I write this sitting on a tram. I’m going to the railway station at 11:00 at night. Nothing much is open in my neighbourhood and I’m dying to go to the loo.
My French electric toilet broke down for good on Tuesday. In the process, it blew a fuse for the whole apartment and flooded the bathroom twice.
The owner of my flat, a university student called Quentin, who has decorated the flat with pictures of cars and photos of children from the 1980s, left me a note when I arrived in the flat.
The note outlined the WiFi password, the directions for working the microwave and the terrifying warning that my neighbours Olivier and Anne might call in “to offer me for a drink”. It also gave detailed instructions for the toilet. The “toilet-crusher”, I was warned, is “rather delicate” and if it malfunctions, I was advised to “relaunch the apparatus”.
I’ve been relaunching the apparatus on a regular basis, but on Tuesday, the apparatus decided it had had enough.
I told my boss this morning. She phoned Quentin, who has just arrived back from his holidays. He called by while I was at work. I surmise he had quite an incident with the electric toilet.
It still doesn’t work. But Quentin had to use the mop, have a shower and put his clothes in the washing machine. I can only imagine what the poor boy went through.
I’m off to Paris this weekend, and Quentin promises to have a new toilet motor installed by the time I get back.
Hence, I find myself crossing Strasbourg at night dying to do a number 2.
I’ve had a pleasant but tiring week. The most chaotic course in history continues apace and I’m enjoying it.
I’m not being awfully good with food. I’ve been uninspired by my beans-and-meat diet (damn French bakeries and their beautiful, light, buttery pastries of ecstasy!) and have no doubt I’ve been gaining weight. In fact, I seem to have abandoned any semblance of a diet at all.
In ten days, I’ll be getting to Cambridge. I have booked myself into a three-evening-a-week exercise bootcamp there and will probably be starting a more Connor-friendly, less bean-dependant diet there.
I’ve been running on and off, in a park behind my building, circling around a synagogue. I had a few successes early on, genuinely impressed that I could run at a relatively ok pace for three minutes at a time without a treadmill or a running buddy telling me what to do. But I’ve slacked off in the last week.
I still haven’t smoked, and I have more money than I thought, but July hasn’t been Project Connor’s most glorious month.
France is still lovely, but we’ve had quite a few dull days. I looked out of Quentin’s window this morning and it didn’t look like summer in France. It looked more November in Tullamore.
At least I’m not sunburnt. I’m going to leave it there. I’m on the tram home now. Unburdened. Looking around, I can see no fewer than three young men in jaunty hats. Men in such hats in Ireland would be called all sorts of mean names. But not in France. For France is wonderful, boyhatwise.