Saturday, 18 April 2015

Some French Quirks Noticed in Normandy

Carole's Chatter: Normandy, France

The French and their dogs are very close.  At one B&B (chambres d'hote) we were served breakfast with 2 small snuffling bulldogs around our feet  – not an experience that we particularly enjoyed.  The same establishment featured a pet donkey which was kept in the front garden which was the loudest creature I have heard in a long time – particularly when it wakes you up early!  Not to speak of the loud church bells rung every morning without fail.

We found it quite difficult to get used to the notion that you couldn't shop between 12 and 2 because almost every shop closes down for lunch – and all the staff head off to local restaurants for a full cooked meal.

Carole's Chatter: Normandy, France

Almost all supermarkets are also closed on Sundays.  This is pretty much inconceivable to us since all supermarkets here open 7 days a week – and are at their busiest on the weekends.

Many petrol stations were found in the car parks of supermarkets – and many of them were card operated so it didn't matter if the supermarket was open or not.  But only Total and Intermarche seemed to accept our mastercard – Casino and Hyper U would not.

Many things were different but really nice – like being greeted in shops not by 'Can I help you' but by 'Bonjour, Madame'.  And you need to know that it is important to say 'Bonjour' back.  And when you leave a shop you need to say thanks (Merci) or Au Revoir (Goodbye) otherwise you are being rude in French eyes.

Some people say the French are not nice to foreigners – I have only once experienced this.  My experience is that if you use your basic French you will be treated well.

You do find yourself shaking hands and air kissing a whole lot in France – kind of fun – even if not very protective against germs.


  1. Very interesting. I've never been to France, but I can certainly appreciate the laid back lifestyle.

  2. We have a menagerie of pets, but no donkeys. Now I want a really loud donkey! ;-) -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

  3. I would certainly love that life.


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