Strasbourg day by day

OK, so it seems that you are eager to know about my experience in the Navy… but since you dirty-minded readers only have one thing in mind, I’ll keep you waiting a little and post this very boring diary of my latest business trip instead… and then if you behave you’ll know everything about Lieutenant Imbert’s regular visit to the Navy base bathroom.
Day one: Left early in the morning from Gare de l’Est. 4 hour trip to Strasbourg, slept the whole trip except when old woman woke me up to ask me if I could help her turn on her mobile phone (!). Which I did, without protesting although I felt like pushing her off the train.
Arrived in Strasbourg. Weather sucked. Got to hotel. Nice room under the roof with good view of the river. Went to work. Started training. Didn’t go well, I was knackered, trainees were old and tired.

Day 2: Second training started. Went better than first one. Trained R to become the Lead-Teacher of the center. I like R. He is a former university professor from Algiers who moved to Strasbourg in order to give a decent education to his son. He went from being part of the Algerian intellectual elite, earning good money, living in a big house with a Mediterranean view and two maids to living in an ugly suburb of Strasbourg, in a little apartment with a view of the German border. I mean how depressing is that? We had lunch after training and he told me loads about Algeria. I’m actually going there this summer. That’s for sure. Walking down memory lane and see the place where my family used to live back when Algeria was part of France.

Day 3: I got an angry mail from the company’s accountant who’s really angry at me. She claims I always send my expense reports too late and that completely screws up her work. I felt bad but I immediately tried to find whose fault it was but mine. Of course I realize it’s all my fault, ‘cos I’m a lazy bastard so I spent the whole evening catching up with work that I should have completed a long time ago.

Day 4: Back to first training. The trainees are a French, a Spanish, an English and a German teacher. The German teacher likes rules, the English talks about how pissed she got last night, the Spanish one wants to take a break all the time and the French teacher complains a lot and never agrees with me. Mini-Europe in a classroom. My two conclusions are that certain people should be forced to retire and the EU is not always a good thing.
In the evening I went over to the German side to buy cigarettes. Amazing, on one side of the river you pay 5€ for a pack, then just cross the river and you pay 1.9€!!! Yay! I’m going to SMOKE SO MUCH! And here goes one of my resolutions…
Germany’s emptiness and profound germanness depressed me so I needed to be cheered up by a nice little theater play (don’t misunderstand me, I usually like Germany and especially Germans but Kehl IS a shit-hole).

Went to the Théâtre National de Strasbourg and saw a “No” play. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a Japanese “No” play, but for me it was a first. Strange, not always comprehensible but very aesthetic, a pleasure for the eye. Actors would say their lines in a cannon-kind of manner. i.e one starts his line and the other one starts a few seconds later with his answer although actor one is still not finished with his question. (if you see what I mean). In spite of their being totally asynchronous, this riot of dialogs sounded, just like in a song, amazingly melodious. The actors were synchronous through songs and music which probably had second meaning to it but I was too tired to figure it out.

The story is about a geisha who waits day after day, year after year at the Tokyo train station for her ex-lover whom she’s convinced will return. She waits so long that she eventually turns insane and throws things on the floor all the time, rolls herself into newspapers and bangs her head on the rails at the train station. The ex-lover finally returns and looks for his adored geisha, finds her but she’s so mad that she doesn’t recognize him and rolls herself into newspapers again. Finally everybody cries on stage and they all more or less turn insane and throw themselves off the platform.

I was totally cheered up and inspired by this play(I actually was!) and decided that I should go to the theater more often when I’m on a business trip.

Day 5: Last day of training. They all passed the post-training test. At night, we celebrated a colleague’s last working day, went to her place and got drunk, sang songs and pigged out on very fat Alsatian food. Got back to the hotel at 2.30am.

Day 6: Slept 3 hours, had to catch my train back to Paris at 7.30, sitting on the train now across from a teen-ager who coughs all the time, he’s got a bad cold and throws his vile bacteria at me. Guess who’s going to be sick now?

Now back to Lieutenant Imbert.. Where was I again?


13 Responses

  1. You are so cruel Micke! But I loved reading about your work. I wish I had a job that allowed me to travel all the time, all over the world!

    By the way, that pic of you singing with the Guitar player… yum! You’re totally boner-worthy!

  2. And what you can’t tell from the picture Rob is that Micke is an EXCELLENT singer too. I have fond memories of singing a French song called “Je suis malade” in the back of a small removal van with him!!

  3. Oh you guys are so sweet and me who thought i looked horrible in that picture making faces and all. Anyway, Rhino, I do have fond memories of that removal van too, thank god we were there, weren’t we? Was so thrilled by the experience that day that I lost my cell phone and locked myself out of the apartment on my way back home.

  4. and Rob, what youcan’t tell either is that Rhino is a much better singer than most of us (am not including you here of course, Rob). He can sing even the weirdest Swedish traditional songs to you from piano to fortissimo!

  5. My singing ability has dimished drastically, I’m sure you BOTH would sing me under the table any day!

    Memories of a removal van… interesting! I’d love to read a blog about that!

  6. You’re all horrible sluts!

    I’m going to start ready worthy stuff from now on in case it’s catching.

    tell me, mick, was that snotty teenager sexy?

  7. And ironically, I really did lose my voice completely after that day (therefore becoming really “malade”) and had to have a week off work. And then people say we never have any fun? :))

  8. Errrm, there’s nothing slutty in there, is there? Or am I missing something?

  9. Well in spite of our vocal practice in the back of that van, it was very cold and I think I got sick too!
    Nomad, I don’t see any sluts around here? You must be confused. Are you sure you’re not thinking you just posted something on Rob’s blog?

  10. By the way Nomey, the snotty teen was ok but i don’t do under-20’s AT ALL! Why? do you?

  11. What’s wrong with being a SLUT? Absolutly nothing. How come only the virgins were sacrificed? Because they were NOT about to get rid of all the SLUTS! No way. Being a slut saved my life!

    I require someone only be above 18 years of age FYI (and they MUST provide ID). That’s legal here. You can’t argue w/the LAW.

  12. I have been known to do under-20s but I don’t make a habit of it, especially if they are snotty in any way.

    Actually, you may be right, I was confusing your worthiness with Rob’s sluttiness – I apologise to, um, Rob! 🙂

  13. Agh! 🙂

    My blog is hardly slutty, I’m just keep’n it REAL!


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