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La Belle France

Dear Mr Vogel

Long time no dig... I’m just writing to update you on the school situation. Yes, I’m still there. And yes, it’s still crappy. But... We got to go on a school trip to France last month. And oh, what a wonderful time we had. Mainly.

Due to the nature of the trip, there was a list of things we weren’t permitted to do, which was distributed to the whole group a week in advance. The list included spitting at French locals, learning and shouting French obscenities, making French-ist remarks and laughing at our French tour guides. That pretty much ruined the whole trip before it even got started.

A three-hour coach journey (during which seven of us threw up due to the shortage of travel sickness pills and the sickeningly salmonella-laden school breakfast we were force-fed that morning) took us to Dover, where we were due to catch the 9am ferry to Calais. But a large proportion of the group unexplainedly went missing at 8.45 during a toilet stop, so the departure had to be postponed until midday. Which meant that we had three whole hours to kill.

Dover is a small town, populated mainly by old people. So it was hardly surprising that we were instructed to be ‘SILENT’ when walking about the town centre, and to be back at the coach by 11am. By some miracle, we were all ready and assembled at the coach at the correct time, albeit rather tipsy because some retard of a bartender had seen forty girls in school uniform and seen fit to serve them large amounts of alcohol. Not that I’m complaining, of course. I rather enjoyed it. It certainly made the following ferry journey rather more interesting.

Now any Englishman who has ever traveled with P&O Ferries KNOWS that the sole purpose of his journey is to buy obscene quantities of duty-free products that he will never use, and to do so in a manic and hurried fashion. So we did. And then we had to buy an extra suitcase each to fit in all the useless crap. Then a teacher realised that we were wreaking havoc in one of the restaurants and made us all sit in a designated ‘quiet area’ where almost all of us threw up because of the sea and the alcohol.

When we arrived in Calais, it was pissing down with rain. Then, on the way to Paris, we got lost. Then the coach broke down and some random French dude who spoke a teeny bit of English turned up and had a fight with Madame Hoodless, our French teacher. Then he came back with enough hot chocolate for all. Then the coach got fixed and the sun came out and we were on our way.

Obviously, when we got to Paris, the coach driver had absolutely no idea where he was going, which led to us being driven through the red light district. It was great. The teachers all started flapping like chickens and closed all the curtains. Then Mother Hildebrande, the resident nun and Religious Education teacher, started going ‘Holy Mary Mother of God DARIA DAVENPORT GET AWAY FROM THAT WINDOW’. Oh, great fun.

We finally got to our hotel five hours late to find that the restaurant had closed and so the supervising teachers took us all out for a meal. For a laugh, we all ordered escargot and frog’s legs. It wasn’t really very funny, because we went to bed hungry.

The next morning, it was Notre Dame time. Time for Operation Hunchback... We all put our rucksacks on underneath our school blazers and started walking about Notre Dame pointing and crying ‘the bells! the bells!’ Then some French people in uniforms came out and started shouting in French. It turns out you’re not allowed to walk on the grass outside and we all had to write letters of apology to the groundskeepers when we got home.

The rest of the trip was mainly uneventful, apart from I nearly got run over about fifty times because French people, as a rule, can’t drive. They cannot drive. There is this MASSIVE roundabout at the top of the Champs-Elysses around the Arc de Triomphe where there are no designated lanes, and it is every man for himself and sod the rest. It was terrifying. Anyway, French people get extremely annoyed when you give them a two-fingered salute so we did it to passing motorists as often as possible.

When we got back we discovered that the little bitches in the year below us had stolen our cosmetics from our dormitories. So we declared war.

Daria Davenport

Aged 15

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