Thursday, July 23, 2009


Waffle dude gave me a "jour d'essaye" on Wednesday. I got up at 4am to go and work my butt off for him, and then after it all, he said he'll maybe call me in September. And I received 0 dollars, for making a zillion fruit-filled waffles. How is that legal? Boyfriend says he thinks it's not, but I have no idea other than to feel like I just got had, and spent 6.50 Euros on the transit to go and get had. WTF. Not to mention it was like, 45 degrees in there without any ventilation, and *ridiculously* BAD health and safety stuff overall. Oh yeah...and for the whole day I got one 5 minute break. We're still trying to figure out what to do, if anything about this.

Today I had an interview with "Point Chaud", which is a big cafe/boulangerie/pâtisserie/sandwicherie chain here. Boyfriend said he has more confidence that they would pay for a jour d'essaye since they are a big company, but at this point I have to say that when the guy I did the interview with told me he'd like to schedule me for a jour d'essaye next week in their factory... my stomach turned. But, since I don't really know how things work here I smiled and said ok. And felt like an easily exploited foreign person who was possibly setting themselves up to get screwed over again. Fortunately this interview was brought my way by an agence interim, so I'm off to call her after this to find out about this whole "is it legal not to pay for a jour d'essaye?" question.

It was on the bus home from this interview where I began to think that though I don't feel particularly homesick, I really feel heresick. I'm really tired of taking all the ridiculous crap administrative and otherwise that goes on here. I'm tired of the fact that here, even to work in a factory, supposedly you need to have been educated on working in a factory. Yes... the Belgian education system streams the dumb kids into a group called "professional", which means they are learning in highschool how to sell clothes, or how to be a cashier or someone working the line in a factory. I really feel like I just don't fit in this society, like there is no place for me in it, like I don't have the resources to carve myself out a place that would fit me, and like I'm not sure I agree enough with the way it functions to want to. And to top it off, my main motivation for being here is in a fragile state. I feel my mind telling my heart to try to go to sleep. And it's right. Dealing with all of this would perhaps be easier if I could just be hard, and clinical in my way of seeing the situation I'm in. But I am here, most of all, because of my heart.

So, us. We went to Bristol and caught the Banksy show which to me, was underwhelming. (Bristol however is a very neat city that I'll be back to I think at some point.) Our relationship is still very tenuous, but we are trying to talk through our problems and work at it. It's obvious that we love each other, but it's also obvious we are under way too much stress and that we are both suffering from our worries a little too much to be able to be as careful with each other as we probably need to be. I have to say that with this situation I can't help but think that we both feel in our own ways a little more each day like I may not find a way to function in this society, or even to survive, at least not in time, and then what? It's a pressure we don't need right now, and I would just really like for someone to take a chance on me, job-wise. At least then I'd feel like I'd have that chance, to continue to live here and try to make it work with someone I think is an amazing person. I would feel like it might give us the breathing room we need to sort things out under a little less pressure. I'm not even getting my hopes up much anymore with the job-stuff though, I'm just trying to push as much as I can each day.   If I can't find a way, I'll be packing, and I don't think we could survive another spell apart.  It is too difficult to not know when you will see the person you love next.

So here I am, still staring down through the cellophane at that big scary hole, while my mind rolls up it's sleeves a little bit further and tries singing lullabyes to my heart. "Go to sleep and don't look too closely at this part. It's not for delicate things like you, my fragile heart."

1 comment:

Mons Ben said...

Hey, that was a very short comment about Bristol and Banksy! But, I share your 'underwhelmed' verdict of the exhibition (almost wrote exposition. You know you can speak a little French when...).

For me, the main problem was the exhibition itself. It doesn't seem right, or in keeping with everything Banksy is/was meant to be about. His brand of street art is of course still technically graffiti and vandalism, and the illegality of it is what gives it its appeal. It somewhat lost its 'coolness' and mystique by becoming just another exhibition.

It was also too much. Felt like an assault on the senses; too much to take in in one go. And his work really wasn't meant to be seen like this. Its beauty is in its, 'now what's he going to produce next?' factor.

I still think individually the pieces are mostly brilliant, and I still love Banksy. He is now a Bristol icon after all. (And supports my football team!).

Would love to know what you saw of Bristol. Ok, c'est tout.

I'm really enjoying your blog, Jessica. It's funny reading it from the beginning knowing that all this stuff is now months out of date.