clearing tables whilst Ian, another guy who I working with, was behind the bar preparing the drinks orders. This system resulted in an efficient operation and a relatively stress free evening. According to Jenny, the Shift Manager, I am to do another two trial shifts, for which I will get paid upon completion of all three, and then they will make a decision. I have yet to hear back as to when my next one will be and I am hoping they haven’t already made their decision. We shall see.

A lot of the restaurants and bars seem to have their kitchens below ground level in the cellar. As a result there are great industrial vents which blow air on to the street. Some of these are particularly powerful and as they blow on to one’s feet it feels as though some sort of small animal has just run between one’s legs. I have passed a couple of these vents recently and each time I have leapt to the side in surprise to avoid standing on whatever creature was stupid enough to try and squeeze between my legs. Both occasions have been extremely embarrassing and have attracted many a strange glance from passers-by.

No comments:

Post a Comment