The title refers to 2 slightly different dilemmas…one –Dom and I trying to break ourselves from our London approach to daily life and two, our impatience to get things sorted and really immerse ourselves in our new life. One could argue they are the same thing.
Now, before I go on don’t think I am slamming London- I love London and absolutely loved living there for twelve and a half years….rural France obviously isn’t perfect either but for where I am in my life right now, this is the place to be.
OK – so, some London daily life habits that need ‘adjustment’ in Southwest rural France.
- Yes, you really do need 2 hours for lunch (or more!) and no the waiter or waitress will not be bringing your bill very quickly…and yes you might have to wait a bit between your first course and your second since they will be serving the entire restaurant at nearly the same time and for some reason there is only one waiter for the whole place (or at least it looks that way). When you make a reservation for lunch or dinner, often it is just that ‘reserve for lunch’ or ‘reserve for dinner’ not necessarily a specific time. You have the table for the whole time, you do not have to give it back after 90 minutes, and you couldn’t if you wanted to because you probably haven’t even ordered your ‘closing coffee’ at this point.
- Take the time to talk to people, no, really, actually talk to people. Meaning when you are buying from people at the weekly market, pausing in front of something beautiful (church, bridge, door), in the checkout at the grocery store it is OK and in fact expected to speak more than the usual yes, no, thank you. For example in the queue at the boulangerie it is OK to have ask the person serving you (often the actual baker) to explain the not so common loaves of bread (OK, not-so-common for me, and usually regional specialties like ‘croustillant quercynoise’), or even chat about that new shop down the road, or that strange sonic boom that happened last week. People behind you will not shoot daggers, tut or purse their lips because you are making them wait….they might even join the conversation.
Can’t we have it now?
- Call electrician for a problem – he shows up and fixes it. Note to the electrician there is a lot of work that will need to be done and can he prepare a devis (quote) for the work. Two weeks later, another electrical problem, call electrician, he fixes problem. Note to the electrician there is a lot of work that will need to be done and can he prepare a devis (quote) for the work. Repeat as necessary. Latest- he did say ‘I’ll be back in early October to walk through the house so I can get the details in order to prepare the quote’. OK, he said something in French which I think meant he’ll be back….I hope. It is early October now isn’t it. Drat.
- Plumber ‘I’ll be back in early October to install the new boiler/update the heating system.’ At least we have a quote for that – and have paid a deposit….and he has said he has ordered the equipment. But, still…
- Pool renovation….it should be sorted by the spring. If we ever get the quote from the ‘man with the big machinery’ who needs to do the first bit of foundation work in the next two months. Apparently one person has been waiting nearly 2 years for a quote form him. That doesn’t bode well.
- Contractor – we have the quote (yay!), we have met some of the people who will be doing the work (yay!). We will start mid-October (yay!)…I think…I haven’t heard anything for over week now.