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This is a question Desperate Times

Stranded in a hotel in an African war zone with no internet access for two weeks, I was forced to resort to desperate measures. Possessing only my passport and the clothes I stood up in; and the warning "You can catch it shaking hands with a vicar out there" ringing in my ears, I had to draw my own porn in order to preserve my sanity.

Alas, it all came out looking like Coronation Street's Audrey Roberts, but, as they say, any port in a storm.

What have you done in times of great desperation?

(, Thu 15 Nov 2007, 10:10)
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Are you talking to me?
I mentioned before that I spent some time working as an English language assistant in a French school. As if simply being in France wasn't bad enough, I had been banished to an isolated rural nowhere of a town, and put up in a spare broom cupboard in the school itself.

Through a combination of being a generally shy person and being surrounded by miserable French people who had a phobia about foreigners, I had little human contact from day to day beyond the time I spent teaching class. This was pre-internet and pre-mobiles so I spent a LOT of time alone and without any form of social interaction.

It all came to a head one day during a two-week school break. Too poor to afford a ticket home for the holiday I was stuck in my room again, no classes and indeed no-one else in the school whatsoever. I decided that today was a day to shave. Standing at the sink, it suddenly dawned on me that for some time I had been conversing with myself in the mirror. The worst part being that I was not freaked out: in fact, after shaving I decided that it would be a good idea -- not mad at all -- to use my tape machine to record myself talking (describing what I could see out the window) and then listen to it. Over and over again.

Another afternoon, I spent three hours watching the smoke from an incense stick drift out the window. And no, I was not on any drugs.

And people ask me why I hate France so much.
(, Mon 19 Nov 2007, 12:43, 4 replies)
I hear ya
Christ, that's rough. I had a very similar experience but two short years ago. The French don't change.
Thankfully the school was near enough to Paris for me to up sticks there, though I was stupid enough not to quit there and then and spent a miserable nine months trying to flog a semblance of comprehension into the hyperactive/borderline psychotic little chiards.

The British Council has a lot to answer for.
(, Mon 19 Nov 2007, 13:10, closed)
Ah, memories...
"spent a miserable nine months trying to flog a semblance of comprehension into the hyperactive/borderline psychotic little chiards"

Haha, that sounds familiar. However, in defence of the little darlings that I was supposed to teach, I really was a crap teacher and probably about as enthusiastic about being there as they were.
(, Mon 19 Nov 2007, 13:25, closed)
Man, that's lonely
I talk and sing to myself all the time, but when I get to the stage of recording my own voice I think i'll go for a nice long walk (off a short pier, :D)
(, Mon 19 Nov 2007, 14:40, closed)
The lovely British Council...
I can sympathise a little with you plight! I'm a language ass. out in Dijon right now, luckily it's seems like it's going a little better than your time in France, but aaaaaaaaaaaargh god how I hate the lessons! For some reason I'm having a few problems trying to appear enthusiastic about teaching a lesson on ASBOs at 8am on a grey friday morning to a classroom-full of braindead 16 year olds.
Oh well, the plentiful flow of wine here in Burgundy is more than compensation.
(, Tue 20 Nov 2007, 0:48, closed)

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