Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tues 17 Nov

After spending yesterday wandering aimlessly and working out where everything was in Mons, I decided it was time to get into work mode and visit the 4 language schools in this city. The first started off promisingly enough. I began by speaking in French until things started to get complicated and I actually needed to know the important stuff. Luckily, the young guy behind the desk spoke English pretty well. Although he claimed his English was 'not quite good.' Oh, to be 'not quite good' at French.

The second school involved a full conversation in French only as neither women working there spoke any English. So, great for practice but no idea if they understood what I was saying. Still, I impressed them with copies of my CV in both English and French.

The third school no longer existed and had been replaced by some rather ugly looking flats. My final language school visit was the highlight, and not in terms of work being offered. After hovering outside, a bloke smoking a cigar finally answered the door, listened to my attempts for the 3rd time today to explain what I wanted, and then asked me in.

For about 40mins we spoke in French, interspersed with bits of English, mainly about English football, which is all he wanted to talk about. I had no idea whether he was one of the teachers, a secretary, or whether this was even a language school. It was just all a bit bizarre as I sat there, trying not to cough as he chain smoked, punctuated with several long pauses when I actually thought he might have frozen, and lots of 'doncs.'

When I told him I supported Bristol City he just laughed. Hmm. He didn't seem in the least bit interested in my CV and when I referred the conversation back to work he just kept nodding and saying 'oui, oui...'

In the evening me, C and P headed off to Brussels where C has work plannned for the next 3 days, and I hope to use the time to find teaching or political work.

Went out for an Italian just off the wonderful Grand Place for dinner. All very confusing ordering in French and the waiters responding in Italian and English. I guess that's what Brussels is like.

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