Monday, August 16, 2010

So... in other news, I'm working in France at the moment.

Imagine this happening in my hack French and his equally unintelligible English. So, who knows, this conversation may never have actually happened. But it's how it seemed at the time.

I go in to an estate agent in Lille and tell the guy that I'd like to view one of the flats in his window - after laughing at me and saying that I can not live in his window, I ask if I could meet at the flat to view it, say next Thursday at noon. And he says, "but I eat lunch in my lunch hour which is from noon to 2pm" So I say, "so do I, but its when I have time to see a flat." And he says "how about 2pm?" And I say "I have to be at work by 2pm". And he says "so do I." And then he says, "Don't make me work during lunch hour and I won't make you look at a flat during lunch. Nobody on earth should do anything during lunch but eat lunch. French people eat lunch at lunch. We do not work at lunchtime, we work at work time!!" And I said, "Ah but what about the people who work in restaurants serving you?" and he said, "You are not fluent enough in my language to make such clever retorts you stupid English speaking swine, and that none of the people who work in restaurants will be able to show you a flat, so there!"

And in words I didn't understand, but in gestures that I'm fluent in, he essentially told me that lunch hour is a sacred two hours of the day and that I needed to get my priorities right.

And then I realised, with food this good all around ... I suddenly saw his point and found myself respecting the lunch 'hour'. But still, two hours? Every day? In my next life, I'm coming back as an estate agent in France.

1 comment:

Dara said...

A full taste of ze vrai French culture iz awaiting you. Thanks for the perfect descrip-you might have some better luck if you can bring your RE agent some sort of food bribe.

Bonne chance!