Thursday, November 13, 2008

Down the Drain

I had a bit of a meltdown this evening.

There we were, playing on my TWDB's son's Wii - bowling - when my eldest announces that he needs more cantine tickets.

An innocent enough remark, you may think. Yes, except that he should still have 9 left out of the 20 that I bought him on October 13. Each ticket costs 4.80Eur, so that represents nearly 50Eur lost/stolen/evaporated into the ether.

I was not pleased. He is convinced that they have been stolen from his bag. This is possible, but it strikes me as bizarre that he is losing systematically one ticket per day. Or maybe they all fell out on the train when he took the bag up to Paris. Also unlikely. The wretched things are virulent pink, and if you leave one in a pair of white trousers to go through the wash, the virulent pink transfers itself effectively onto anything it comes into contact with.

It's especially galling as the food is so crappy. You might have heard tales of the fabulous three course meals laid on with wine, candles and waiter service in school cantines but don't believe a word of it. My boys have had to suffer school lunches since they started school, and, while the menus look great, the reality is somewhat disappointing.

They regularly come home like ravening wolves having barely eaten at midday because the food was so foul. Today, for example, my eldest told me he didn't touch the rotton tomato salad, but just had a couple of slices of bread and a yoghurt for lunch. This is bad enough at 4.80Eur, but becomes positively disgraceful at twice the price.

Can they take a packed lunch? No way. Only if they have a doctor's certificat and several forms filled out in quadruplicate to declare some horrific allergy to almost all foods can they bring their own food. I would be quite happy to prepare him some sarnies with little tomatoes and fruit for his lunch. At least he'd be sure of getting something he liked. But, for some reason, French schools totally refuse to accept the idea of a packed lunch.

So I wrote an email to the school this evening to report the problem and ask if they keep tabs on who eats on what numbered ticket. I'm not hopeful for a response. I'm even less hopeful for an answer that means anything. Still, I tried.

By way of banging home how furious I am, however, I have declared that no pocket money will be received until the summer. I will not stand by and do nothing at the loss of such a huge amount of money. This following on the heels of missing the train to Paris and having to top up the purchase of new tickets on one of the busiest days of the transport calendar, in first class, natch.

The evening, which had been progressing so merrily, came to an abrupt halt, rendering me depressed and angry.

Thanks, son!

1 comment:

  1. School lunch was one of the biggest problems for our daughter in elementary school in France. I never could understand why she couldn't take lunch either, but it was absolutely out of the question. She and her pals developed clever ways of hiding the food as they were under the watchful eyes of the nuns of the Catholic school and they detested the idea of anything going uneaten. Strange problem for France, I think...bad food?

    Meilleurs voeux!!


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