france

Canada and GSM Providers

Bell Canada GSM Network

For all those who read my blog and are unaware of the absolute archaic usage of technology in the vastlands of Canada, let me indulge you for a few moments. A few years ago, Rogers, of Rogers Communication launched the first Canadian GSM service. This was approximatey 3 years behind all other worldwide standards. The costs were exponentially large, and in addition to that, it was a complete monopoly on the market.

The leading competitors in the country are Telus, and Bell Canada. These providers only had service on CDMA or whatever it was called, in other words the archiac and non-standard. The above image demonstrates the irony and the ‘pride’ of ‘Canadian Technology.’ (cough)

To put this into context. I had a Rogers SIM card in Septermber of 2006 when I left for France. I arrived in the country, and my SIM card was defunct, and unable to connect to any networks in France, Germany or the UK. What a kill-joy, I thought! So I got myself a French Orange SIM card there, and I still retain the same number, aren’t I fab?! I come back to Canada and keep my mobile, refusing to go back ot Rogers, for their horrible Pay-As-You-Go, or ‘prepaid’ options.

Did you know that currently at the time it’s a minimum of 35¢ to send (or receive) an SMS. That comares to the approximately 0.05? charges that I was incuring with a prepaid account in France. And so then I went back to France, and then to Sweden and got a SIM card from Tele2/Comviq, and the charges for a prepaid were approx. 1kr, which is basicaly pennies. I come back to Canada with the Swedish SIM and incurr even higher charges, although I must note that I did have roaming and was able to at least connect to a network, albeit only one.

What is the reason for this rant? Bell Canada has gone GSM this week, and unveiled a new 3G network that I’m thinking of joining. I absolutly refuse to join Rogers again, due to major customer service issues, and their horribel monopoly. I never went Bell because I’ve always had a GSM phone. The delema remains, but I have to give props to Bell and Telus for stepping it up to generate some competition and move to crush Rogers.

Should I get a Bell SIM card, and test the waters? I think I may go to the mall tomorrow to enquire about their montly charges, if any, service charges (which may be high), and what it would cost to back out of the contract.

What say yee; bloggers?

Pizza Hut in France

Pizza Hut

What kind of habits do I have? Well for one every Sunday, and sometimes Wednesdays I go over to our local Pizza Hut, at Anciennes Boucheries to get myself a couple pizzas at a low price of ?15,90. I always get the same thing: pepperoni, bacon strips (lardon), and green peppers. I always use the first part of my surname to order, for siplicity purposes, and I always have a good laugh when I get my receipt which bears my “name”

It appears that the people at Pizza Hut, Caen are unable to spell, despite me spelling the name for them. They are cute, they see me all the time, and thus I’m a regular, but they clearly don’t pay attention. You’d think they’d have me on file, but in order to show you what I mean please find the attached list of spellings made…

Rhyes
Reyns
Rewons
Rehss
Reews
Rawhs
Eels
Eews; my fav thus far
Eeu

Isn’t that just a bloody killjoy? I always laugh when leaving, after being a little flirty, and the police officers that are parked outside alas stare at me like I’m a crazy.. great!

Weariness of ados

Upon laying comfortably on my bed and observing the happenings of my laundry on the floor, needing soap to watch them, I reflected on something that I found quite useful in my life. During my younger years, I had a wonderfully inspiring teacher named Ms. Perrier, who not only was kind and gentle, but the kind of soul that makes children at that age shine and have brilliance. In this class I was exposed to acting, where I was a star. Also creative writing, where I wrote my first story. As well to the wonders of drawing on someone elses back whilst sitting on the carpet listening to crappy religious stories. You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours: good deal.

In any case, despite being exposed to the cutest animal ever: the manatee, we had a certain project here which helped my skills in, ghasp, spelling I am useless in the subject, but thanks to her and her efforts I became quite a bit better. How did we achieve such great progress you wonder? Well we had cue-cards, and the little boxes that you put cue-cards in. When we made mistakes or found new words we wanted to learn, we would have to write them on the cue card with their definition(s). This was a wonderful reference to always look up the words that I spelled incorrectly.

Now if only the French could develop such a little box in which to put the cards, and it would work well for me and my students. Alas, encore une fois dans la merde.

A week of strikes

What does living in the French Republic mean exactly?  It means the same thing that it does in every other republic in the world. People have rights. People have rights, despite their age, race, religion, or gender. And the French, among others decided that they want to exercise their rights a little bit more than other people. More specifically they like to exercise their right to go on strike. But who would think that students, under-aged citizens, can walk out on classes without anyone saying or doing anything? The students, are on strike.

Jules Verne 01Jules Verne 02

I went to school on Tuesday, looking forward to my love students in 2deDTB, TGEN, and 2deEuro classes. What I found, was empty classrooms, and students rioting outside the school. I was able to get in, via the teachers entrance, and was thenceforth trapped until after lunch. My students, despite being the age of fifteen and clearly unable to understand educational reforms, have decided to walk out on classes in protest. Around the school, Lycée Technique Jules Verne in Mondeville, they have set up barricades and prevented me from exiting despite being a teacher. What did I do? Climbed a fence like a freak, in order to get to Lycée Charles de Gaulle in time. I did, but found students striking there also.

CaenCalendar.01

This continued from Tuesday until Friday. I went to classes each day awaiting students, waking up early, having lesson plans prepared, and no students. They have all taken to the streets in protest, and by consequent I’ve got nothing better to do than sit around and read cheesy novels, or listen to people bitch and complain about the current economic problems. In order to better spend my time, I took a walk around the city looking for presents, and organising myself in appropriate manners. What did I find? People throwing cherry bombs at me, interuptions in transport, and harrasment because of the strikes. I wasn’t even involved in them at all and I nearly took someone’s eye out because a cherry bomb exploded near my foot. It took me 1.5hr to get from the train station, to my house, because of traffic problems. A journey that usually takes 15 minutes, took six times longer. I’m not impressed. I believe in expression of freedom, but education is paramount.

In the above calendar, extracted from my iCal, and Google Calendar, outlines my week. Please note that everything in blue are my classes, and I didn’t have a single one of them… at all.

What do I have to say to students? Go back to classes, bitches. I’m bored, and I want to teach you. Otherwise you will become stupid and useless, ’nuff said!

Lycée Charles de Gaulle

 

Caen.06

This is my education institution that I work at. It’s modern, and when I say modern, I mean it’s one hell of a lot more modern than even SWMSS was at it’s opening. Everything feels so fresh and new, despite the fact that the school has been open for quite a long time.

I filled in my administration forms and the secretary kept saying how lovely and wonderful I spoke French. All of the other foreign people that she had to deal with didn’t understand anything, or were just rubbish. This made me smile. I already impressed the administration people, who, like other people in offices, are so heinously lazy you have no idea. “I have too much work to do” should replace the national motto. It makes me laugh.

Soon I will being my full time working, having a nice little salary to fill my already existing French bank account at BNP Paribas. Again the woman at the office was surprised that I already had one. Guess I was the uber smart one to keep it open. Take that world, bwhaha!

I met some of my colleagues in the English department, who all speak English on a varying degree of comfortability. Most are okay, and decently equipped with skills, but the thing that has shocked me most is that the entire faculty has been so accepting and friendly towards me. When I am bored I just go to the staff room and hang out and they chat me up, literally. They even are surprised that I can express myself so eloquently. I can’t participate in theological or political conversations (obviously) but I listen and smile as other non-political people do. I truly love them, they make me so happy!