[Author’s note: I started to write this entry last week before skipping town for Paris. Decided to finish it up and post it. I’ll milk this story for as much sympathy as I can get.]
Despite frustrations with the bank, my cell phone, buses, etc., I’ve spent most of my time so far in France in a euphoric daze, skipping around with a huge grin on my face.
Sadly, the euphoric daze crashed to a halt last Wednesday night. I realize that this is par for the course, a completely typical point in the very predictable emotional cycle that one experiences when one goes abroad. This Classy Broad abroad, however, is having none of it. Let me explain.
After nearly a month without a phone, I had finally gotten my phone the past Friday evening. For a number of reasons, I decided to splurge on an iPhone, which should have been great, but the guy who set it up somehow (accidentally?) put parental controls on it, rendering its internet capabilities completely useless. I couldn’t even check the weather.
(Why does that kind of thing happen to me? I never decided whether he thought it was funny to mess with me or whether he’s simply an idiot.)
I had been to the store four times in three days to sort it out and it still wasn’t working, so needless to say, the evening commenced in a state of frustration before it got worse. Much worse.
That night I:
1. did laundry for the first time since leaving the foyer, and I’m still reeling at how expensive the laundromats are here. In one night, I spent—no joke—18E on washers and dryers. That’s nearly $25 US. You Americans who think it’s a pain to collect quarters: consider yourselves lucky.
2. somehow lost my good pair of mittens. I still don’t know how it happened and I’m so annoyed at myself for it. I have such poor circulation in my fingers that they once went white inside a sauna. No joke. For a person like me, outrageously expensive down-filled mittens were worth every penny, but I simply cannot afford to replace them. Thus, this little kitten who lost her down-filled mittens is going to have blocks of ice attached to her paws until March or April.
3. realized just how little money I have to last until the end of November, which is super stressful and really depressing.
4. went to McDonald’s for the internet, only to have it cut off abruptly when I was in the middle of something, which is so irritating when you otherwise would have resisted the temptation to buy a 2E50 McFlurry, so I left to find that
5. my helmet had been stolen. Seriously?! Okay, so, this part was a little bit my fault—by which I mean, entirely my fault for not locking the helmet with the bike (because I never do, because someone could steal it really easily anyway if they just cut the strap)—but that doesn’t make it any less infuriating.
[Interesting side note: when I scrape together enough pocket change to replace it, it will be the fourth helmet that I’ve bought in about 18 months, but only the first one that I’ve had to replace due to theft. I’ve been leaving my helmet unlocked in a city full of poor, dirty bike hipsters with no formal moral code (Minneapolis) for three years, and no one’s ever so much as moved it, so you’d think I could leave my helmet unlocked in a city full of clean cut Catholics who are supported by their parents.]
That was the point that I shook my fist in the air and cursed Angers with all of the rage that I possess. And my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad night still wasn’t over.
As I began to put away my $25 worth of clean laundry, I pulled on a drawer only to have the front of it break off in my hands. Thanks, IKEA. This would have been comical if I hadn’t been having such a bad night, but considering the mood I was in, it was yet another mishap too many. I tried to “fix” it, by which I mean I yanked and slammed and cursed at it. I’m glad my roommate wasn’t there to see me. Life chucked a bunch of lemons at me that night and I was not about to make lemonade. I made a temper tantrum.
It’s all okay now. I still have no good mittens and no helmet, and I have even less money, but that’s because I skipped off to Paris for the weekend! So that’s what I’ll tell you about next time on EJ in Angers.