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The French are Revolting....

 
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Minx



Joined: 09 Dec 2006
Posts: 4088
Location: France/Spain/Peterborough/Tenerife

PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 3:17 pm    Post subject: The French are Revolting.... Reply with quote

We just got home this afternoon after spending two months in France. Over the last few weeks the situation has become worse and we were left stranded in the middle of nowhere by striking lock-keepers on the Midi on two occasions. We also got caught up in a street demo in Carcassonne, about two hundred or so students, pushing over waste bins, shouting and blowing those blasted vuvuzuelas (unchecked by the accompanying police). The fracas went on for a full day.

We set off yesterday morning, two weeks earlier than planned as the situation was getting worse and a massive strike is planned for tomorrow. The blocking of oil refineries has led to a fairly dire shortage of fuel at the pumps, despite the reassurances of the French government. We tried several petrol stations around Rouen yesterday evening without success but managed to get some on the A16 heading to Calais around dawn this morning.

We'd worried about 'l'escargot' demonstrations on the motorway, but although we met one about six miles from Calais, it was heading in the opposite direction - three lorries abreast doing ten miles an hour, again under the supervision of the police, with a six mile tailback! Shocked

Such a shame for them.... imagine having your retirement age pushed back from 60 to 62!

Rolling Eyes
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Helen May



Joined: 10 Dec 2006
Posts: 18497
Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad you got home safely Minx. I did wonder how you were getting on.

Seems some aircraft are diverting to Manchester (and probably other airports as well) to refuel because of the shortage of aircraft fuel.

H
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ruddlescat



Joined: 16 Sep 2010
Posts: 18010
Location: Near Chester

PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've heard that petrol stations around Dover and other channel ports are doing a lot of extra business from French travellers returning from this country
I suppose it will keep George Osbourne happy with all the extra fuel duty and VAT he be raking in!
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RockitRon



Joined: 07 Dec 2006
Posts: 7565

PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Things do seem to be getting more heated and serious over there. We were in Montpellier on the day in June when they had a half-day strike and demonstration at the Arc de Triomphe and gardens, but it was all good natured.

The point was made somewhere that it's the minimum retirement age for public sector workers which is being pushed to 62. The age at which the state pension is paid is being extended from 65 to 67, in line with most of the EU, and the number of work years required to claim the full state pension is also being lengthened, from 40.5 to 41.5 years.
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ColinB
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ruddlescat wrote:
I suppose it will keep George Osbourne happy with all the extra fuel duty and VAT he be raking in!


He'd better make the most of it because after his cynically-titled Spending Review he could well push us all to the brink of copying the French.
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Soulsister



Joined: 14 Sep 2010
Posts: 242
Location: Good Old Sussex by the Sea

PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The French are a funny lot! Laughing

Never ceases to amaze me that a 22 mile strip of water can separate two such totally alien cultures.

I was a student in France for two years in the late 70s, and I can't say I didn't enjoy my time there because I did, but it also made me appreciate very much who I was and where I came from. I had frequent trips home and every one made me more and more nostalgic and sentimental about Britain to the point where I couldn't wait to come home. One particularly poignant memory was the smell of sweet summer grass. You know when it's just cut in late Summer? When you live here you probably never notice it, but I remember coming up in the train from Dover with the train windows open and this smell wafting in. Impossible to explain, but hopefully someone will get an inkling of what I'm on about.

I also got some Marmite shipped out (along with Baked Beans, Branston and various other things) and remember spreading it on a freshly baked baguette with French unsalted butter and urging my French friends to take a bite. They all spat it out!!! Surprised Thought it was the most disgusting thing they'd ever tasted!

Don't really know where I'm going with this tbh, but the thread just sort of set me off down memory lane.
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ruddlescat



Joined: 16 Sep 2010
Posts: 18010
Location: Near Chester

PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh Soul Sister whilst unlike you I've never lived in France I love the place apart from Paris which is just like most other Western capital Cities.
I've spent a fair amount of time in Britanny,Normandy and the Loire Valley and its like going back to Britain when I was a child in the 1960s
If your English nobody interferes with your life and as long as you make some effort to speak the language and be outgoing towards your neighbours they treat you with the utmost respect
I'd move there tomorrow if I didn't have two sons who have ties in this country
Perhaps one day,who knows?
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becky sharp



Joined: 01 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few years ago whilst in France we got a little lost so decided to ask for directions ... the woman we asked,very politely in passable French,and who looked as if she could have been a descendant of Madam Defarge told us in no uncertain terms to go forth and multiply rather than answer our query.....to say we were shocked is somewhat of an understatement.....she mustn't have heard of The Entente Cordiale....Very Happy

Good that you're home safe,Minx..
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ColinB
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

becky sharp wrote:
A few years ago whilst in France we got a little lost so decided to ask for directions ... the woman we asked,very politely in passable French,and who looked as if she could have been a descendant of Madam Defarge told us in no uncertain terms to go forth and multiply rather than answer our query.....to say we were shocked is somewhat of an understatement.....she mustn't have heard of The Entente Cordiale....Very Happy


That reminds me of a now-deceased relative who took part in the first wave of the D-Day landings who was being ignored by a waiter at a restaurant in a French city somewhere in the 1970s. The waiter uttered something in French about "les Anglais" and in turn received a tirade - in perfect French - about how the waiter should be thankful that it was thanks to the f******** Anglais having the courage to storm the Normandy beaches in 1945 that he had the freedom to be so ********* rude all the time!

We used to laugh when he told that story because his French was perfect, yet he retained the use of the "f-word" in Anglo-Saxon. He did eventually marry a lovely French woman whom he met whilst he was working as an interpreter just after the invasion.
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