Seems I have bee suffering from 'Bloggers Block', a sort of electronic writers cramp, brought about by an overload of English culture, as we have returned currently to the UK. Its as though my brain, tuned to seek the similarities and anomalies in French & Anglo culture / education, just couldn't cope with the onslaught of so much Englishness
So whats made the change, where has the breakthrough come? Well its about realising, much to my surprise, that I see things from a French perspective whilst in the UK in the opposite way to how I see the Anglo perspective in the French systems.
And what made the change well simple...bacon.
Pork is as popular in Franc as in the UK, but the concept of rashers of sizzling bacon, or bacon butties or bacon rolls with chicken is quite alien in France. Slices are either way too thin, way too think or don't exist. And yet there before me in the UKsupermarket is a dazzling array of bacon, loose or packaged, for cooking or frying, with or without rind, smoked or non smoked; even a choice of pig or region is possible. The only thing not on offer easily are lardons, the beloved French diced bacon bits super for carbonnara or in stews or casseroles and much used by the French.
But perhaps the most telling of things bore no relation to any of the actual meat products but to the impressive, new NHS hospital. Built like an airport, bright & airy with wide corridors and crisp lines it is the embodiment of all you'd hope for in any medical system and one the NHS should rightly be proud of. Computer greeting terminals allow the patient to book in and proceed, via a series of 'sub waits' to the correct area, so you always know where you are who you will see and what is happening. Brilliantly efficient, clear & makes the patient feel every things in hand, the medics are informed and you know what is happening.
So here is where the differences lie because as you log in, with aid from friendly assistants if necessary, you have to collect a booking ticket, affectionately referred to as your 'bacon counter ticket' as it resembles the sort issued to avoid queues or misunderstandings at supermarkets counters for fresh meats or cheese.
Now I just can't imagine the French liking this sort of labelling, even food related, they'd expect people & time to be given to them. Perhaps its about the population numbers and space / land area that the two countries have; France being low in population, mostly rural with some high concentrations and a vast alnd area and England being a small island with high population. We can't and don't expect time to be given to us, the French I feel would expect an individuals attention, but I did notice that in that vast new building we all seemed strangely comforted being led by and clutching our, 'bacon tickets'
One cure for bloggers block..... bacon...