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What have you learnt?
by Creusebear • Tue 02 Dec 2014 21:58
We have learnt many things since buying our house in the Creuse. Much of it practical, most of it helpful, all of it interesting. But this summer I heard the strangest question ever from our neighbour ...










How do you know you are not eating cat?








Now fair enough, he was smiling, but the implication, to me at least, is that at some time in his life, this was a useful, practical and pertinent piece of knowledge to have. 8O



So, do you know how to tell the difference between cat and rabbit when served in a red wine jus on your plate?

And what is the strangest thing you have learnt here in the Creuse?
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Creusebear
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1371
May 2007
Re: What have you learnt?
by virtdave • Tue 02 Dec 2014 23:03
I've heard that's why butchers sell rabbits with their feet attached...
For an American, the fact you can't just go down to your local French shop and buy a high-powered automatic rifle is pretty peculiar.
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virtdave
1133
Sep 2008
Re: What have you learnt?
by David_J • Wed 03 Dec 2014 12:04
But there are SERIOUS knives here you would NEVER see in Blighty
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David_J
230
Aug 2006
Re: What have you learnt?
by thetransporter • Wed 03 Dec 2014 12:25
According to a local, the difference can be determined by the profile of the ribs - flatter for a rabbit and rounder for a cat - but I don't know how true this is; it certainly makes for an interesting discussion, not least as to why this knowledge is important...
thetransporter
94
Jan 2008
Re: What have you learnt?
by virtdave • Wed 03 Dec 2014 23:11
According to a local, the difference can be determined by the profile of the ribs - flatter for a rabbit and rounder for a cat - but I don't know how true this is; it certainly makes for an interesting discussion, not least as to why this knowledge is important...
thetransporter
Apparently during WWII it was helpful to know that what the butcher was selling as rabbit was not something else.
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virtdave
1133
Sep 2008
Re: What have you learnt?
by kowalczy • Thu 04 Dec 2014 10:26
During the seventies I spent some time working for the county health inspectors. We were taught to note that the carcass of a cat showed that it's kidneys were virtually horizontal, whereas a rabbits' kidneys were heavily offset from the horizontal. The reason we may need to know..............inspections on Chinese restaurants.
Incidentally, in some cantons of Switzerland, cat and dog meat is acceptable as fit for human consumption.
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kowalczy
41
Feb 2013
Re: What have you learnt?
by Jeanne • Thu 04 Dec 2014 21:03
Learnt that a social life here is so hectic that its difficult to fit it all in and sometimes have to go to two things the same evening, learnt how to party till the early hours again and of course learnt French.
Jeanne
232
Jun 2010
Re: What have you learnt?
by rictel • Fri 05 Dec 2014 16:53
Learnt not to run out of screws at 11.55am
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rictel
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Dec 2007
Re: What have you learnt?
by virtdave • Fri 05 Dec 2014 18:29
Learnt not to run out of screws at 11.55am
rictel
Or anything else. Some years ago, I called a local merchant to ask what hours he was open...he replied, "de neuf heures à six heures." I then said, good, I'll come by at one o'clock, to which he responded, "mais sûrement pas, je dois manger, moi..."
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virtdave
1133
Sep 2008
Re: What have you learnt?
by Annik • Sat 06 Dec 2014 10:25
I suppose I have learned that the French are French. When we first came over I worked on the principle of "Hey, we're all human beings and exactly the same under the skin" and got cross when people talked about "the French" as a sort of lump. But the more we integrate - and I would say we are very well integrated now - the more we realise that the British mindset and the French are completely different. We both get things done, eventually, but the approach to accomplishing anything is so different that Jack and I have stopped being exasperated and just shrug our shoulders and say, "They're French...".

For eighteen months I was secretary of a local association (I didn't volunteer, you understand, it was wished on me out of the blue at the AGM) but I got so exasperated and also frustrated by the fact that in the land of Liberté, egalité et fraternité, democracy did not seem to exist at all that I eventually resigned.

I'm not moaning, I love France and I treasure all our French friends, but now I accept that they are actually very different from us. The book recommended by Virtdave, I think, "Sixty Million Frenchman Can't Be Wrong" really hits the nail on the head.
"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. (Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.)" Groucho Marx
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Annik
1246
Jun 2007
Re: What have you learnt?
by edmoraz • Sat 06 Dec 2014 11:09
I learnt not to try and order wood in the winter when you need it but to order it in the summer when you don't .
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edmoraz
488
Feb 2008
Re: What have you learnt?
by Jeanne • Mon 08 Dec 2014 15:56
For eighteen months I was secretary of a local association (I didn't volunteer, you understand, it was wished on me out of the blue at the AGM) but I got so exasperated and also frustrated by the fact that in the land of Liberté, egalité et fraternité, democracy did not seem to exist at all that I eventually resigned.
Annik
That made me smile. :) Found exactly the same. I am vice president of the Comite des Fêtes. The boulangere was good till he upset one person so now we don't use him for fêtes, despite his bread being the best; a guy resigned because he had to do a couple of jobs to make a living so could not give up the time and now his name is mud. I think mine will be next on the list. Our annual repas dansant clashes with one of the big events that I like to go to, I have missed it for two years but I intend to do that instead of help out next year. Whoops.
Jeanne
232
Jun 2010
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