Assistants on Ice – Again

The weekend before last was good fun. Ramya, Sellappan and I went to the ice rink and stayed for the full three hours. Suitably exhausted we came home and they cooked Indian food for dinner. They were covered in bruises by the end of the skating, and I had a giant blister on the back of my heel. Last Tuesday, after discovering my Russian class wasn’t where it was supposed to be (again) I bought some plasters for the blister on the way home. These are the most confusing plasters in the world, as they are one side adhesive, one side non-adhesive. I’m supposed to put glue on open wounds or glue the plaster to my sock? That’s five Euros I’m not going to see again.

Last Tuesday wasn’t a good day. Before the Russian and plaster silliness, I endured teaching a class about the UK – while being corrected by the teacher. Except what she was saying wasn’t right. This happens every so often to most of the assistants, and it’s very frustrating. It doesn’t make any sense to hire someone from a place for their cultural input and then refute half of what they say. But there it is, it happens to everyone.

On Wednesday things improved considerably as I went to the Christmas Market in a town close by. It was fantastic! All the little huts were all over the town square and down the streets leading from it. Even better, most of the food stalls had free samples. I just wanted to walk round and round tasting everything for free, but I did end up buying some Guignolet which is a very sweet wild cherry drink, totally delicious.

Also had a hot chocolate from this stallholder. The fondues on the right reminded me of Chocolate Soup in Edinburgh, and you can imagine how good the place smelt. One of the best things about France is that you can find good chocolate everywhere, and if you’re lucky, a jolly bearded man (not Santa) to serve it to you. This guy was all too happy to let me photograph his stall, as long as he could take centre stage. The hat said it all, really. Along with the “I’ve got a chocolate shop, aren’t I lucky?” grin.

As far as teaching is concerned, the terminales are really starting to pick up. Last Thursday and today were the days of preparation for their presentations, and they all seemed to be working really hard on them, asking me lots of questions about grammar and vocabulary. I’m really looking forward to this Thursday when we’ll watch their presentations and evaluate them.

Last weekend was cinema – one free entry to the film festival to see “On appelle ça… le printemps” introduced by the director. We’d got the ticket having no idea what the film would be about, but it turned out to be not too bad at all, though I only understood some of the jokes.

On Saturday we went bowling and took lots of silly action shot pictures, and on the way home spotted a 3 for 2 offer in a patisserie….who can resist that? Especially when they’re in a group of three. So we all ate a little Forêt Noire
which was delicious!

It has been a good week for post, too. So far I’ve had two postcards from friends and a wonderful parcel from home containing Cheddar (hooray! real cheese!) and my advent calendar. All I’m waiting for now are my bills…


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