OIF continued

I forgot a few!

There’s no screens on windows or doors. So yes bugs can get in but it’s not the end of the world. I’m a little worried about a pigeon flying into the bedroom but Shmoe assured me that I’m neurotic and that will never happen. We shall see.

All windows have glass doors that open wide and shutters. There really is no need for air conditioning in the house (the same cannot be said for public areas!). If you keep the glass doors open and the shutters shut, it doesn’t get hot at all. It’s actually quite cool.

When you buy a chicken at the market (not in Monoprix or Dia chain stores but actual markets) or the butcher, it comes with the feet still attached. Sometimes the head too. Occasionally a few feathers. I’m a hypocrite and request them to be chopped off, to the dismay of the butcher.

Fish in a restaurant always (in my experience) comes with head, tail and bones attached. I’m too squeamish. I try not to remember that my food was alive once. Things like heads make that harder to do.

Daily life is very local. Obviously, people go to dinners, parties, visit family and friends and other outings that aren’t so local but day-to-day life is within a small community. In our area, the lycée is a few blocks away, as is the maternelle and crèche. The train station is as well. Once you are home from work, everything is within a few blocks. Mostly people walk. There a few boulangeries, the boucherie, the epecurie, the supermarché, the charcuterie, the fromagerie, the banque, the droguerie, the poste, the pâtisserie, two brasseries, two coiffures, at least four kabobs and others in a four block radius. There’s a tailor (essential for French living), bookshops, cafés and more. As such, people walk about during the day and after work. They stop and talk to each other. As I cook dinner, I can hear people chatting, gossiping and catching up out in the street. Men with hang out for hours and talk at the coiffure across the street (I’m not sure how their wives feel about it!). People go to the tabac, which is the brasserie, not just for coffee, wine and cigarettes (yes, it’s France – everybody smokes) but to chat with others. People know each other. Even as I walk to and from the train station each day, I say a bonjour/bonsoir to several shopkeepers and people walking on the street. It’s amazing that in such a large city, there can actually be more of a small town experience.


1 Comment

Filed under travel

One response to “OIF continued

  1. We’re very standoffish in our North American culture! Too much space!

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