Wednesday, 6 June 2007

British / French Differences

Sunday lunch at our favourite restaurant. Whilst our children dived into moules à la roquefort, on our left a 7 year old had oysters to start followed by mussels, and on our right a 5 year old helped herself to her own soupe du poisson with all the extras. Wonderful!

As you can imagine, I am on a vast array of medications at this time, one of which instructs me to diet at the same time. So I am not only feeling off colour but also hungry!

This is not the first time since coming to France that I have been on large doses of painkillers, etc and each time I remember to check with the Doctor whether I should refrain from alcohol - and in every instance the Doctor has looked absolutely incredulous and said 'Of course not!'. Obviously locals would not be prepared to take any medication needing such drastic abstinence!

When Richard had his hip-replacement operation here, he spent the following 6 weeks in a residential re-education unit. Both lunch and dinner were four course meals with a 1/2 litre of wine per person. Richard could not hack the wine at lunchtime (sends him to sleep for the afternoon!) which caused astonishment amongst the predominantly elderly clientele!

One day when we first moved here, we walked to the college to meet LeeLee from class. Not surprisingly there was a large group of lads loitering outside and spread all over the pavement. As we approached, they immediately moved off the pavement and said 'Pardon Monsieur et Madame' - imagine our astonishment! And we have since found this to be the case all the time!

We were leaving Bedarieux last Friday after our fun evening dans la rue, when a moped with a young man on the back started weaving in and out of the traffic and then overtaking on the inside using the bollarded-off cycle lane. Needless to say he was not wearing a helmet - this is France you know!

All of a sudden flashing blue lights appeared behind us and then set off after the moped who had by now turned right at the roundabout and disappeared. 'Not a chance' was Richard's comment from the passenger seat (I was driving!) - 'he is well away by now'.

But what did we see when we reached the roundabout? The lad, seeing blue lights some distance behind him, very conscientiously pulled over and waited for the police car! What a well brought up young man! 'Not like at home!' said the incredulous ex-Met copper next to me.

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