Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Grève et football
Well, today was my second day of work. Because of the strike, I took the longer way to work, which dropped me off far enough away that I had to wait for the shuttle to bring me to the lab. The day went really well, I am getting to know everyone and starting to prepare some experiments. But the adventure really began when I got ready to leave for home. As soon as I walked outside of the lab, I could hear the chants and cries of a huge crowd. I looked across the parking lot and could see the street was completely blocked by people wearing blue. Ok, that's not normal (although with only one day of experience, I'm not entirely sure that's not normal). When I arrived at the bus stop to get back to the train, the road was blocked off, there were lots more people in blue, and police everywhere. The crowds were for the soccer game. I guess I should have figured that out from the train station named "Stade de France" where I get off for work. :-) I listened in on some people who were asking the police about the bus. Basically, no one knew if it was coming or not. Then some things were said that I didn't understand, so after the people stopped talking to the police, I asked one of them if the bus was coming. Sensing my lack of French, the woman switched to English. She works for Saint Gobain too, as did the rest of the people! No one knew if the bus was coming, so we all walked to the station together (and I'm glad we did because soccer fans are a bit crazy-looking!). Despite the grève, we only had to wait for 6 minutes for a train to Paris. And along the way, she told me about a group at Saint Gobain for foreigners. Tomorrow the organizers will stop by my office and sign me up on their email list! Yay!