It’s week two of my new French conversation class, and I think it’s quickly going to become the highlight of my week. What a lovely bunch of people – both English and French. The class is held at Châteauneuf-Grasse, which is a little village just up the hill from us. We live about 20 miles from the coast, and I’ve noticed before how different the people in the arrière-pays (literally back-country) are compared to those who live on the Riviera. The further away you move from the coast, the more normal they become.
Which brings me nicely to the story of my last (failed) attempt to find a French class at the beginning of September. After a fairly long exchange of emails with Corinne (I will name and shame her!) I duly turned up at said (coastal) location at said time. This was no mean feat. The class was set for 9am(!) on a Monday morning(!) and for me involved driving through rush-hour traffic. Any old Monday would be bad enough, but it was the day of rentrée – which is the day all the schools start back for the new term. Usually this means total chaos on the roads.
Anyway, I was braced for the conditions, and actually arrived on time. But there was nobody there. I waited an hour before giving up. To add insult to injury I ended up speeding along the motorway in the wrong direction in an attempt to find a quicker way back. The email exchange which followed went something like this:
Me: I’ve just come back from [where it was] but there was no-one there. Perhaps I went to the wrong place?
Corinne: We start next week (note the lack of concern, or apology).
Me: (somewhat pissed off): It would have been kind of you to let me know – I went to quite a lot of trouble to get there.
Corinne: I told you I would let you know the dates.
Me: (more pissed off): You told me it started on the 5th. If you read the emails we have exchanged (listed below) you can see it for yourself.
[ long delay ]
Corinne: I hope you find another class closer to where you live.
All she had to say was ‘sorry, there seems to have been a misunderstanding’, all would have been forgiven. I would have turned up the next week and she would have had a new customer. Well, yah boo sucks to her! As a result I have found a class much closer to where I live, at a much more convenient time, vastly cheaper and with a much nicer bunch of people!!!!!
Song of the day
I heard this on the radio the other day. What a gorgeous tune! Anyone else remember John Denver and Annie’s Song?