dimanche 3 octobre 2010

Y is for You're Missed

Y is for You’re Missed

L’éloignement renforce les sentiments — Absence makes the heart grow fonder

Of course when you move to another country there are things that you miss. I’ve already mentioned a decent curry, fish and chips and ‘proper’ sausages. But a straw poll of some friends came up with some others:

·      Waitrose
·      Charity shops
·      Marks & Spencer (buying your undies by mail order is not the same)
·      Boots the Chemist
·      Shops being open all hours

There may not be charity shops on every street corner here, but they are very fond of their ‘vide grenier’, literally ‘emptying the barn’. These events would equate to garage sales in the US or car boot sales in the UK. The concept is the same — someone puts everything they don’t want on display, and others come along and buy it.

You never quite get used to most shops being closed between noon and two or even three in the afternoon. The concept of 24-hour shopping has become a distant memory.

The things we do love about France include:

·      Real markets
·      Lots of space and beautiful countryside, with no litter
·      Sense of community
·      Politeness and welcome of the people
·      Food and wine

Outside large towns, France is still a great place for children to have their freedom. There’s a primary school at the end of our road, and you regularly see kids under 10 trotting happily along to classes on their own. There is definitely a sense that people look out for each other.

So what are the signs that you are now at home in France?

·      You eavesdrop the French family at the next table and
understand everything they are saying
·      You have loyalty cards for at least five French supermarkets
·      You actually fill in the Orange customer satisfaction questionnaire
·      On a walk round town you find more people to say ‘bonjour’ (or even ‘re-bonjour’ to than ‘hello’
·      You no longer need a dictionary when visiting the doctor, dentist or hairdresser (on second thoughts, the latter might be a bit rash…)

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