I had a very hard time waking up this morning, which was odd, because I had slept for like nine hours and that’s how many hours I like to sleep, so, who knows? I probably was just subconsciously avoiding the horror of the day I had in store. I’ll be honest, it was a really good day, but the thing I’ll tell you about later was just so gut-wrenchingly awful that I still feel sick from it. And even though it was fixed much sooner than the Internet fiasco, it made me feel even worse, but this is for later on.
When I did get moving, I was pretty sure that I was going to be late to my last demonstration, but miraculously the trains got me there in just enough time.
I have the opposite reaction to the Chefs in comparison to my peers, almost all the time. When people don’t like them, I do, and if I don’t, they do. It gets annoying when you want to rant about somebody and all anybody does is defend them, where is the fun in that? There is none. Anyway, today’s Chef was the one who likes me, so I was pretty happy. He is one of the two that has a good sense of humor, a quality I look for in all people and am overjoyed when I find it. It gets so tedious being around people who never smile or make a joke or take everything seriously. Such a bummer.
Today’s cake was some chocolate mousse with orange crisp, it all sounds a lot more difficult than it actually is, which is kind of everything in life, I think. Today, on my last day, I began to understand the French obsession with oranges. Unlike in America, we know we have them in California and Florida, but here they are exotic and exciting. When Chef zested the orange, it was such a delightful smell that it made everybody smile — definitely one of my favorite scents.
The freezer and mixer were broken, so that didn’t make anybody too happy, but we all laughed because Chef had to do it the way we had to in practical. We all felt it was a rather karmic moment.
The cake came together quickly, if not smoothly for Chef and soon, he was showing us some magic tricks. They weren’t magic, more science, but that didn’t take the magic from the moment. He had melted chocolate and a chilled baking sheet. He would pour the melted chocolate on the sheet, immediately pick it up and shape it into something. Each time we all gasped with admiration. After that, he made a long strip that he quickly wrapped around one of the cakes, this received an audible intake of breath followed by giggles. This made the Chef rather happy.
The translator and he put on a mime act for some reason, they weren’t the most coordinated, but it was still funny.
Then, he had a can of magic spray, and I use the word magic meaning it. This was some kind of chemical that when you sprayed it, it froze. It was like liquid ice. He put it around the edges of the cake and it was amazing to see ice crystals forming around the edges. I really wanted a can of it, but you have to go to specialty shops to get it. I’ll find one someday.
Soon the Demo was over, and Chef surprised us all with a bottle of Champagne. I’ve been to a lot of schools, but none where we celebrate with champagne in plastic cups, it was classy and tacky at the same time and I loved it.
As I walked out the door, I could hear an excited buzz of chatter. Ilaria rushed to me, smiling, and said, “The grades are posted.”
“Oh, God!” I thought as my stomach plummeted through to the floor. I hadn’t thought about the grades since Monday. I cautiously approached the posted sheet of yellow paper, and managed a sigh of relief when I realized I hadn’t done too badly. I only missed one on the memorization, and scored an 83% on the written part. It wasn’t the best grade, but if it had been graded on the curve, I would have received very high marks, which pleased me to no end. Here’s proof, with everybody’s grade blurred out for privacy.
Feeling rather cheery, I decided to go to the ATM to get some cash to go buy some of that ice cream I’ve been meaning to try, and then feed the birds at Notre Dame, so, off I rode to the Louvre where my conveniently located ATM is. The train was really slow and hot, which was irritating, but, I’d have ice cream soon, so, no worries.
I got to the Louvre, happily put in my card, told it that yes, I’d like a receipt, and that I wanted twenty euros, go! It thought for a minute and then told me that my card was being retained with permission of my bank. I thought it was a joke at first. I’m on a list not to have my card changed. I hit a bunch of buttons, but nothing helped. My card was gone and I would never see it again. I was first sad because it was a pretty orange color, but then the severity of my situation hit me.
I was 4,000 miles away from my money with no way to access it, I only had two euros in change…and needed to go grocery shopping. Immediately I became rather pissed off, and glared at everybody I saw. The train ride home took forever, the entire time I was enacting the rather angry phone call I would place to the bank once I found their number. I would go to my classmate, the one who was a lawyer, and see how much I could sue the bank for, I decided. I probably scared my fellow passengers with my angry breathing and foot tapping, but I was very angry.
Finally, when I was at my stop, I ran across moving traffic annoying both motorists, pedestrians and bikers, then hurried up the stairs. Grabbing the phone, I called the school, Mother would know the number. Nobody answered of course, so I had to transfer to the office. I probably made Connie think that I had sliced off my foot or something, the way I said, I need to speak to Missy Phillips, immediately, but it was an emergency as equally grave.
Turns out, Mother was in Des Moines. I called and said, “Where are you?” She replied, “The bank.” I was silenced for a moment at the dramatic irony in my life, but then let out a stream of vulgarity that she reprimanded me for, until she understood what had happened!
She went off to fix my problem, so I called Dad to complain about the injustices in my life, that was nice.
Soon, she called back and told me that I had to go to a Western Union to collect my money. I have never done that in English, let alone French, so I prepared myself for a rather unpleasant evening, but it turns out that going to the Western Union is fun, kind of like Christmas, only, the money isn’t a gift.
I had to sign papers and give cards and spell things, but I soon had all the money from my account liquidized and into my wallet. I now fear that I’m going to lose it all, but hopefully that doesn’t happen. I need that money until the 19th, when everybody comes to see me, bringing my new card with them.
If it’s not orange, or at least attractive, I won’t be happy.
Today was really stressful, so, I’m exhausted. I think I’ll watch some Daria and then go to bed.