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Thursday, november 16, 2006

And now finally the lovely France

Alvast de cover van het nieuwe boekI sit in the hammock and listen to the silence. The children are at school and Ruud is in the appartment working at te Windows Vista book. It is noon so all the French are inside either at home or in a reataurant. The daily rhythm in France is compelling. Although we have not completely surrendered to the French eating habits (at noon a complete warm meal and at diner a simple bufet) but at twelfe we feel a unstoppable desire to stop working. shutters are closed, shops close their doors, phones ring unanswered and all of a sudden one can hear the birds whistling, because there is allmost none trafic. Il est midi. From noon till two France is closed.

Although from all over the world voices are raised to exterminate this old habit, we think it's allright. One goes out for a bite and afterwards linger on a bench or in a hammock in the relentless sun. One has to, because everebody else does. The problem is that because of our foreign rhythm we are nackered at six in the evening, while the French go on for at least another two whole hours. Our productivity is convincingly less then it used to be. This is until recentl.

Because under pressure of the date limite (deadline, yes even the French know this concept) of the Windows Vista book, we finally send our children to la cantine (the cantine / restaurant).

Franse schoolkantine

A French cantine of a maternelle (nursery school). Because of the copyrights on portraits and other laws, there are no children in this picture.

Cantine: a word usually associated with meatballs and gravy slobbering workers and therefore in many companys replaced by a word with a better image: 'company reaturant' (barf). From my many years of experience as a teacher in companies i know that this change of name has not brought a change in the quality of the cheese sandwich with a glass of milk.

Ah well, let me explain, our children have a four day week, i mean schooldays from 8:30 till 16:30, from which since august 31st not one, i repeat not one has been skipped as part of one of those totaly useless study, spare, free lazy days for teachers, as we used to know.

So now i have finally something whith wich i can make the people back home jealous. and dont hang up, because there is more...

Between 11:30 and 13:30 the children have a lunch break where they a) occupy two whole hours of the precious time of their hardworking parents, or b) can stay over, play and above all eat a warm three course meal in the cantine for only 3.20 euros. AS from monday our children attend the cantine and now we know this is one of the best decicions we made in months. The children can't stop talking about the warm meals at school and finally we can work for hours undistubed with our jobs.

Halldor en Deirdre eten watermeloen

O yeah, why didn't we do this before, one thinks. Well look, when you read in books about foreigners that have moved to Paris and place their children on expensive international schools, one gets the impression that visitors of the cantine in France are daily tortured with tête de veau (calf brains), tripoux (gut), huitres (oisters), confit de canard (duck suffering from the Aveyron), and so on. But that is in Paris. Here they know darn well what to serve the children, french fries, green beans, baked potatoes, spaghetti, and yes even apple sauce and delecious deserts with abundantly chocolate.

Franse Paella

The problem that arises is that Ruud and I will starve, because how can you put up a nother warm meal while the children will be served simple sandwiches?. But i have found something, Ruud has applied himself with the URSSAF* and registerd himself ast the one and only boss of our succesfull company, and now i am just a employee that uses the bed to get herself in a better position at the top. And than i will, like all those other French money slaves, go en grève (on strike) to demand my right for lunchtickets. ANd i believe that the right to go on strike is so far fetched in France that Ruud may even go on strike against himself, and then we can finally go out and eat together.

*URSSAF = Union de Recouvrement des cotisations de Sécurité Sociale et d´Allocation familiale or AKA (also known as) the chamber of commerce for artisans and other creepy rif raf. Every newbie in France is amazed by this totally craced and unstoppable abreviation machine, for every company and activity there is an abreviation, to name a few: SDEI (water company), EDF (electric company), GDF (gas company), SAMU (medical service), A whell, I WLL DDIC8 1 RTiCL 2 IT L8TR.

that makes me hungry, a nice bug would do

posted by Ruud at 23:50  |  send a comment

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