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What would you change in France if you could ?


Bugsy
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Someone asked me recently what we didn't like about the French way of life. I really had to think hard but, of course, there are things that niggle.

We came up with;

Shopping on Mondays, everywhere closed except the supermarkets. (silly 35 hour week)

2 to 3 hour lunch breaks, again shop premises.

Having to sit for hours on those awful wooden benches, how do the French do that ?

Not a long list, is it.

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[quote user="Bugbear"]Shopping on Mondays, everywhere closed except the supermarkets. (silly 35 hour week)[/quote]

This was already the case long before the 35h week lark. I remember that from 30 years ago...

I do agree with the lunchtime closing, particularly in large towns where you expect to be able to do/see something when you've travelled miles to get there...

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I've got so used to this it just doesn't bother me any more - and I've adopted the same respect for lunchtimes.  Mind you, it must be much worse if you're working.

What would I change?  The French habit of sitting 2 inches from my bumper all the time - this really get my goat (and I do not drive slowly).  The antideluvian banking system. 

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I have no problem with shopping days/hours now we are used to them.

I agree with the bumper driving thing.  Then overtaking and realising that maybe they didn't really want to go quicker than you after all, so they slow down and you then have to go past them in turn unless you decelerate. 

The stupid give way to the right rule.

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There is a supercilious attitude amongst some French people - mostly middle-aged men - that makes me want to hit them with a shovel. We were driving through St Hilaire recently and Julie stopped for a pedestrian crossing. For no reason I could see a bloke on the crossing pursed his lips and wagged his finger at her. I called him a rude name, I am afraid, similar to one which seems to have appeared and disappered from this forum this afternoon...

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Ah yes - the "I have right of way and you should not even be within sight of me" thing. 

Like pedestrians walking down the centre of the road who turn and look at you as if you are pissing on their grandmother's grave when you follow them slowly at a good distance in the hope that they may move aside without your having to toot the horn to draw attention to your presence.

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The Driving:

 

I wish people would adhere to the rules of the road, especially indicating and getting into the correct lanes at roundabouts

Do away with the very dangerous priority from the right.

 

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Get rid of the Education Nationale out, and start again with something adapted to ALL kids needs and not just the elite.

 

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And I reckon that the 'charges' for small businesses needs re thinking and these horrific costs reducing radically.

 

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What wooden benches? Where, apart from in a park, where would I sit on one?

 

And yes, somewhere I hate, St Exupery Airport, not only is the name difficult to say, Satolas was so much easier, why did they change it? but it is awful and so badly planned from the parking to finding one's way around in the terminals. The second worse place is Roissy that is just about as bad.

 

I'm simply too used to some things and get caught out when the shops and lots of other stuff shuts at 5pm in the UK. I can't get upset about this sort of thing, it just means me planning a bit better.

And some things are far better than they ever were, for some things there really is less paperwork and I actually find that the functionnaires are far better than they ever were....... so there[:)]

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We put that sort of behaviour down to 'brain-worm'. the tiny parasite that lives quite happily in the brain and does no more damage than slow down the persons reaction time. It's estimated that a large percentage of French adults have this due to the continued practice of eating barely cooked meat.

This is True,

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[quote user="cooperlola"]As I fully subscribe to the barely cooked meals bit, how come I can indicate at roundabouts then?[:)][/quote]

but they use that route every day, so you should know that they will be turnng off.............anyway it saves their battery......[:@]

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The fact that no-one but no-one replies to letters or emails.........

The fact that artisans appear and disappear when least expected.....

The fact that organisations/utilities assume that you know how everything works so nothing needs explanation......

 

Not a big list but a very frustrating set of issues, especially when one is visiting at set periods and needing to set up appointments etc!

 

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The only thing that ticks me off these days (aside from moaning Brits,

who don't really bother me that much because I've learned to filter

themout through deep meditation and heavy drinking) is the appaling

selection of breakfast cereals. Most of them are 96% sugar and are made

of chocolate. It cannot be healthy for the growing organism. Happily

things do seem to be improving slowly.

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TeamedUp! You have returned. [:D]

I don't know that I want France to change this just for me [:P] but one thing I do find very difficult to get used to is the dark mornings in winter. Okay, here in not-so-sunny Basse Normandie, the weather is [email protected] again today, but going out at 8.45 this morning, it was still really depressingly dark. I think the lighter winter mornings in the UK are preferable. So I suppose I'd like to be on the UK winter "time" all the year round with no clock change in spring or autumn. That's all. [:-))]

So who should I write to?

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Catalpa, I'm not sure if it would be that different, well chez moi at least in the NE of England at the moment. Sunset is around 20 to 4 and sunrise is around 20 past 8, add to that some cloudy autumn weather and it is dark quite a lot of the day. Now I love autumn and I love all this darkness. I loathe early summer mornings.

Last I had heard was that they were thinking about keeping BST going all the year round to. I hope that they don't.

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Starting today I'd make it impossible for any more brits to come here otherwise in 10 years time it will be ruined.  You mark my words!  We need the rest of them to stay where they are so that they can keep paying in their NI contributions.  My pension doesn't go anywhere these days and as for that winter fuel allowance..well, nuff said.

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