The art of Bluffing

how-to-bluff

Do you remember about the new job and new man I was going “all in” on?

Well, I thought an update was long due.

I was trying to do my best with the cards I was dealt and decided to take the leap and go for both the job and the man, obviously not knowing what next card would complete my hand nor what other players’ was.

Here’s what happened.

I guess I should start with the nice surprise I got once I got to know that man a bit more. He turned out to be one of those beautiful persons you rarely meet and makes you think you’ve been really lucky to cross paths with. He is genuine, attentive, quircky and does not seem to have an agenda hidden underneath all of those qualities. He actually appears quite innocent at times. And boy, that’s refreshing!

As for the job… It might turn out the “all in ” will have taught me a lesson! I still need to learn, prove myself, find out which areas I can get more involved in and leave myself some time to process it all. However, I am starting to question if the job and the setting are right for me and will meet my professional needs. Ok, I guess now is the right time to say I work as a rehabilitation support worker. I am not questioning working in care but the role I am expected to take on with the training I received, as well as the system in place in that care setting. It seems my hand is confronted to other people’s better ones who decided to make up rules I don’t agree with.

So, what do you do when your hand does not turn out to be that good but you still want to win?

You bluff. Yes, you pretend you love the game, the rules and you have exactly the cards to win it. How else are you supposed to learn how to play and win the next round if you don’t even try to win the first one, right?

So, I’m bluffing. I am going to work, trying to do my best with the rules I am being given until I decide if the game is worth it or if another game suits me best.
I suppose my “all in” was not so bad as I don’t need to bluff with that man. At least, something worked out. And I’m getting experience in the field I want to work in as well as learning what is good for me and what is not.

Once again, I am not the pleasure-seeking-teenager anymore, I am an adult taking risks and learning from the consequences.

Or … am I bluffing on that too?!

Advertisements

Only in Glasgow

There is something about living in Glasgow that is quite different from living anywhere else. It seems everyone living here agrees with me as I often hear people saying “well, that’s Glasgow for you” . anytime something , well, unusual happens.

So I thought I would share what I have come across in Glasgow, seen and heard, only here… so you will know what to expect on a visit to Glesga!

1) If you want to have a conversation with a Glaswegian, you might have trouble. Yes, there is the accent. There is also things you hear only here and you should know what they mean beforehand or you may make a fool of yourself. Glaswegians will say how to actually say why. If you tell someone you had a horrible day for instance and they say “how”, well they mean “why”. Oh and they also say why, but that doesn’t mean how… that means why. Obviously…

2) You will meet a singing guy in town, most of the time wearing something rather peculiar. Last seen sporting a balloon hat. He seems nuts, he probably is, but he, he seems happy. You might feel like you’re the only one noticing he lives on another planet but you’ll soon be used to it. There seems to be other people from his planet who came to stay in the same town.

3) If you are driving and need to stop at a traffic light, just beware of who is crossing the street at the same time. They might all silently agree to see if they can lift your Mini and have a go at it.

4) It will pop into your head at some point that you went back in time and that your flight landed in the 80’s or that all Glaswegians made a silent pact of dressing as if they were part of the Flashdance movie. Oh, and you will soon be part of it. You might not be aware of it at the time, however, on your way back to France, people will start by informing you leggings are not cool, especially when worn as if they were trousers…

5) People will also tell you things like “thingmy”, “mingin” or “geesa”… Just get ready to learn another language, your English is just not going to cut it.

Well, that’s Glasgow for you!

Ayedentity

Image

My manager in work always gives us special tasks before a shift. Recently, mine was to “be French” (yep, you read that right). After being a bit crossed with him and his more that inappropriate sense of humour, it got me thinking: what does being French mean? What’s my French identity?

We all define ourselves in relation to our set of values and our culture, most of the time unconsciously. After 3 years in the UK, mine are an explosive cocktail of well shaken Glaswegian and French ingredients. I’ve always been fascinated by how Glaswegian, and Scottish people in general, proudly refer to their strong identity, and if I’ll never be able to become Scottish, I feel like I’m not a hundred percent French anymore. It’s very hard to pinpoint what is French in me, what is not anymore, and why don’t I have a strong sense of pride like most Scots do… That might be the reason of my fascination with strong cultural identities, especially when they are upset!

Think about that buzz around the Harlem shake; all those videos of people dancing crazily in silly outfits (or barely dressed…) to the song Harlem shake. It could only be a funny phenomenon right? The Harlem community doesn’t seem to think so. If you haven’t done it yet, listen to their reactions; all of them are strong, impassioned comments on how their identity is being robbed, used and mocked. Some of their reactions can easily pass as a threat on the dancing thieves.

We all attach a lot of importance on traditions, rituals, and any cultural traits because they are the ground of who we are. The Harlem shake was an aspect of the Harlem community, it explains where they come from and what they are about (apparently not dry-humping someone in a onesie!). The same could be said about the Scottish accent and Scottish expressions. It is part of who they are and can easily be turned into ridicule in media. Sorry, Anne Hathaway but you are American, get over it!

Thinking about it, I can still get pretty angry when fake French accents come up on American or British movies or TV shows, and just as much when French culture is summed up by the wine and cheese combo. Identity is a touchy subject, and trust my words, a complex one. There is more and more Scottish in me as time goes by, but like the Harlem community, even though I’m open to new, I keep my roots and will always protect them against ignorance… or a bad sense of humour!

Aye! I’m French 🙂

An underground world

Image

Coming from the Mediterranean part of France, I was used to bars where everybody drinks mojitos and caipirinhas while dancing salsa, zouk or, well, any dance you can dance with a partner. You could get your dancing on all night if you wanted to, as some clubs played that kind of music until 6am. In Glasgow, people don’t really dance together and Latin music is not that common. Try and dance with a stranger in a club, he will directly assume you want more than vertical dancing…

But I went to Arta recently, one of the very few salsa bars in Glasgow, and it felt like being in a different place, somewhere closer to home. It was like discovering where all the Latin people hide at night!

Dancing with someone is one of the best experiences in life. It is like a fleeting moment where both woman and man embrace their gender and their role. The woman needs to trust the man to guide her steps and let him be in charge. ‘Macho’ you say? Probably! It is a Latin dance after all! And yes, there is a sexual connotation. But Latin people enjoy healthy flirting and know when a connotation needs to be left at that…

I danced with strangers who were kind enough to teach me some steps, we had fun and then parted ways.

As for embracing my role, let’s just say that when it comes to salsa, I’m not a real woman…yet!

On the edge of adulthood

joey-potter-profile

Life can take an unexpected turn in a short period of time. Everything you know and have can be changed overnight, leaving you to re-evaluate your expectations, dreams and needs so you can play with a new set of cards. Well, I’ve been dealt a pretty good game recently. A job offer and a new man in my life threaten to turn my life around and push me to become a grown-up.

Call it the Joey Potter syndrome if you like, but I am pretty scared something will end up going wrong. Not that I am not satisfied with my cards. As a matter of fact, I feel I have a chance to win the game! I guess I doubt in my abilities to pull off an all-in and get away with it.

There’s been a lot of spices thrown into my life over the last 5 years and I have always tried to make a pretty good dish out of it. But I remained insecure and lived a teenager life up until very recently. I suppose seeking pleasure was my way to deal with my fears. If you don’t try, you don’t succeed; but he, you didn’t try so it’s fine isn’t it?! I was so scared to fail, I preferred not to seek success at all. Distraction was my best friend in a world I wasn’t ready for.

Maybe, that’s when you realise what being adult is about. You put yourself out there, set expectations for yourself, try to achieve your goals but get ready to put all the pieces back together if your card castle gets knocked out. In the end, it’s not only up to me, is it? That man could turn out to be another-idiot-I-shouldn’t-have-got-involved-with and that job, not the right one for me.

But I’ll accept my cards and try to do my best with them. Because, at the end of the day, we all have the desire to become someone better, to be closer to what we think we ought to be, to do the right thing.

I’m on the edge of adulthood, so keep your insecurities to yourself Joey Potter because I am going all-in on that one!

Don’t call me Pal

If there is something I still need, after 3 years in the company of Glaswegians, is an ‘How to understand behaviours and true feelings, for Dummies’ instructional book.

I never understood how French people, and Latin people in general, have it so easy before I moved here. I had no choice how to call my boss, it was ‘Vous’ and that was it. Same for the woman at the bakery and the customers I met through my work. Well, unless they gave me the permission (yes, permission) to call them ‘Tu’. That’s when everything would change, ‘Tu’ can turn the world around my friends, it changes the whole dynamic of the relationship; it’s the grammatical and cultural equivalence of letting a stranger come into your home so he can get comfortable! Only then were you allowed to become more…well… friendly.

But enough about grammar! I moved here and not only you call your boss the same way you call your best friend you had a bottle of wine with the night before, but anybody can make it even more friendly: they can call you ‘PAL’. ‘Pal’ is used (along the likes of ‘Hen’, ‘Doll’ and ‘Love’) in such a common, natural manner, it is just another word. Although, to me, it is not. I moved from the country of implicit language rules to a place where everybody is overly friendly…orally. How weird is it that Latin people have all those how-to-speak-to-who-rules, yet are very intense when it comes to relationship, while here strangers give you pet names, yet blow hot and cold when it comes to relationships?

I sometimes really like that open way of approaching people and wish I could have something similar back home. I would also love to instil a bit of Latin passion in British people… If your language is so friendly, why not heat things up a bit and make your approach to relationship as ballsy and casual? What is with the dating-seeing-going-out-with scheme?

Ok, I admit it. Maybe I’m just rambling because someone called me ‘Pal’ recently. And believe me, I wish he had called me anything but this.

Try everything once in Life

I have recently joined a dating website. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, “why can’t she do it the normal way?”. Well, it turns out that the normal way includes meeting people where you socialise with your friends. Men are not really at their best in a bar or a club are they?! I came accross the worst lines in History, the worst approach attempts by drunk-I-need-to-gloat-my-friends-are-watching-me kinda men, and yes, I had my private parts grabbed in several occasions by the most courageous ones!

Not that I don’t like the idea of meeting someone naturally but it can be tricky when your life revolves around work and friends. Oh, and before you ask, yes I’ve also tried dating workmates: I-was-warned-but-did-not-listen-disaster.

So I thought “what if a nice guy finds himself in the same situation I am?” and there I was. Obviously, the private parts grabbing men and the ones who serves women with reheated lines are there as well (their approach not even working on tipsy women!). But, oh surprise, you also encounter normal men, the kind of men who are ambitious and outgoing, and did I mention handsome?

The question I am still asking myself though, is: can you find a normal man in the UK? Before you get offended, let me explain. I grew up in France, where men (and women) can be pretty intense when it comes to relationships but I always found that despise their big flaws (macho much?) I always knew where I stood at least. After 3 years in Scotland I am still looking for a How to date British men for Dummies manual. I found that men in the UK will be all over you for a moment to then decide they are better off without you and will expect you to guess it! I guess they don’t have the latin need to have a heart to heart explanation. Obviously, I am sure this is not true for every single man here but I definitely need men to step up their game!

So, here starts my Sex and the City adventure.

Wish me luck!