Thursday, 22 July 2010

School Trip To Poitiers 2. The Long Hot Drive

"How did you do that?" the boy said to me in sheer amazement. "Did you speak to them in their own language or some-at? His bag was safely in the bus again thanks to the French Gendarme I had spoken to in my appalling and limited French.It had been left on the boat and the unamused crew had passed it on to security who had reunited it with its owner.

As the day got hotter and the temperature gauge nudged 30, the number incidences of children losing their possessions increased and kept on increasing. Three times mobile phones went missing, a coat, a purse and a wallet. All were found on various service counters, pavements or amongst the pile of papers and melting sweets under their seats.

It was a great feeling to see the sign for the theme park gates at 5pm the next day, 17 hours and 55 minutes after we had departed. The children were still running on high octane and not unduly tired.

"What are you going to do now you are here," I asked one girl, expecting some enthusiastic answer about going on the rides in Futuroscope.

"Well first of all I'm going to complain to the hotel management," she replied. "Just look at the hotel. It looks like a prison. It reminds me of the young offenders unit back home."

Eleven year olds seem to have high standards these days. The hotel wasn't bad. It was a 1* Billy Butlin-esque basic hotel, where they handed remote controls for the telly with the room key. It had the stale smell of a holiday camp wooden furniture, but it did a good job, considering the fast turnaround of school trips staying there.

Supper was in a restaurant in the theme park. It was simple but good French fare. A salad, chicken on broad beans and an ice cream. The children did not like it and left most of their food on the plate. They persuaded me that, even though I had told them I detested any kind of theme park, that I should attempt one of the rides before going to bed. So nervously I went on some 4D simulation cartoon ride. It was fantastic. Amazing. Incredible. So good that I did it again the next night.

I was fortunate. The teachers were forced onto one called 'Dancing With Robots.' They reappeared looking distinctively queasy.

No comments:

Post a Comment