I just got back from the south of France. Specifically near St Tropez.

(More specifically in the area of Gassin, in a holiday camp - Parc Montana/St James. My Uncle owns a plot there)

I visited Monaco (For me as a former F1 fan, a/the highlight of the holiday. I say ‘former’ because I no longer find it interesting since things have become more predictable. Having said that it’s still a thrill to be at the most famous F1 circuit on the planet) Traffic is hell, as you might expect.

I found French toll gates a mystery (what do you do if one of them has no coin gates, and you have no credit card, and there is nobody manning it??)

What’s with more than fifty percent of cars having obvious signs of damage/bumpage?

Why didn’t my local ‘casino’ supermarket have bacon, or biscuits, or quiet periods?

Gawd, ain’t that the truth? (Bathsheba - in Adelaide).

I don’t think the French eat bacon or biscuits. Dunno. Over to the frenchies.

UK: Two cars collide, drivers get out, awkwardly exchange insurance details, later, get cars repaired.

France: Two cars collide, drivers get out, shout and swear at each other for a while, go to lunch.

Also, I am assured by a French friend that it is customary when parking on the street in town to leave your handbrake off so that other cars can nudge their way in and out of tight spaces. :dubious:

Re biscuits - what sort were you looking for? France is home of the Petit Ecolier, one of my top five biscuits.

They don’t really do bacon, though, apart from those mysterious fatty pink cubes that they like to put in Savoyard dishes.

Did you try going to a boulangerie? It’s not like the French have stopped trying to invent new and exciting ways to use flour:)

As I reach for a peach, slide a line down behind, a sofa in San Tropez
breaking a stick with a brick on the sand
riding a wave in the wake of an old sedan

Don’t you mean a patisserie?

When I went to university, one of the girls on the floor above me was a 4th year French student. The course requires that the third year be spent in France, and she had not long been back in England.

She told me the same thing, more or less.

I refer to this as the “parking by ear” system.

It worried me because we were in a rental… With a deposit of 700!""££$$%^&&*()_+|ZXJHBXCVY<M?<>~@:}{Pok there’s no euro key on my keyboard.

There were a lot of nice expensive cars like Mercs with bad bumper or side damage.
And people on skooters…

… Everywhere.

And (in the evening) wasps the size of golf balls.

The language…

For the most part. French is one of the world’s most pleasing languages to hear spoken, but some of the words are just :dubious:

Piscine (Swimming pool) Far too close to ‘pissing’ or ‘piss in’ for my liking.

chat (cat) “Shat” (as in, ‘had a shit’)

Two mental associations I would rather not have. (Pools are not to be pissed in, and I know cute cats and beautiful women shit. But I would rather not know it)

At least being American I don’t have that issue, since we say ‘shit’ for the simple past tense of ‘to shit’.

I have great respect for the French people, culture, and their language; but the latter just confounds me. I studied the language for several years, but just could not train myself to listen accurately to the spoken language. All of the nasal endings, usually found on masculine nouns and names, all sound the same to me.

It works the other way too. “Garbage” is “la poubelle”. The French even manage to make garbage sound dainty.

The flights…

The outward flight had two stewards who (the saying of which is now redundant from ‘steward’) were male. And probably gay (If not then rather effeminate for males)


The inward flight, had an entirely female staff in the passenger cabin. One of which was holy fecking christ stunning. A joy to watch out of the corner of my eye as she walked up and down the aisle as if it were a catwalk. And she looked familiar too. Parhaps she was on an easyjet advert, or she was on ‘airport’ or ‘airline’ on UK gold. Yeah maybe that’s where I’ve seen her.

And she seemed to have a pleasant personality too.

She wasn’t the only likeable stewardess. The other was taller, wore glasses, and was a scouser (but in a good way :wink: )

And a fellow passenger… looks like a younger version of the woman who was on ‘the apprentice’ and then ‘I’m a celebrity. Get me out of here’.

In other words… I was not, for one moment, bored on the 1 hour 50 minute flight home (due to leave at 21:35 but actually left at around 21:55… yet it still got in on time!)

One of the Floyd “gang” in San Tropez was the very-young Naomi Watts, daughter of their road manager/sound engineer, Peter.

That’s very normal in Thailand. I see parked cars getting pushed out of someone’s way all the time.

I’m possibly the only person who’s been to France but not to Paris. As a lad, I hitchhiked out of Brussels, and a Brit lorry driver picked me up and drove me to Switzerland. I know we went through Nancy.

In The Three Musketeers, Aramis says English is just French spoken with a bad accent.

For an everyday, ordinary biscuit or roll? Nope.

For a croissant, some pain au chocolat or turnovers (I guess; it’s been a while), maybe.

Did you try either?:smiley:

Many French endings never hear the light of day, so to speak.

Well, they don’t themselves. There’s a pronunciation difference between français and françai, in that one is marginally sharper than the other, but damned if I can’t remember what it is.

This isn’t a trivial difference, either. In some cases it’s the difference between, if memory serves, the subjunctive and the future. “I would” vs. “I will” is kinda important.

With English, you’re trained to not listen to/read every letter. With French, the letters you do hear, you’d better file pretty carefully unless your ear is very good. (This is true of hearing foreign words in general, since they all sound like one long, painful mess unless you know what you’re hearing.)

A long time ago in either Tours or Paris (can’t recall) I was on a bus that had to made a tight corner, but was blocked by two cars parked on the curb. Six guys got off the bus, picked up the cars and moved then further onto the sidewalk, we made our turn and the cars were moved back.

Can’t do that with SUVs. :wink: