Gone are the days where I attempt to be polite on my blog. Being polite is boring. (Disclaimer: If you're French and act like the women I'm about to mention below, you are exempt from this. You need politeness therapy. NOW!)
I'm one of the unlucky bunch who suffers from hay-fever and recently, the pollen count has been ridiculously high and I've been sneezing to hell and back. My nostrils are flaming red after I practically devoured the toilet paper at work, while trying to avoid raised eyebrows from people who think I have an unfortunate bladder problem. I'm sure my colleagues were appreciative of the lovely long strips of white loo roll I spent much of today wrestling with at my desk. My annoying sniffs and continually running nose (if only I had as much stamina as my nose, I'd be an Olympic athlete) meant that I bucked up the courage to do something about it. (Brownie points for initiative?!)
Big supermarkets in France are always useful; you can buy make-up, endless toiletries, medicine..... All the things you can't buy at those trashy little supermarkets like Dia which attempt to sell cardboard in any form and pass it off as anything from pizza to crackers to soap. No joke - I bought some crackers from Dia the other day to smear some cheese on. I opened the packet and they looked like the sort of thing you'd put through a paper shredder and use for your hamster's foul pit. *Trash*. It's therefore nice to treat yourself to the more up-market places like Monoprix if you want to avoid eating paper sandwiches.
When I was in there today, I waltzed over to the "mini-pharmacy" section to find some blister plasters for my feet. I recognised at once the compede plasters I used for my Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award but I still wanted professional advice before parting ways with my well-earned dosh. I spoke to a lovely man who was very helpful and didn't mind that I didn't know the word for 'blister' in French and we managed to get a good conversation going before I decided to choose the compede. I thanked him for his time and he continued with his work.
I then sneezed and remembered I needed to pick up some hay-fever tablets. The man had disappeared so I approached another woman in the vicinity and started speaking to her. She looked at me with such a judging mixture of disgust and confusion that I thought for a moment I'd accidentally approached a customer. I told her I didn't know the word for hay-fever in French but I tried to describe the symptoms and said it was an allergy to pollen. She just stood there staring at my face with contempt. I mean, it wasn't like I'd asked her how to cure vaginal warts. Seriously. She then muttered something under her breath about going to a pharmacy before I did one of those fake smiles and thanked her for "wasting" my time. When I waited in the queue to pay, I did that thing where you just stare and stare and stare at someone when they're not looking at you, hoping your eyes might just burn into the back of their head and cause them to keel over and choke on their own depressing existence. Bit harsh maybe?
Last weekend I was in Normandy and found myself in a touristy shop which had a clothing department upstairs. As I walked up the stairs, I noticed a gorgeous trench coat on one of the mannequins and simply fell in love. I don't actually own a trench coat and despite it being summer, the weather's been so foul that I figured purchasing a trench coat might not be such a bad idea. I walked over to the rail where the coats were hanging and slipped on the bright orange number after finding my size (yes, it did clash with my hair a little). Before I'd even had a chance to look in the mirror, a lady who worked there condescendingly shouted over to me "are you actually going to buy that?", as if I were some random tramp who'd come into the store. I was so taken aback that she actually had the cheek to speak to me like that and make such a grotesque judgement. In retrospect I should have said: "No, I'm not going to buy it. I'm going to steal it and sell it on eBay." I stormed off. If my mouth hadn't been so dry I would have spat on her.
My one piece of advice for these women? Do us all a favour and remove that massive rod you have so firmly stuck up your arse. It's giving you wrinkle lines and a soggy disposition.