Bordeaux Blog: Chapter 6

Bordeaux Blog: Chapter 6 L'Opera de Bordeaux by Cristina Pacciarella

This article was written by Ines Sordo, published on 16th February 2011 and has been read 4094 times.

This month: It’s not wasting time if you’re being funny, I did a cultured thing so please be proud and since when is France THIS different?This month’s instalment of fun in France has proudly been started on company time. Just in case any of my co-workers are reading this let me add that I’m not spending THAT much time on it (loosely translated from suck-up that means “please please please, still pay me”). In my defence I must point out that the life of a stagiaire isn’t quite heart pumping pulse-thumping stuff and as such I have recently found myself with quite a bit of sort-of-down-time, at work. But, despite this minor inconvenience my job is still aces, like Bordeaux and like my health (not that you were curious, I know, but I needed a filler, pardon the egotism).

Allow me to explain the newfound use of my working week. While “Iconographic researcher” is a lovely sounding title for your year abroad, the truth is that I have hit a bit of a dull patch. Lots of scanning, lots of uploading. And since the internet and I haven’t always been the best of friends sometimes the server I need to use as part of my job decides to, to put it in nicer terms, go on holiday. Thusly I am left without work, which gives me plenty of time to muck about distracting everyone else and myself. And of course, I’m going to pass on this “wisdom” (if anything cause I’ve always wondered what that would feel like).  Option number one is, as I have already mentioned, distracting co-workers. My advice here is keep it short and sweet, or you’ll wear out your welcome faster than a mouse with a limp at a cat party, go in with prepped material, no-one likes a dull and time wasting “so… *sigh*, what you doin’?”. Option number two is amusing oneself. Personally I have taken to origami, less advanced than facebook but at least I have something to show at the end of it. Other possibilities include, but are not limited to, other Internet lolz (cute overload, thanks for existing) and making pointless lists in your head (hint: never write them down, no-one should ever have to find your “how many X-men can I name in 2 minutes” list*).

As promised last month I have cultured it up! Due to unforeseen sickliness and foreseen parental visits however I’ve only been to one museum, but since this is my blog and not yours, you’ll take what I give and please be happy with it. This was of course the Bordeaux art museum. Granted we aren’t talking national gallery or Museo del Prado in terms of size and variety of works, but its puts up a charming, well laid out and surprising fight. My favourite thing about it was definitely that there are no ropes or anything between you and the paintings. Due to its small size a museum employee is always there to stop kidlets from wiping their noses on the Lacour, and thanks to that you can get your own snout sniffing distance from the canvas, which is fun for people that once spent 2 hours looking at the same painting in the national gallery for a materials study (read: probably just me). A great little collection capped by its 20th century works featuring pieces by Renoir and Odilon Redon (a new-found favourite). A definite must for those of you into the arts and a solid option on a suddenly rainy day, as it’s free for under 25s and has surprisingly comfortable benches!

In this edition I bring news from the mountain of cultural shock. We all know the usual ones: keyboards, Sunday schedules and the baguette as an accessory, but I have found that there is, if possible, an even odder one. Frozen sweet corn. It isn’t April so I swear I’m not joking, I just cant find it. Maybe I’m not being observant enough but it’s been 6 months and I’m still looking! Is it just me having this problem? Have other year abroaders encountered it? This isn’t a wedding, you may speak now or talk forever but I’d really love to understand this. I should point out that apart from the staples of British cuisine, super noodles and large quantities of cholesterol, you should not encounter any problems doing your weekly shop. And for the sake of balance I’ll add that there is no shock whatsoever in Valentines culture over here. Its enjoyed as the capitalistic stronghold it is by all the shops and as the “oh crap, my one day a year to do something nice” it is by all boys. Call me whatever you like, but if he needs to be reminded by a calendar to wear cologne and pay for dinner, he ain’t worth it love.

Having re-read the above paragraphs I realise that my life at the moment doesn’t sound particularly amazing. But in my defence, it’s really cold and I’d rather curl up on the sofa like a cat and watch Colin Firth’s Mr Darcy than catch yet another cold. For you though I promise to live it up next month, I’ll rob a bank or something… surely the French will be fine with that as long as I wear stripes, no?

*My list read: 1) Wolverine
                   2) Blue-skin Rebecca Romijn when she was still a full-blown babe.

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