Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Yet another grève

I was hoping I wouldn't have to post about it because I feel like all I ever do is complain (that's what this country has been doing to me lately), but I officially can't take it anymore.  The RER A has been en grève (on strike) for days now, and I'm starting to get sick of it.  It was originally only supposed to be last Thursday, and I was fine with that because I neither use the RER A on Thursdays nor do I go to la Defense.

However, the strike continued, and on Friday I suffered quite a bit because of this strike.  On Friday mornings I teach two lessons in Rueil Malmaison (on the RER A) and then I have one hour to get from Rueil Malmaison to Ivry for my next two lessons.  Let's just say that on normal days this is already nearly impossible (I'm usually 5-10 mins late), but on Friday it just could not happen.  After arriving to work perfectly fine Friday morning, I was feeling confident.  But then they closed the RER station in Rueil Malmaison.  I ended up having to take a bus from Rueil Malmaison to la Defense, which took an hour.  Then I took the extremely crowded line 1 (because of all the people not taking the RER from la Defense into Paris) from la Defense to Palais Royal-Musee du Louvre to head into Ivry.  Of course then the line 7 decided to hate me and the branch going in my direction wasn't coming for 20 mins.  And the line 7 wasn't even on strike!  So I had to get off at Maison Blanche, walk to the Porte d'Italie, where I of course missed the tram, and so then had to walk to the company.  The entire trip ended up taking me 2 hours and 15 mins and I was hot, angry and tired at the end of it.  Luckily one of my Friday afternoon lessons had been moved to Thursday morning and the girl I saw on Friday (an hour late), is my friend and so it didn't matter and I didn't lose any money.

I figured the strike would end after the weekend, but of course when I got up this morning, the Frenchies were still on strike.  I had a fairly normal trip to work at la Defense this morning, but my trip home this evening was miserable and 30 mins longer than normal.  There were so many people taking the line 1 home that I had to wait in a line that went down two flights of stairs in order to just get onto the overly crowded metro platform.  I wish I had a photo of it, but I couldn't even move my arms.  Once on the platform I had to wait to get into a metro and then be crammed in all the way into the center of Paris where I could finally get off and switch to my line to get home.

When will these Frenchies ever learn that their ridiculous demands are not the problem of the entire French population and that they need to think about someone other than themselves?  I enjoy being in France, but I don't know how long I am going to be able to live with the strikes.  I know that they are a part of France and that you have to get used to them, but after having spent over 3 years in this country, I'm still not used to them and they still make me furious!  And I can't imagine how it will be if there is a two week long metro strike while I have my teaching job...I will lose so much money and be so incredibly angry!  Let's just hope the Frenchies calm down and start thinking about the entire population of the country instead of just their precious fonctionnaire selves!

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