Thursday, July 09, 2009
On Feeling Stupid in Your Own Country :s
As i said already, i'm a french girl living in Mexico. And i am telling you, i am so used to live there that i tend to lose track of where i'm coming from initially. I don't speak french there, only english and spanish and this is not being snob for me to constantly search for my words when i go visit friends and family back to the country i used to call "home". Point made.
When i got there on a monday, my lil'bro took care of me. I didn't even have to go outside buy a baguette (i left my stripped marinière shirt at home so couldnt possibly go anyway!!!). So when i booked my train ticket online and paid with my expiring french credit card, i felt like the queen of the world. Euros? No big deal at all!
Upon arriving to the train station, i had to go pick up my ticket at the counter and they ask for my card again, just to make sure i hadnt found it on the street and used it to pay my tickets and splurge online ... That's when the guy on the other side of the counter told me "dial your code please". My code? What do you mean? Say that again? Your code!! The 4 digit code of your card! Oooooh, oh yeah, hum, what? Code? Fuck! Fuckfuckfuck i don't have the bloody code i never use the damn card!
Sir i dont have the (bloody) code i'm afraid :s but i already paid online just print the ticket and hop! listo! Ah, you need a hard copy of the card and my code to do that? Well it expired yesterday anyway so what's the point? Print the damn ticket for crying out loud i paid for it and my train leaves in 12 minutes.
Well the guy most probably thought i was extremely limited or just plain stupid and after complaining not even discretly, he started the cancelation procedure to charge it on my mexican card. When i handled him my card, he told me, please sign here. Hold on, you're not gonna ask me the code on this one? No, because i know it! This card i know the code. Come on. Mmm. As soon as i signed up the receipt he told me: your train leaves in 6 minutes. Get going! If you miss it come back to see me (embarrassment #1).
He must have hated me since he gave me a seat with someone already sitting on it. So i did it the mexican way and sat on someone's else seat that nobody ever came to claim :)
Since i have cash on my french card, i'd rather use this one here to avoid big taxes ... But i still dont know the damn code. So i went to my bank to withdraw cash at the counter ... the lady told me: you do have a credit card to withdraw money directly at the ATM, so you dont have to queue here (embarrassment #2). Yeah thank you i KNOW that. I just cant remember the bloody damn code so it's basically a plastic rectangle that i have no use of (embarrassment #3 - i thought this kinda crap only happened to old people, well apparently not).
She kindly said that no problem, she'll re-edit the code for me and i'll receive it in a few days. Cool. In the meanwhile, she did gave me another card and told me, with this one you can withdraw right now at the ATM. Ah ok. I looked at the card, there's nothing written on it, just looks like a hotel card to turn on the lights and i headed to the ATM, skeptical. How does this crap work? I mean i still dont know the code! And she didnt give me any. That's when she shouted through the bank's lobby telling me: just put the card in the ATM, it's already pre-set! (and i swear i managed to read in her eyes: you dumb ass, with everybody else's looking at me with that same "you dumb ass" eyes ... Embarrassment #4).
It's when i go to a store that things get tricky. Especially at the cashier. There you go miss, it's 8 euros and 42 cents. I have never lived in Europe since the euro was introduced so i have no freaking clue. I use US dollars and Mexican pesos but i dont know why, euros seem more complicated to me. Go figure. So here i am, a french citizen, speaking next to perfect french with the people around and struggling to sort out the coins. So when the lady, after a few seconds of surprise (she probably thinks i just got out of jail and forgot how money works) helps me saying "the big white coin is 2 euros and you should also use a grey bill of 5 euros), the little remaining pride i have is going down the drain in a split second ... Embarrassment #5.
I went to visit my cousin, my mom lent me her car. Gaz tank being empty, i stopped at the gaz station ... And waited. And waited. And waited some more. Damn it aren't they slow. Then a car stopped at the pump next to me and the guy driving it looked at me weird but asked "are you ok?" Well no i am not ok where is the guy to fill up my tank? He told me, well, here, you'll have to do it yourself. Damn it, really ? (embarrassment #6). Yep, he said, you put your card in the machine and go help yourself. Holy crap, haven't done that in 10 years, i had forgotten :s
I opened the gaz thingy and then i don't know why, i couldnt open the second one inside. I was turning it right than left and nothing. It was exactly like something turning on itself but not opening. Where is the guy at the other pump? Damn it he left already. So i waited and waited some more for another car to pull in. I felt great when i saw a car pulling in with 2 guys in. Perfect. Hmm, excuse me sir, i can't seem to open my gaz lid, could you help me? (embarrassment #7). He laughed. The bastard LAUGHED. And he asked me if i had just woken up. And he showed me, see, it's like the medicine boxes with a protection for the kids, you need to push then turn. Well i've never managed to open anything with kid's protection, that's probably why ... (embarrassment #8). So with the lid open, i checked on the screen what was to be done next: please insert your code. Oh dear. Again? I got it now, just received it yesterday. Damn it what was it again? Oh yeah. Fuck, what a pressure! "PLEASE WAIT" ... code correct. Woohoo. What a relief. I was so excited to have dialed my code properly that i almost forgot to check what was next. Select your gaz. Unleaded. Jeez, unleaded 95 or 98. WTF? What do i know. Back home we only have one. The other one is super. It's red or green. Not green or green. Hmmmm, shit, ok 95. I hope it's the good one i hope it's the good one i hope it's the good one. And then you know the machine is super vicious ... After i've selected the unleaded 95, she wrote: you have selected unleaded 95. Are you sure? Fuck no, i'm not sure, now i'm doubting even more. Can't you know which one my car needs? Damn it. Yes i am sure (not i'm not). Ok then they tell you go help yourself (when i wanted to tell her something way ruder!!). And then my good samaritan at the pump next door (who had finished his filling in no time since he knows how this thing works), asked me: "you're gonna be ok to close the lid or do you need another hand for that?" Bastard (embarrassment #9).
Well, maybe that's enough embarrassment for the day ... Reason why i decided to locked myself inside. No i dont want to see anybody, i dont want to use my card anymore nor paying anything. Can someone be 100% in charge of my poor little self? Like when i was 5 years old? Cuz it's exactly the way i've been feeling since i got here ...