Living in France for 3 months with Jeannine & Roger


Tour La Blanche 15th April

Tipped off by our Matamata neighbours as having a good flea market and many antique bargains we went to the town of La Tour Blanche. Although the photos don’t do it justice there were lots of good stalls, a few of which were manned by Poms. I managed to strike a good French one, asked in French how much for a set of artichoke salt and pepper shakers and then had no idea what she said. Roger translated possibly badly and she thought we were haggling and accepted 2 Euro when I think she actually wanted 3.

I also wanted an almost life sized polar bear for 10 Euro but the practicalities of getting it home won out. French markets don’t do coffee stands or hot takeaway food, so we were surprised to find this market had a place to park him at the bar for beer and chips while she shops. Taste of France, frites accompanied with tomato sauce, seafood mayonnaise and mustard.

To walk off the chips we went back to Gurat to the 7th-12th century chapel in the cliff to do 2 geocaches; great day, 100% success rate. Below are more photos of the chapel, English guides for Kiwis, the wells of Gurat, views from the hill nearby and the rewards for doing Terra adventurer’s caches.

Feeling hungry on the way home, our Taste of France came from the British thing to do go to a restaurant bar and have a Sunday lunch. Drawn in by an English flag and soccer paraphernalia we thought we made a safe choice in St Severin, however “no anglais”. So we ordered the standard lunch of Croque Monsieur and Frites, which comes with tomato sauce, mayo, mustard, baguette and water. I probably didn’t do the Croque Monsieur justice last time I mentioned it, as it is not just a ham and toasted sandwich, it is a heart attack on a plate because it is covered in béchamel sauce inside and out.

Just so you don’t think France is all about cheese and fries we do see other healthy options as witnessed in the photos, but not consumed: vine tomatoes, walnut trees (for oil and nuts), Rape seed oil, nettle for the greenies and al fresco dining.

French word for the day is chemin, which means path. It refers to roadways, tracks, ancient trails, anything the French want it to be, that’s life, just like their driving. Roger had to refresh himself on the road code only to find out that rules don’t apply; first onto the roundabout, through the one-lane bridge or at the non signposted intersection has the right of way. Most towns don’t have speed limit signs as the sign advising the town is indication to slow to 50 and the sign indicating you are leaving town is the open road speed limit sign. There are intersections without give way or stop signs or lines indicating who has the right away, however normally 100 -150 metres before the intersection there is a sign indicating who should have the right away, but best of luck with that in rural France.

Jeannine & Roger

A couple of people who decided to try living in France for three months, to absorb some of the culture and to try a diet of Baguette, cheese and wine.

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