My meeting with Virginie, the Head of the School of Occupational Therapy in Bordeaux, was an experience. Firstly it was one of the few times that I was on my own without Ian as my interpreter, so I had to depend on my own French. The train from Ste Foy Le Grande was on time and comfortable although not cheap. I arrived in Bordeaux however to find that the public transport system required the use of something like an Oyster card, and as is the case in London, I could not find a convenient place to purchase one. Time was running out so I decided to get a taxi.
Problem number 1- taxi driver was like taxi drivers all over the world and drove off without really knowing where he was going (and as it happened in the opposite direction to where he needed to go) and then proceeded to try and call a number I had to get directions while driving. I put my French into practice and managed to do a very convincing rendition of 'irritable old woman' in French, commanding him to stop the car immediately as it was dangerous to drive when he wasn't looking where he was going. The journey was expensive but I got there in the end!
I arrived and found Virginie. She was about my age, very pleasant and introduced me to her colleagues. "Ahh, she speaks" French, they said. From then on the whole afternoon was conducted in French! I was shown round, we discussed research and why people don't do Masters degrees, the difficulties of working and studying and then they gave me some work to look at! I must admit it is going to take a while to read!
I was exhausted afterwards but quite pleased that I managed as well as I did, although at times I did feel a bit like this!