Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thurs 19 Nov

Took an age to find an internet cafe this morning. I was told by the hotel receptionist of 3 nearby, and yet I was unable to find any of them. Just me? It also appears that nothing opens until 10am so I spent some time walking around all the streets just off the Grand Place and thinking what a great city Brussels is.

Read a couple of emails sent by one of the language schools in Mons, all in French, of course. So, I spend the next 15mins, with my small French dictionary, trying to work out what it is they're offering me. It seems that there will be some teaching available every Mon, Tues and Friday. At a company outside of Mons, and I'll be getting a left to and from the place. And can I start on Monday?

Er, well, maybe, but can I talk to someone first about the school, how you teach, potential for more work in the future, what exactly you pay??

Had an interview (this one was billed as one so wore the suit again) today at 1 at a language centre in the suburbs of Brussels. I say interview, but I hadn't actually done any preparation, done much research about the place itself, or even felt particularly nervous. And suburbs may be stretching it a little when it only took 15mins to get to on the Metro but it is still the last stop on the line.

Obviously, I couldn't find the place. I took a right turn outside the Metro station and kept on walking and walking down a long street with no idea where I was heading. Stupidly, I hadn't bothered to print a map and no one I asked knew or heard of this place. It was also interesting to note that I think I was in a Flemish part of Brussels. So, my attempts to ask for directions in French were probably not well received, even though they did answer back in French.

I spent 1 and a half hours at the centre, and it was indeed a proper interview. By the way, it was literally 2 mins walk away, turning left outside the metro station. I was interviewed in a small room in a very large language centre, which looked a bit like a sixth form college, by a woman (head of HR I think. Boo!) with excellent English. She explained everything I expected to hear about the place, and told me what work would be available, how much they paid (teaching English it seems will always be paid by the hour when you first begin.

Hopefully, this centre will provide a lot of work for me, but it won't start until the end of January, when the new term begins and new set of students begin their courses. Of course it'll mean commuting into Brussels, but if I can get a good number of hours in per day, it'll be worth it. I should also get my travel costs reimbursed at the end of the year, but I'm not exactly sure how.

Pop in to a well known pizza chain and get served a 4 slice pizza (advertised as medium), with barbeque sauce (see my very first post re. tomato sauce and pizza) and pay 8.90E for the privilege. At least I made someone laugh today in French for the first time. Or maybe that should read: my French made someone laugh today.

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