We’re not in Kansas anymore

2 04 2012

That amuses the hell out of me especially since I’ve never been to Kansas.  Every place has it’s little things, things that ultimately bug you, or cause culture shock in the end.    (let me insert a warning here.. this started out as an innocent commentary on life here.. and turns into a bitch fest because I’ve been getting ouber frustrated lately.. I wrote the first couple of paragraphs weeks ago.. and the rant fest that follows all today… )

So what’s the deal with France? How does it compare to my memories of the place? Well luckily the last time I was here was a long time ago, long enough that all my travels and experiences since have worn the shininess of off that memory.  Don’t get me wrong, little things like a metro station that I remember, spark little moments of total glee and excitement that can only be remnants of my first trip abroad.  But for the most part I didn’t have grand expectations, so what’s it like?  Well on the surface, at first glance, well let’s put it this way.  Ever been to Canada?  Was it in the early 80’s, in the countryside? BAM That’s where I live right now.. (Seriously no shit).

Ok obviously it isn’t the same as Canada, but it’s shockingly similar.  Keep in mind, this is from the girl who lives in Asia, so that is probably a factor in the perceived similarity.  But still, the weather, the landscapes…. Southern BC/Alberta.  Hand on my heart, I have some photos of the drive my mom and I took over the summer, through the south of BC up through Alberta.  And I swear to you sometimes it looks exactly the same.

Ok and here is the thing that really gets my goat… Nothing is ever open.  I’ve heard a lot about how France has greta labour laws and the pay is good for the amount of work you have to do.. plus lots of holidays etc.  BUT what you don’t hear about is how nothing is ever open, because of these same labour laws having people work outside of the tiny amount they do work costs the company far more than it’s worth.  So nothing is open after 7 pm, or on Sunday.  You’re fucking kidding me. No I swear, most places close for lunch (not restaurants obviously) they open at 9pm and close at 5 or six. And a surprisingly high number of people are unemployed, why because there are no fucking jobs because nothing is ever fucking open.  Oh did I mention most stores also close on Monday because they were open on Saturday, for a couple of hours, not even a full day?   Even in the 80’s in butfucknowhere Canada shit was open on MONDAY.   It’s absolutely mind boggling to me.

Literally, the gas station attendant, gone at lunch.. the bank closes at lunch… how the fuck is anyone who has a fucking job ever supposed to do anything because of the labour laws EVERYONE works the same hours and have the same time off.  And don’t even get me started on the internet phone company.  What really gets me, is everyone just goes along with it, when I point out how ludicrous it all is, they just shrug and sheeple it off.  0.0  Well that’s how it is.. um kick a fuss and change it?  Nah just wait 6 months, it’ll sort itself out.  WHAT?!?!

Oh and I know this is a huge case of culture shock.. but COME ON how can it be this fucking hard to get an icecream??? All I wanted was a shop with the different flavours, chose by the scoop and pay too much, ice cream or gelato.. and no nothing.. looked for ages and I was literally this close to tears because I have had a lot of frustration and all I wanted was the simple pleasure of ice cream but no.  (This craving was finally satisfied the other week when we went to the beach.. apparently the only place in the country to buy icecream.. Which is retarded bc the beach was fucking freezing and everywhere else is all toasty and warm…logic fail)… you guys know how close you are to Switzerland home of movenpick (hands down the best icecream I’ve had) and Germany (no slouches in the iceycreaminess department.)

Lets talk about my internet service for a minute, or the lack there of.  Some have heard this already, but here is the game we have been playing with SFR since we went to Paris… yes a month and half ago.. rapidly going on two months.  We call… and the circus fucking begins (given how incredibly frustrating they are I get why Regis doesn’t want to call.. but I keep losing my mind and making him call).

Us: Hi, the internet is down, can you please fix it?

SFR: Oh it’s not down you didn’t pay.

Us: Oh, sorry here is the credit card number. Ok now?

SFR: Yup everything is great it’s working.

Us: um… no it’s not.

SFR: Sure it is.

Us: No really, it’s not.

SFR: Hu, well our computer shows it’s connected now.

Us: That’s nice, we still don’t have internet.

SFR: Ah.. there is a problem with the line we’re sending someone out to fix that right away, sorry for the inconvience.

Us: Ok great.

Now let me see, we can actually see the line that is the problem and it’s all mad droopy… no one comes. A week later I lost my shit and make him call.

Us:  Hi, I called before the internet is down, you said you were sending out a guy to fix it.  But it’s still not working, this was a week ago, what’s happening?

SFR: Oh, well you haven’t paid, that’s the problem.

Us: I paid last week…  And regardless the line is still down and you still haven’t sent anyone to fix it.

SFR: Oh yes, I see that, hang on.  Ah yes the line is down sorry.

Us: Ok, and then?

SFR: We’ll send someone in the next day or two.

Us: That’s what you said last time.

Another week passes… (note if I was in charge of the calling it would have happened EVERY FUCKING DAY to compress this goddamn drama)

Us:  He so it’s been several weeks and the internet isn’t working, what the hell am I paying for here.  I want you to fix the internet and refund me my money.

SFR:  sure we can do that for you as you pay for this month (because at this point it’s a new month).

Us: But I already paid you!

SFR: That was for last month, you have to pay this month before we can reconnect your service.

Us: Well how about the repair guy he still hasn’t come, and here is my credit card.

SFR:  Sorry there is a problem and the system isn’t accepting this card do you have another?

Us: sure, here.. and the repair guy?

SFR:  He’ll come out in a day or two, sorry this card isn’t going through either (both cards are fucking fine and work online and in stores.. but not on the fucking phone with sfr)

Us: Well, can I pay online, or come into a store and pay cash?

SFR: No the only way to pay is by mailing us a cheque.

Us: Jesus, seriously?  Fine. What’s the address.

So we mail a cheque, I’m desperately trying not to lose my mind.  But I can still access the internet, using Regis’s cell phone as a wireless hub.. but it’s mad slow and eventually they’ll get pissed at us for using so much data on his phone.  But it’s just a temporary fix.. just a week or two (insert eyeroll here) so TWO weeks later, that’s how fucking long it takes them to cash the cheque.

Us:  Hi, we have called several times, and you cashed my cheque, but the internet still doesn’t work.

SFR:  That’s because you haven’t paid..

Us:  WHAT??? Yes, I paid by card and I sent a fucking cheque.. you CASHED IT.

SFR: Well, you’re just going to have to mail another cheque.

Us:  This is ridiculous, the line is still down, I’ve paid you for several months service that I havent’ received and you want more money to reconnect it even though I’ve already paid.

SFR:  Well the account is considered delinquent, due to previous late payments, so you have to pay for next month now and then we’ll connect..   after we’ve received the money we’ll refund you the amount of time it wasn’t working.

Us: But the payment wasn’t la.. oh nevermind… will you at least send someone to fix the line so that it will connect?

SFR: Yes in a day or two.

Us: You know you’ve been saying that for well over a month.

SFR: Sorry there isn’t anything I can do.

DIE DiE DIE  So we get money sorted, we get the cards sorted.  And of course it’s a Monday so the mother fucking bank is closed and we can’t even call to bitch them out. It’s all supposed to be good now.. but in the morning they cut off his cellphone because we over used it.  And have to pay a fine.. guess who the cellphone is will.. yup SFR…  continue song and dance.

Us: Hi, now the cell is off and the internet is still not working.  Tho I see the guy repaired the line on Friday.

SFR: Yes you have to pay xyz

Us: no problem, here is the card

SFR: Sorry our system is not accepting it

Us: ok another

SFR: nope

Us:.. WTF seriously.. it works everywhere else… online in stores EVERYWHERE… what is wrong with your system.

SFR:  Sorry, you can send a cheque.

Us: But by the time you receive the fucking cheque it’s the next month and you want more money.. even though you OWE me two months of service for free. That you plan to credit me… AFTER I pay.. even though what I owe you is less.

SFR: Yes, that’s it exactly, I’m glad you understand the situation.  Is there anything else I can do for you?

Well you could take a long motherfucking walk off of a really short pier for one.  So now, we have absolutely no internet access, none.  I’m writing this in word.. waiting to go to his mother’s house where we will use her internet to pay everything.  I mean I get it if there is no money.. but we have the fucking money and keep trying to give it to them.  JUST DIE SFR… I loathe you with all my being at this moment.

So my boyfriend is sitting on the couch, devastated and feeling like a complete piece of shit, even though it’s not his fault.  He feels like it is.  And I’ve been so frustrated, with him and the company (bc they are insanely annoying he never wants to call.. which has drawn this drama out for much longer than it had it be)….

Plus Now I can’t get online to pay my credit card (I’ll do it today but still) or email or talk to anyone.  I am terribly home/friend sick… I want to call people.  My mom’s called me a couple of times and even though I know it’s costing a fortune I end up yammering and clinging to the call like it’s a fucking life raft.

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