vendredi 5 août 2011
Yesterday, I received my results from the four tests I took back in March.
Each test is worth 100 points, and if you get 50 points or more you have passed the test. If you have between 45-49 points, it is "compensatable", that is, if you have above 50 points in the other tests, they compensate for the less than 50 points. A note less than 45 is eliminatory, and you have to take the test again. You can't have more than two that are compensatable, and you have to have at least 200 points total. Got it?
For instance, you couldn't have
Because you wouldn't have 200 points total.
You also couldn't have
Because you would have more than 2 between 45-49.
But you could have
Because you would have 200 points total and no more than two tests between 45-49.

They announced the results by posting on the website a PDF document with all the candidates ID numbers and results.
At the end of June, everyone who took the test received an email announcing that the results would be posted on August 4th.
I stayed home from work today to work at home, but mainly because I didn't want everyone to see me cry (in case the results were bad).
At around 8:30 I checked the site, and yep, it was posted.
I downloaded the PDF document, typed in my number, and hit search.
The page with my results was brought up.
At first glance, I thought I had passed all four.
I told Alain "I got it! I got it!" Then I took a closer look and realized that nope, test B was less than 45. Damn! Three points!! Three measly points!!

For that, I have to take the B test again, next March in Paris, and wait five interminable months for the results in August. Ahh!
Ah well. At least I got the other three. C and D are usually considered to be the hardest.
Actually, I hardly even studied for D, I figured I would study as hard as I could for A, B, and C, then this year for D. Good plan that Megan. Worked really well for ya.
jeudi 4 août 2011

This past weekend, we were invited to tag along with Alain's karate club on a motorcycle outing.

Alain has been wanting to do this for a long time, so we said yes. We were told to bring warm clothes and rain gear in case it rained, and we were going to the Ardeche region, a Department not too far away, past Avignon.

We met up on Saturday morning at 9 am in Rognes. There were three other couples, all riding BMW motorcycles, the men driving, the women riding on the back.

We took off, and went north, past Apt, Vaison La Romaine, and stopped for lunch.

The motorcycles they had were much more adapted for long trips. I was starting to be sore by this time and eager to get off.

After lunch, we continued east, past the Gorges de l'Ardeche.
We stopped to take some pictures. It was quite beautiful and there were quite a few tourists. We drove past some camping sites.The French are very strange in their camping habits. They take a tent or RV, go to site with tons of other camps and RVs, and stay there for a week or so, and go to the pool on-site, cafe, go in the river, etc.

Anyway, after several stops for coffee and gas , we finally arrived at where we would be overnighting. After a day on a motorcycle, I don't want to hear "We are staying in a 'gite rustic', bring a flashlight." I want to hear "We are staying in a 5-star Hilton with a private in-room masseuse and jacuzzi."

Apparently, the leader of the group knew a couple that had a small farm near Les Vans, and they rented out places to sleep on their farm. They had donkeys (and give donkey rides), goats, sheep, chickens, pigs, even peacocks.

The owner showed us around, and we unloaded our things. This was the bathroom ->

There was a "dry" toilet, where you scoop sawdust down the hole after you use it, and a shower with running hot water. (Though I didn't actually shower as it was just one night and we didn't have room in the backpack for towels).

We then went back into Les Vans for a much-needed beer. We came back around 8 pm for dinner, which was a salad, couscous and vegetables, and baby lamb.

Around 10:30, we all headed for bed, quite exhausted. Alain and I slept in a cabin with another couple, and the other two couples slept in a tipi. I slept surprisingly okay, but the others did not due to the animal noises- dogs barking, donkeys braying, and the bells around the necks of the goats. At dawn, the roosters started crowing. We all woke up around 6:30. We ate breakfast, coffee and homemade bread and jams.

We got back on the road around 9, and drove through the mountains, past some lakes. We stopped for coffee, gas, and lunch.

I was really starting to hurt. Apparently, contrary to what I have believed these past few years, I need more padding on my rear and not less. After about an hour/hour and a half I needed to stop, even just for a few minutes to stretch my legs and get the blood flowing again.

At one point, we drove over some really bad roads and I begged Alain to stop.

My rear hadn't hurt so bad since, oh yeah! the last time we went on a motorcycle outing with these people, when I was practically crying in my helmet and consoling myself with the solemn vow that I would never, never do this again, and yet here I am.

We abandoned the idea of going up Mount Ventoux- it was getting late, we weren't properly equipped, and I was in pain. We headed back to the Bouches du Rhone. We said goodbye at Senas, and we took the highway back to Marseille. I stumbled off, hoping that this trip would suffice him for at least a year or two.

No such chance. Now he is looking at buying another motorcycle, bigger and more comfortable for long trips. Great. Just what we need. A second motorcycle!

And, for everyone wondering, it took a good two days, but now I am back to normal. All in all, I enjoyed the trip itself, just not the soreness. It was definitely better than the camping trip o'hell back in August 2005, right after I arrived. I would go on another trip, just not on the same motorcycle.

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