Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Characters #1 Armando

Armando is Portuguese. There were a lot of Portuguese immigrants to France in the 50's and 60's. If they speak French with a heavy Portuguese accent they're obviously the original article, but there are many 2nd and 3rd generation Portuguese that have no accent, but, due to their names, the French still refer to them as foreign. There's a chap at the factory called Jose Costa who is second generation, and when I was describing him to someone else the said "Oh, yes, the Portuguese guy".
Anyway, Armando is first generation, full-on Portuguese. Nice guy. but everyone refers to him as "the queer" or "le pédé". At the start of the shift when we're sitting around having a coffee, new arrivals will stroke his beard as they walk past or tickle him. The "Marseillais" always asks him if he's had his blowjob today or will he get one in the showers afterwards.
It's all good humoured and for the life of me I can't figure out if he really is gay, and they take the piss, or if he's straight and its all just a game.
I've only been with this team for 2 months (although a year at the factory), and it's still too soon for me to ask him "So, Armando, are you gay or what?" Because if it is all a joke, he could get pissed off that I'm the only idiot that took it seriously.

Today's shift - midday to 8:00pm and we're making Faiteaux. They're a traditional semi round, long roof tile that requires a lot of hands-on. Pain in the arse in fact.


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