I can't get no satisfaction

Today was a day of halves and not-quites.

I had my visite medicale in Clermont-Ferrand, beginning with the lung x-ray at 2pm. I left Vichy at 12:00 because the next train was at 1:07 and wouldn't get me to Clermont until 1:40. I was concerned that I would not have enough time to find the office if I arrived with twenty minutes to spare.

So I arrived at 12:40 instead, looked at my convocation to see the address of the radiography center, and discovered that my appointment was at 2:30, so I was wandering around Clermont for two hours for nothing. I checked out the marché de Noël and the main shopping area at the Place Jaude but didn't find anything to buy. I went to the Fnac and discovered the manga section and was halfway through the sixth episode of Marmalade Boy when I realized I had better get going to my appointment. So I hiked up and down the hills of Clermont and arrived, had to get half-naked in front of a stranger for the x-ray (at least it was a woman this time), then realized that I had two and a half hours to spare.

Harry Potter happened to be showing just at 3pm, so I bought a ticket. After I sat down in the theater, I realized that the movie is actually 2 hours and 40 minutes long, while I had 2 and a half hours and before my appointment. I also realized that I had no idea where I was supposed to go for this appointment. As I was realizing all this, half an hour passed and they still hadn't started the movie. The lights went down, and they played a million years of commercials (including the stupid naked Italian Nescafé man who is at the beginning of every movie I see and who I would like to strangle with his towel the next time it falls off) and previews. THEN they started the movie. In other words, I was obliged to leave before the movie was over, and did not quite get to finish it. Please do not speak to me about anything that happens after Harry goes "HAAAAAAAAGRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIID!" or I will be very upset.

After this joyous occasion, I exited the mall that the movie theater is in, only to find that it was dark and raining and 5:30pm, when I had to be at the doctor's before 6 at the latest. I thought I might be able to find my way, but I got lost and very luckily found my way back to la gare, where I was able to find a taxi and pay the handsome price of 6,10€. I thought I was pretty clever, getting a ride to this unknown location for 6,10€, until the cab driver gave me a card with the company's number on it, for the ride home. Ah yes, the ride home. Hadn't really thought about that one - I had only thought about the getting-there half.

I went to Dr Suss's office where they pointed out that they had two records for me. They decided to fill out half of them and to let the Office of International Migration worry about it. Then I had my check-up, which was not quite a check-up, but more of a really stupid interview with the half-wit doctor that could have been done over the phone, which would have saved me the 6,10€ on cab fare plus the wasted 8€ for half of Harry Potter. He asked me how tall I was, how much I weigh, whether I wear glasses, and if I had any health problems. That's all. I suppose I had to come in so he could tell if I was telling the truth, but who cares? Were the answers so important that it would have made a difference if you were telling a half-truth? Perhaps if you were missing a few limbs and bleeding all over the floor, he would have deduced that you had been attacked by wolves and that, therefore, you were not in tip-top condition. Apart from that, ça servait à rien.

I decided that I would walk back to the train station, or that I would at least walk halfway there and call a taxi once I didn't know where I was going anymore. Luckily, I paid attention on the way there, so retracing my steps wasn't that difficult. I made it all the way back to the station on foot, thereby only having to pay for half of my aller-retour between the station and the doctor's office. As I walked, I ate half an apple. Then I ate the other half. Now I am just padding the number of times I can say half in this story. Anyway, I got to the station and bought an entire ticket and got on the train and had an entire compartment to myself for the whole trip from Clermont to Vichy, so things obviously were looking up at that point.

srah - Wednesday, 11 December 2002 - 3:21 PM
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