Week 4- People you can expect to meet working on a campsite in the middle of nowhere.

July 28, 2015
Today commemorates a month in France and I'm going to take this opportunity to reflect on the characters whom I have met so far (and also warn my uni friends of people they may meet.) Spending boozy Friday nights at the local bar, I've found myself habituating with new characters each week. Meeting new people is also a facile task thanks to the revolving door of a bar that I work in. The region in which I'm situated in is incredibly popular with British people- in a nearby town of Eymet, Brits make up around 40% of the population- yet the site that I work on relies on mainly Dutch and French customers, with a few British thrown in for good measure. What can I say? I'm getting the full European experience.

I've learnt very quickly that the Dutch customers are amongst the happiest and friendliest people that I've ever met; each year that I've worked on a camp-site, they've always been my favourite people. In my humble opinion, I sometimes feel that the British could learn a thing or two from the Dutch; not only do they seldom complain but they also see the cheery side in everything- it's raining whilst they're camping? No problem, the kids won't burn as they swim in the lake. I poured too much foam in the beer? No worries, the Dutch always tell me how much they "love head". (They don't mean it to come across that way, but the teenager inside me always has to stifle a laugh). The families are also unbelievably attractive also, with white hair and tanned skin and not to mention having height on their side with the Netherlands being the tallest nation in Europe. Sometimes, the cheeriness boarders on annoying especially when you're woken each morning at 6.00am by a whistling Dutch Dad as he dismantles the tent and loads the car reading for their 14 hour drive back home.
Dutch children are so blonde!

I've come to recognise two types of English people in this region. The first are the ones that own holiday homes in Sigoules and have just "popped over" for a few weeks, as you do. Each English person that I've met who owns a holiday home here tend to be the most stuck up and rude people I've met so far. My favourite specimen of this group I met during my first week. The three gobshites loved my "Northern"(?) accent and laughed after everything I said as if I were some country bumpkin. They looked like they'd just stepped off the Made In Chelsea set as they attempted to chat up the French locals. Unfortunately, they weren't the only of their kind that I met. In fact, only last Friday I met an English woman and her brother who were staying at the family holiday home. Her first words, which came out as slurs, where "We're not married. We're brother and sister." Make of this what you will, but for me, this was a bizarre first impression. She proceeded to enlighten us of her very privileged life and upbringing. She reminded me very much of Bridget Jones, after she'd been spiked with magic mushrooms, except much less friendly and loveable.  

A hot bed of rich English people
The second kind of English people I've met are the ones who have traded a what-would-be dull English life in hope of finding happiness in a croissant and coffee. One example of this is Chris, who I met on Friday also. Chris was from Leicester, originally however decided that the vineyards of the Dordogne called and took his plastering business across the channel. He told me he'd been living here for four years now, and when I asked him if he spoke French he said no. In fact, I'd be quite confident in saying that my younger sister spoke more French than him. Poor guy. I also felt like he'd kept himself to himself quite a lot seeing as he companions for that night were two 20 year old Dutch chaps whose families also happened to own a holiday home here. I'd had felt sorry for him, if he weren't a prize dick who spoke only about his sexual exploitations during the past four years.

Even the British camping customers are very upper class here and tend to come to stock up their wine cellars (how the other half live). Perhaps my most bizarre encounter so far were an oddly matched English couple compromising of an ex nurse from Sheffield and an elderly bumbling photographer who reminded me of Winnie the Pooh. They spent an hour or so telling me how they were best selling authors and urged me to look on his website. When they left, I did so, and found that they were indeed best selling authors- of 'none patronising encyclopaedias about the fascinating and erotic world of sex'. I was stunned to say the least. Winnie the Pooh he was not. 

This has point in being here- the sky just looks beautiful.

And finally, we come to the French. French customers are the frustrating nocturnal creatures who love nothing more than to come for a drink at 22.30 as we're closing and order several rounds. This perhaps won't come as a surprise when I say they complain about everything- you only need to look at the recent headlines to see this. It's great fun practising my French with them and I really feel like I'm improving, but they are perfectionists in every sense of the word and get impatient when you make a mistake. They are also not shy to tell you what you're saying is wrong, decide you're no good at French and turn the conversation to English. 

That tends to be almost everybody I've met so far in a nutshell, and it's definitely been different to the calibre of people I'd meet working at the Toby Carvery on a Friday night. Perhaps no less interesting, but different, to say the least. I've only a month left which I hope allows me enough time to actually have adventures away from Sigoules or the camp site- I'm counting down until my parents visit with a car. 

My usual weekly round up- maybe I'm just spoilt but the weather's not been very hot at all at 27 degrees, my Dutch is rapidly improving and on Thursday I got so bored that I tidied the house.

Until next week!

Post Comment
Post a Comment