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Things I love in France and things I don't ... or just don't get
by Creusebear • Mon 28 Aug 2017 16:05
I love: 'Le Petit Marseillais' range of soaps
I don't get: andouillette sausages (bleurgh!)

What are yours?
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May 2007
Re: Things I love in France and things I don't ... or just don't get
by virtdave • Mon 28 Aug 2017 19:59
We were invited to dinner at some French friends' place, and were proudly served a steaming mess of andouillette. Expressing the appropriate gustatory enthusiasm was socially challenging.
Although California has some pretty credible goat cheese, nothing there compares with the variety and excellence of what's available here in France....also, the general quality of pâtisserie here is pretty high. Although one can find good pastry shops in major cities in the USA, Felletin, with a population about 3% that of San Francisco, has three good ones....there's nothing within three hours' drive from our place in northern Califonia that comes close.
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Sep 2008
Re: Things I love in France and things I don't ... or just don't get
by Creusebear • Sat 09 Sep 2017 12:53
You are right - the quality of the bakeries is outstanding and I love their savouries too, 'pate de pomme de terre' is a favourite.
I love the French's pride in their local food producers - you can have a serious conversation comparing the relative strengths of different bakeries in town - who has the best baguette vs who makes the best gateaux.
I love the best of the 'Plat du jour', always blows me away.
I love the fact that french windows open in and doors can be easily lifted off their hinges for painting.
I don't get Fetes de la Pomme de Terre, eating snails and how long it takes to get relatively simple bureaucratic tasks done!
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May 2007
Re: Things I love in France and things I don't ... or just don't get
by sally watkins • Wed 13 Sep 2017 19:53
I love the night, the quiet, the variety of birds.
I love looking into the far distance and it's still green.
I love the bread.
I love looking and finding mushrooms and fungi that I've never seen before.

I love that all sorts of people of no particular 'class' live in hamlets and villages.
I love the thought that I might see a coypu.

I love that I am made to feel welcome.

I love that the French don't shy away from protesting and really go for it when they talk about art.

I don't understand why it's so hard to find spices or anything with chilli in it.

I can't find many things to criticise yet, probably because like any new relationship I'm in the honeymoon period and in love. Give it a few years...
sally watkins
Jul 2015
Re: Things I love in France and things I don't ... or just don't get
by Les rats bleus • Thu 02 Nov 2017 19:59
I'm inspired by Sally's post above to contribute my own thoughts - much of what she says is so much like our own experience. Well, except the bit about the coypu - we had one turn up at our lake and they do so much damage to the banks. I think this one was at the tail-end of its life though because it wasn't unduly bothered by our presence. It stayed for a few weeks and then disappeared.

The wildlife is amazing (even the wild boar who dig up my nicely manicured field!). Nor does it stop for the night - our cctv records a whole other world during the night. The countryside in the Creuse is just the best.

I love where we live - a lovely isolated house where there is zero light pollution and yet it is only a short walk over the hill into our small village where all sorts of people of no particular 'class' make us feel so welcome. At this year's 'Fête des Voisins' everyone sang happy birthday to me - in English (despite the fact no one speaks English!).

I have had to learn the meaning of 'moderation' as I adore the bread and the cheese and the wine and all the other things that conspire to make me put on weight!

What I dislike is the chasse. I could just about cope with what I would recognise as 'game' but what I don't understand is the long list of other species of animals and birds hunted.

Also what I don't get (yet - is two and a half years still 'honeymoon'?) is the reputation the French have for being bad drivers. Apart from their habit of driving in the middle of country roads until they meet oncoming traffic, I found the vast majority of them sensible and courteous drivers (about a zillion times better than UK drivers). I've lost count of how many times slow drivers have pulled over to let me pass.

And now to be controversial... I may regret this but here goes...it's about French bureaucracy. What I don't get is that (so far) our dealings with French bureaucracy has been super efficient and very quick! Carte grise for my tractor? Less than a week from start to finish. Problem with the tax office? No problem - popped in - 5 minutes later and it was all done and dusted! :-D
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Les rats bleus
Jan 2016
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