Ma France…

Posted by on Nov 1, 2013 in All Blogs, Blogs | 0 comments

Ma France…

One week ago, I went back to France to celebrate my birthday. I am often asked what I miss from France; the Brits don’t understand why I elected to live in the UK (and at times nor do I) but I think that the more you miss things, the more you appreciate when you ‘find’ them again. I certainly miss being able to shop at the local market and to buy stinking cheeses and tasty vegetables. In fact I just miss the food I grew up on: game killed by my father and cooked by my mother…. And I am afraid that being French, I am always going to think that what’s in my plate matters most. But having now lived longer abroad than in France, I feel rather amused when I make it across the channel to enjoy a bit of “je ne sais quoi” that we can safely say, does not exist in the UK. These are my TOP 6 EMOTIONS ON A GALLIC JOURNEY, and it starts on Brittany Ferries:

1) Madly enraged: it’s one thing to wake everyone up through the loudspeakers, one hour before we actually arrive in Caen; it’s another to have the cleaner forcing herself into your room whilst shouting “room cleaning” when you are still in bed; and hearing her doing it again when you are in the shower or naked when drying your hair – what’s happened to manners and customer service? Have my people lost their way?

2) Totally amazed (but on reflection not that surprised) when I see in the shop window a poster advertising the upcoming local fair: “Come and vote for Miss Naked 2013!” Everyone is welcomed, and presumably everyone will go. So much for female liberation… at least the French do not pretend, I owe that to them.

3) Utterly delighted when I buy delicious croissants at the baker next door to the first café we find for breakfast – because the owner cannot see the point of taking business away from his neighbour – and that’s the kind of attitude I love about my country. I can now proceed to ‘dip’ the croissant in my hot chocolate and smell my childhood again.

4) Totally amused: my parents are telling me, in all seriousness, that they might consider getting the internet in 4 years’ time. And of course, my dad thinks that the mobile phone company should not intrude on his privacy and call him to offer him an upgrade because he does not like being told what to do by strangers… utterly oblivious to the concept of marketing. How refreshing!

5) Blissfully fat: Oh my God, I have eaten and drunk so much it’s unreal…delicious magret de canard, home-made pate de lièvre et de chevreuil, and three birthday cakes in three days (we are talking 100% mouth-watering fine patisserie here). Food is just heaven…. Thank you mother!

6) Whole heartedly reassured: the weekly market in my local town is still rocking – I rejoice at the sight of hundreds of goat cheeses for sale (the local delicacy) and of real cow milk on display (untreated, straight from the source and only €1 a litter) – there is no need to seek authenticy in France, it’s everywhere around you. Mangeons organique!

Et voila!


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