Weird jobs

Last week I got together with some relatives whom I don’t get to see very often. The occasion was not the most fun but we did find time to discuss, laugh and talk about something else than the reason why were all gathered that day.

My relatives have never really understood what I do for a living. I’ve told them 300 times but they never seem to remember it. Who can blame them since I barely understand what I do myself and I have had my share of strange jobs throughout the years! It would have been easier if I’d been a doctor, a teacher, a sales-person or even a stripper for crying out loud. They get really confused. My grandmother asked me a few years ago if my Russian studies were still interesting, while in fact, I was studying American literature. (although I did study Russian briefly when I was in high-school).

Last week, a distant cousin asked me if I was still selling coffee in German supermarkets. The question puzzled me at first but I suddenly remembered that I actually did sell Italian coffee in German supermarkets. How crazy was that? How crazy was I?

I remember it was in 1992, I had a whole summer break from university, I jumped on a train to this destination with an exotic name: WUPPERTAL, learned some basic German with some self-study book on the train and started touring Germany selling Italian coffee. I did that for two months and made A LOT OF money! The French accent thing does work in Germany as well and was definitely a great customer magnet, although some were disappointed that I wasn’t Italian.

I wonder how I’ve had time to do all that. Especially considering that I’m 33 years old (a real spring-chicken in other words!) and that I’ve been with the same company for 10 years! I did most of these weird jobs when I was still a student. It was fun, varied. I guess the variation and the fun end when you start a career.

– I cleaned rooms at a hotel in Wyoming (very Brokeback Mountain-ish innit?)
– I was later promoted to bus-boy! (How successful am I?)
– I worked as a Swedish-French interpreter at a soccer cup (very butch)
– In the Navy, I taught French officers to read and write (unbelievable but true!)
– I played in a Danish and a Swedish movie (although it wasn’t the kind of movie you’re thinking about!). The Swedish movie was a short film made by an Egyptian movie maker that nobody has ever heard about. I was a waiter in a Stockholm restaurant, he saw me and asked whether I wanted to play the leading role in his new film. I was highly sceptical but accepted after he told me I really looked like Sean Connery. The movie was a flop and the director never managed to sell it. The plot: I had an alcoholic wife whom I beat in the sofa on a regular basis out of some kind of therapeutic proof of love.
– I taught English to a group of 25 eighty-year old French ladies (I know it’s hard to believe it considering all the mistakes I make in this blog!) Gee, these women were OUT OF CONTROL!
– In Sweden again, for a few months I played the French lover in a radio soap-opera. My part, basically, was to say “Oh mon amour je t’aime” or “I want to make luuv to you on zeu beach” with a very thick French accent. It didn’t go much deeper than that. The program is still aired in Sweden despite its poor quality!
– I did street surveys for some obscure company, asking people to sign up for free apartments-in-Mallorca-kind-of-contest. Many people were totally ripped-off because of me and I never got paid.
– The Swedish government used me as a successful example of integration of a foreigner in the country. I had to tour various schools and exile-centers to show poor Kurds and Iraqis how easy it was to integrate in their new country. I had made it so why not they? To this day, I’m still really ashamed of this experience.
– I gave theater lessons to a bunch of kids although I had absolutely no idea what I was supposed to do.
– Back when I still had hair and cheek bones that showed, I had a brief and unsuccessful modelling career for a leather store in Spain. I had to catwalk wearing 1989-style leather jackets in front of tourists to make them buy the coats. The company asked me to look the old women in eyes and openly flirt with them as I was sashaying since they were the ones making the decision. A few German grannies asked to have their picture taken beside me! Some benefited from the picture session to discreetly touch my tushy.

Now, I’m sure you’ve also had your share of weird jobs, right?

(The pictures above were taken by Favorite Mr. B a few weeks ago at the Palais de Tokyo, Modern Art Museum in Paris and have absolutely nothing to do with this post, as you may have noticed).

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16 Responses

  1. I LOVE the photos, and some of those holiday jobs are amazing!! I particularly like the sound of the radio one. But surely you omitted your career as a lingerie model for “Victor’s Secret”? 😛

  2. I found your film career quite interesting – this young French hunk in an Egyptian movie maker´s film beating a woman in the sofa. My god, that sounds so hilarious. But it sure would have been equally fun to see you wrapped in leather…
    You don´t by any chance remember the name of the movie director? You see, one of my obscure, short careers was working as an assistant to an Egyptian movie director in Stockholm. I helped the poor bastard a bit with contacts to some organizations and writing emails, trying to raise funds for his films, but I never got paid either. But he was honest enough to tell me that in the beginning, so eventually I helped him out of pity and my good heart. Jeez.

  3. You are kidding Sirpelina! How many obscure Egyptian movie makers can there be in Stockholm? I think his name was Hassan. He was quite tall with dark curly hair + glasses. If it’s the same guy and if you by any chance still have contact with him, I’d be so happy to see the film, I saw it once only. It was called “Enkelliv Dubelliv”. He only spoke broken English. I have some pictures of him actually showing one of the actresses how to fake-kiss on the screen.

  4. It got to be the same guy!! Did he often wear a scarf around his neck – kind of strange look? And yes, this guy had dark curly hair and eyeglasses as well, and yes, broken english. I could try to see if I can find any trace of him somewhere. I´m dying to see your film as well!!

  5. oh my god, this would be too cool, I’d have to post it on the blog. It’s soooo bad though. OK, no I won’t post it if you find it. That’s too embarrassing! Do you happen to have his last name? I don’t remember it. But when did you work for him then?

  6. You’re 33? But I thought you were so much…. 🙂

    Stop fishing for compliments about your English – it’s fucking perfect, you stupid frog dish!

    By the way, do you speak it with a French accent?

    About 100km towards the interior of Cape Town, there’s a village called Wuppertal which was founded by German missionaries – I assume they came from the place you talk of. It’s hardly changed in the 150 or more years since it was founded and is entirely populated by ‘coloureds’ and the mission church is the focus of the village. It’s very well known locally for the handmade leather shoes they make. As students, many of us wore them as they are quite rough and ready and we thought them very trendy in a hippy-ish way. Yes, I know that hippy and trendy are not words you normally associate together! Anyway, it’s a beautiful place….visit it when you are next in SA.

  7. I can tell you know that Micke does NOT have a French accent when he speaks English (and you’re right Nomad, his English is perfect) However, sometimes, he has a slight trace of a Swedish one. Which is bizarre. But then sometimes so do I. Which is even more bizarre.

  8. Who doesn’t want a slight Swedish one. Or maybe two!

    Wonderful life experiances Micke! You’re quite fearless taking off as you did to a new place with nothing but your sharp wit, your good looks, and a tube of chapstick.

    Tell us about the sexual escapades you had while in those many places! And I also would like to view your Film Debut! You’re a MOVIE STAR! Do you have a star on Hollywood walk of fame yet? They are giving those out dime a dozen lately!

    For a moment I thought it was one of those “other” films! You know the ones with crappy dialogue and alot of close-ups on the crotch area.

  9. hmmm, seems to me I read something about an escapade with chapstick on another blog… 😉

  10. You are so right Rhino! It must have been my friend Knotty! He long since lost any filter in his brain to stop from saying the REALLY embarresing stuff! His post is right titled I Embarrass Myself.

    What’s odd is reading through his comments for that same particular post. Besides myself… lookie who else left a note! None other than the lovely Bab’s, from Babsbitchin’!

    Bab’s writes:

    Knottyboy, Where I come from they call that really living. I think, you’ve really got me beat though. I had my way with someone on the 37th? floor, going down the stairs at the Washington Monument.

    Of course that’s way back in the 70’s, when I was a young slut. Now I couldn’t get it if I walked naked through Quantico in Va., where I used to live. So I say get it while the gettin’s good and I really think you should plug that to Chapstick, get it… plug lol

    Just humor me ok.

    And Knotty responds:

    I don’t think the skank attraction ever dies. It lies dormant until that fateful day when your picking up your dry cleaning and find yourself with you knickers down around your ankles.

    Oh my, I nearly pissed myself laughing.

  11. HAHA!! I LOVE Babs – is she for real? I thought Knotty’s story was VERY funny, tho’ – excellent!!

  12. I’ve learnt a new word: chapstick. I’ve also learnt a new way to make use of it.

    (had NEVER heard the word before, first I thought you were all talking about CHOPsticks and that chapstick was a typo. Then I read Knotty’s post, and I thought “ouch”, sex on the 5th floor with chopsticks as lube… it took me a while to figure it out…)
    phew…

  13. HA HA! Micke!

    Speaking of chapstick… I need some. All that kissing on my date, and slobbing on each other has really taken a toll on my poor lips!

  14. My French Dish,I’m so jealous of your elustrious life. The only catwalk I was on was the tier in prison they call the catwalk but I walked that bitch like I owned it,(they knew I was crazy, it didn’t matter).Kisses,hugs and a squeeze of the butt!

  15. Oh my Bab’s. Just OH MY! 🙂 HA HA!

  16. yeah, tell us about your sexual escapades!

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