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Thursday, November 8, 2012

A miserable day

Today, all the planets in some distant galaxy must have aligned ever so precisely to make sure that I would experience the suckiest day that I have in a long time. Today was one of those days where nothing is right and everything that could go wrong does.
Rewind to this morning, when I woke up on the wrong side of the bed (which is quite difficult given my size and the fact that I sleep on a single bed – there really is only one side). I then proceeded to get off on the wrong foot, skipping my morning shower because I unconsciously hit snooze one time too many (but mostly because I couldn’t be bothered).
As usual, I took the 40-minute bus ride to the campus in Sophia Antipolis, which can be sucky even on normal days, only to arrive 5 minutes late to class and thus not partake in the ceremonious handshaking with everyone which meant that I didn’t get my morning oxytocin and serotonin boost.  
The first class was not particularly stressful; in fact, its relative uneventfulness makes it the high point of my day. Oh, but the second class certainly got my stress levels rising. It was a new subject, Logic, where we learned why statements like “if the moon is green with blue spots, then 3 = 2” are logically true. This would have been fine, but it’s presented in French, of course. This too, would normally not be too much of a problem, if it weren’t for this one guy in class who’s just obnoxiously loud, and who, quite the contrary to me, was extra full of energy and loudness today.
Naturally, this not only pissed me off intrinsically, but his constant interjections and loudly-and- excitedly-voiced-in-such-a-hurry opinions certainly didn’t help my understanding what the lecturer was trying to say, which pissed me off even more. The class lasted only one hour, but even that felt like too long because the whole time I was restraining myself from choke-slamming the fucker. At one point I became so mad that I caught myself saying “I’m gonna shoot him,” and the girl sitting next to me said something like “me first.” Luckily I only had those two classes today, so I could leave around 12pm to go to the CROUS de Nice-Toulon (something like the immigration department) to get my titre de séjour (residency card). The plan was to get there around 1.15 pm, so I could be early and beat the crowd (the titre de séjour can only be collected on Thursday afternoons between 1 pm and 3.45 pm, so if you’re late, the whole of China is already there, making a queue as long as the Great Wall)
I went to the school library to make a copy of my récépissé de demande de carte de séjour (residency card application receipt) so I could give it to the caisse d’allocation familiale while I’d hand in the original to the CROUS de Nice-Toulon in exchange for my new titre de séjour. Then I made my way back to Nice, where I thought I’d just pop into a tobacconist’s to buy the revenue stamps that I needed for the immigration department. Of course, I’d completely forgotten that this is France, and the tobacco shops are closed for lunch.
At that point, it was 1 pm and I was already kicking myself for not getting the stamps earlier; so much for getting to the immigration department early – now I’d have to wait until 2 to get the stamps. Not wanting to delay things more than I already had, I went on to look for the CROUS, as well as identify the tobacco shop that’s the nearest to it, so I could later quickly dash to get the stamps and run over to the CROUS.
Unfortunately, my sense of direction failed me, as it usually does, and I could not recall how to get to the CROUS. I’ve only ever been there once before, so I wasn’t particularly shocked that I couldn’t remember the way. I did get annoyed with myself a little though, but I only completely lost my head when my phone’s GPS started acting really jumpy, as if purposely screwing with me and my already unstable state of mind.
At that point, I was already terribly upset, but I tried my best to keep my calm and I eventually found the place, and located a nearby tobacco shop. However, just as I’d feared, the whole of China really was there, and the queue was so long that it went right through the entrance and onto the roadside. I nearly lost all hope, when suddenly I received a call from my university’s librarian, informing me that I’d left my récépissé in the photocopy machine - and that’s when I finally lost all hope. That was the final straw, and the camel’s back wasn’t broken – its whole skeletal structure disintegrated and it fell to the ground and died.
And that’s when I said “fuck it all,” cried my way home, and called it a day.
I’m telling you, the planets in a faraway galaxy aligned today to make sure I’d be completely miserable.

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