Friday, May 13, 2011

Pardon Monsieur!


Every country has it's little quirks…

Well, I guess it's really every country's people have their little quirks…

I have heard about an issue with the men of France - not all the men, but enough that in some areas of discussion, it's enough to have started a stereotype…

I have read over the years that Frenchmen have no issues with unzipping whenever nature calls but never experienced the phenomenon on our last trip - well, gentle reader, I have now!

We were driving down a lovely country road and in the distance I saw a white delivery van pilled off to our side of the road, a man standing off to the side…. he couldn't be I thought, especially as I saw him turn his head to look at our car approaching…

Oh yes, he was! He was most definitely…

Of course I don't know the protocol… do you wave, smile discreetly, raise your eyebrows and say "Oh La La", or look anywhere else as you drive by?

My eyes were squeezed shut - at least as we zipped by!

The next day we stopped for lunch in an amazing hotel in a quaint village; a stunning lunch even by French standards.

Duck thighs in a brown-tarragon sauce, roasted potatoes with tarragon seasoning, a vegetable vaguely resembling baby asparagus, fresh baguette and to finish, a rhubarb-custard tart. Sublime.

As we were getting ready to leave I asked for la toilettes…. and upon passing through the door pointed to by the wait-staff, I was presented with a small room with double sinks set into a lovely marble, with a large mirror above; to the right were two narrow doors, side by side.
Mickey Mouse adorned the front of one, Minnie was on the other….

Hmmm - well, side by side with the boys, sharing a communal washing up space but still with our own WCs….alrighty then - I can do this.
Whilst I was in Minnie's space I heard the door beside me open….

But it didn't close again…what could that mean.. then I heard the evidence...

I came out and what to my wondering eyes did I see?

 NOTHING!

I kept my head down and eyes left, because some man had gone in to the WC, was doing his thing and hadn't bothered to close the door. Knowing a little bit about men, I figured his back would be to me but even so!

When I came out Marc asked me how the washroom was - we always decide how bad our own need is based on the other's opinion of the facilities - and I said,

Well… since you ask….

I was trying to figure out what to use for photos for this post and asked him to step over toward some bushes with his back to me but he's far too cagey for this girl - no way was he going on Blogger TV - he knew what I was up to right away!



I always thought people watching was a fun spectator sport but now I know you have to be very careful where you do it!

7 comments:

MosaicMagpie said...

do you wave, smile discreetly, raise your eyebrows and say "Oh La La", you ask??? Depends on what there is to see!!!!
Deb

Laura said...

Pish posh... tell Dad to live a little!

Marj Talbot said...

Maybe a whistle would be in order?
I agree with Deb - depends on what there is to see. Lovely countryside in your photo. Thanks for sharing your trip and your stories. Tom and I are very much enjoying reading them.

Debora said...

Oo-la-la! Can you believe it? "Cultural differences" doesn't quite explain it for me. :o)

Michelle May (Shell) said...

OMG!! I can't imagine! This was totally funny though. I think I would have stopped peeing mid stream when the fella walked in! Too weird! At least there is a toilet though and not a hole in the ground like some places. hee,hee,hee. ick!
xx, shell

Wendy said...

To be honest, I think you go off lightly as far as the toilets were concerned. I spent a year at University in France. In our local bar the ladies toilet was at the end of a corridor. To the left of the corridor were the men's urinals. Open to the corridor. You had to queue, looking at men weeing! Our local student nightclub had no toilets at all so everyone had to go in the bushes! And another nightclub featured just the nasty hole in the ground style of toilet...

Wendy said...

To be honest, I think you go off lightly as far as the toilets were concerned. I spent a year at University in France. In our local bar the ladies toilet was at the end of a corridor. To the left of the corridor were the men's urinals. Open to the corridor. You had to queue, looking at men weeing! Our local student nightclub had no toilets at all so everyone had to go in the bushes! And another nightclub featured just the nasty hole in the ground style of toilet...