168 – Job Centre Interview

For thirteen months I saw the same view every morning from my hideout in Queaux. While incredibly beautiful and pleasing to the eye, the physical contours of the image never changed from day to day. Month to month.

Now in Bordeaux every step throws up new scenes. Every corner awash with right angles and curves. Every street exhibiting a new set of uprights and horizontals for my mind to gorge on. There’s so much information. So much data. I feel like a computer plugged into the internet for the very first time.

And that’s just the architecture. Throw into the equation a quarter of a million people walking, running, fighting, drinking, smoking, thinking, laughing, dying, burping, shouting, crying. And it’s no wonder my mind is having a sensory overload and my blog is running out of paper.

On top of all of that I’ve burdened myself with looking for work. Or rather my bank has burdened me. My balance popping up on the screen last week saying OGGERS OLD FRIEND, YOU’VE RUN OUT OF MONEY – JOB TIME!!!!

As a result I’ve got an interview tomorrow down the job centre and I’m terrified of them asking me awkward questions like, ‘What on earth were you doing in Queaux for the past thirteen months. Growing dope?’

Or, ‘Why is your CV so short? What on earth have you been doing for the past twenty years, Monsieur Ogley. Growing dope? And who the fuck is Blogley anyway?’

Name: Philip Ogley (aka Blogley)
Age: 40
Nationality: English
Education: Bac +5
Jobs: Bristol Flyer (barman); Café Rouge (waiter)

I’ve kept it short on purpose. One, I don’t have much time for CVs. Two, I like to keep things brief. And three, if I translated my full CV, I’d have to bring it in on a wheelbarrow. And there’s another reason. An important one.

I’ve been living in France for three years now and yet I don’t officially exist. In Lyon, I was working on an English contract and so didn’t pay French tax. In Queaux, I didn’t work, pay tax or receive anything. Now in Bordeaux, I still don’t exist, so it’s time to join the dots and colour myself in. So at least if I suddenly died I’d be afforded the luxury of a half decent funeral. Instead of being shovelled into the gutter like some half drawn cartoon character.

And finally, as I’m entitled to free French lessons, I’m determined to take them. I can speak French to a half decent level and my pronunciation is not bad, but my grammar is awful. It needs improving so I don’t sound like I’ve swallowed a grammar book with most of the pages missing. I want to blend in. Become part of the city. Be part of the view.


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