Friday, 18 March 2016

The cheek of it

 Friday 18th March 2016
Today we were doing our shopping in Super U Craon, we were waiting at the till when this young woman trotted up behind us with some baby clothes and a gift box for them, we had quite a bit of shopping and as it was lunchtime I was aware that she might be on a lunch break and being kindness itself I said she could go first if she liked, as we moved our trolley out of her way, she thanked us very gracefully then called her husband who was waiting at the next till with his/their trolley which was loaded up even higher than ours, I was gobsmacked in fact I said as much to John, he said you will be if you ever do that again..I mean did she think that was the right thing to do, would you have done that if a French person had made the same gesture?

 

In fact when I look back over the whole shopping experience of today, 3 times I was pushed out of the way and once as I was walking in a straight line a woman blocked my path in order to get something she wanted, this is the norm here especially at lunchtime, ... yes I know what it is like to be on a lunch break and having to juggle shopping but at the same time eating properly, the thing is the majority of workers here get 2 hours,  in UK sometimes you are lucky to get 1 hour but I don't think I have ever been this rude, when in Rome and all that.

On the subject of workers here, I was talking to a friend who works here (she is still young) and she was saying that normally bank holidays are taken off on the actual day and not the nearest Monday but this year due to it being a leap year all the bank holidays have fallen on a Sunday so the workers are not happy as it means they have lost at least 8 days holiday and they don't get a day in lieu, watch this space it will mean more strikes...

Speak soon lovely's

12 comments:

  1. Oh dear Roz that's so rude, I could never do that, I'd be too embarrassed.
    Be interesting to see what becomes of the sunday opening....watch this space.

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  2. Oh dear Roz that's so rude, I could never do that, I'd be too embarrassed.
    Be interesting to see what becomes of the sunday opening....watch this space.

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  3. Nothing got my goat more than these kind of ill-mannered, thoughtless people when I lived in France. You were gracious to allow her to go through and their lack of decency and fairness provoked you to feel the way you felt. The only "words" I ever had with French people was at the checkout, or "fuming words" at the customer service desk where customer service was non-existent!

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  4. Thanks Denni, yes it will cause a lot of unhappiness as Sunday is their day of Prayer x
    Trav I didnt have much choice as I was so stunned it was laughable

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  5. Wow. How did you keep from saying something. I have never heard of anything like that. Mounds like John will be holding you back from doing any good deeds in the future. Lol. Bless you

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  6. I'm lost for words Roz. I don't know how you contained yourself,I don't think I could have.

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  7. Jan you can be sure he won't let me x
    Joy I was so shocked I was like the proverbial rabbit in the headlights x

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  8. I guess you know that you were polite while she wasn't. Learning ways in a new culture can be tricky -- to be polite yet not get walked on.

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  9. I'm back with Dreaming of France today if you'd like to join in. Just leave your name and the URL for your blog. Thanks.
    Here’s my Dreaming of France meme

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  10. I came here after writing a comment on An Accidental Blog. Your post gave me a good laugh. You see, that is the French culture. I just finished a book, sent to me by a friend, about an American woman who married a French man and talks about all these cultural differences – you should read it, it is funny – it is by Harriet Welty Rochefort and called “French Toast: An American in Paris Celebrates the Maddening Mysteries of the French” – I saw that you can get it secondhand on Amazon France. You see the French will take advantages like this, because for them it is normal. It is the same in banks, at the post office or going on an airplane – everyone does it. I am French, raised in Paris (now living near Atlanta, GA.) I was so surprised while studying in London to see people “queuing” at the bus stop! In Paris we had to get tickets with numbers – don’t know if they still do it. What you should have said, in French, and very polite “excusez-moi madame, je ne savais pas que vous aviez tants de choses – nous sommes pressés, alors nous reprenons notre place” (excuse me, madam, I didn’t know you had so many items, we are in a hurry, so we are taking our place back.” Voila! And that would have been OK, no problem. With us French, you need to put your foot down!

    You will get many cultural shocks like this. I did also in the US. I’ll give you an example: I remember the first time I went to a Thanksgiving dinner at American people’s home and they said “grace” before dinner – I was surprised as in all my years growing up in Paris I had never heard it (although you living in the Mayenne I think, they may be more religious.) But wait - then each guest had a Bible on top of their plates – we were supposed to read a verse from it. Well, being from very “laic” (secular) Paris I was shocked beyond belief and thought they were fanatics – I said I did not feel well and escaped. Then later I found out that most Americans are super religious and it’s OK for them to pray in public or with foreign guests at dinner, without knowing if the guests are religious or even what religion or no religion (certainly not done in France!) So every country has its particular culture. Bonne chance!

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  11. Thank you Vagabonde for your input, it is so helpful and I am wondering if you would mind if I re-posted it in the main body of my blog as I believe it would help my readers experiencing the same as myself and help them to better understand the French culture a little more, also would you consider joining this site, thanks again x

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  12. Thank you for answering my comment. You certainly can post anything I write if you feel it’s useful. I hope you find a copy of the book I mentioned, because Harriet has a lot of good info on French behavior. I was looking at what she said about waiting in line; here it is “You always have to be sure to ask where the end of the line is in order to ascertain that you are in the right place. The next step is to make sure that no one jumps ahead of you. This happens all the time, so you have to be on the alert constantly. If you are a real Parisian, the minute there’s a suspect move, you start yelling …etc.” she goes on “you must concentrate all your forces on defending your place in line. In the market when the vendor yells, “Whose turn is it?” you’d better be ready to yell “moi.” Heaven help you if you’ve goofed and it’s not really your turn.” Me - and by the way if you have goofed and someone yells at you don’t say you are sorry, just say “et bien quoi? Ca va, non?” (maybe used more in Paris than in the provinces.) She goes on : “Every time I go to the market, I am a nervous wreck for a half hour afterward from the strain of making sure no one is going to slip by and take my place or from the strain of not having slugged the person behind me, who is pushing me.” Last time I was in Paris (2014) at the post office I looked for a moment at the timbres de collection posted on the side, some sleazy young guy went ahead of me and when I said “ben alors, c’était à moi, non?” he replied “il fallait faire plus attention!” Don’t think the French treat you badly because you are foreigners, they treat the French worse! Ah the joys of France … but we love it just the same, n’est-ce-pas? The thing is, the French don’t make friends easily, and as long as you are not a friend, they feel they don’t have to be nice or smile to a stranger – any stranger. They don't feel it is rude to take advantage.

    Thank you for offering me to join your site, I am flattered, but right now I can’t – too much to do. I used to post weekly to 10 days on my blog (http://avagabonde.blogspot.com/) but now can only do so monthly. We are trying to move from our house in Georgia to a house in Nashville – we have 40 years of accumulation and my husband has Alzheimer, so I am overwhelmed. But I’ll try to come and look at your posts when I have a chance. If you come on mine you can click on the side on France or Paris and view some of my posts on that subject.

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I am always happy to read your comments and I will try to answer you all x