I know I moved here to slow down a bit and take the time to stop and smell the lavender so to speak, but perhaps transitioning from New York City to the South of France is just too abrupt. Hell, transitioning from Barbados to the South of France is probably too abrupt.
I’ve been here about a year and a half and I still marvel at how the French are basically oblivious to anyone behind them in a line. They have no compunction about spending hours searching through their purses for their wallets, slowly counting out the exact price to the centime (even if it means cleaning out their purse at the same time), chatting endlessly with the cashier while a line resembling the apple store on the launch day of the latest iwhatever forms behind them. I think it’s more pronounced in the South. They have no problem lingering to chat in doorways, sidewalks, intersections. Where ever they can block the most traffic. I sure don’t want to be behind these people at an emergency exit!
Today 20 or so people were held up by a woman trying to count out exact change (centime by centime) from her purse with her elbows because her nails were still drying. That was before waiting a half hour for a woman with a very full cart who waited until after everything was rung up and bagged to begin searching for her carte du fidelite. Then she waited until after she finally paid to commence a long conversation with the cashier. I hate her almost as much as I hate Dick Cheney.
Oddly enough, the only time the French seem to be in a hurry is when they’re on the road and looming in your rear view mirror. Maybe they’re trying to make up for the time lost lingering in doorways and holding up the line at the grocery/drug/hardware/bakery/butcher/shoe/clothing/home decor/etc store.
Granted, in a way, it’s kind of nice…they’re taking the time to interact with one another in real time/real life, not on some social media site. They know everyone in their neighborhoods by name. They bring each other baked goods and tomatoes from their gardens. They have a glass of wine together and watch the world go by. I think it’s part of what makes this part of the world so special and drew me to it in the first place. It probably even makes for a more civilized society.
But jeezus h. christ, I’m going to kick some French ass if they don’t get the lead out so I can get home and check my facebook feed.