Tuesday, September 11, 2007

My life in Tourcoing has evolved into a regular pattern (that seems doomed not to last for much longer).

On my evening walk home from work I stop at Picard (the amazing frozen food supermarket) and pace up and down the aisles for about 10 minutes procrastinating over whether to buy frozen crab pincers or an elaborate frozen cake. Then I leave with nothing and go across the road to buy a bag of grapes and a packet of home brand smoked salmon from Match (a supermarket).

With these items shoved awkwardly inside my handbag (the fuckers at Match are saving the environment one plastic bag at a time) I continue my walk home alongside a dark and lonely canal, avoiding the occasional dog and coupling bogan (‘chav’ in English, ‘beauf’ in French). I do this quickly; not out of disquietude, but out of cold – I don’t have any winter clothes here and my shoes are silly girly silver sandals.

Then I cross a bridge, and onto my street where I pass the ground floor window of a woman who leans her morbidly obese arms on the window sill, lumpy flesh practically dripping down the side of the wall. She is always there. Then a middle aged man in a tracksuit who appears to be the alpha male among a group of smaller tracksuited males idling in the street wishes me bonsoir, complements me on my hat for the 20th time, and chuckles.

They hold their stares while I unlock the door and enter the house.

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