Whilst out doing a food shop during my recent holiday in France, I visited the local hypermarket, a French equivalent of one of the UK’s stores where every little helps! Being a French hypermarket, the concourse was packed with smaller shops, cafés and patisseries. The aroma from a French bakery can at times be a bit sickly sweet but couple it with the scent drifting from the freshly ground coffee beans coming from the cafes and you almost feel like you are in paradise!
I hadn’t gone alone. Chef and Welsh Weeble came too, whilst our respective other halves lazed around the campsite swimming pool enjoying the sunshine. Welsh Weeble and I had completed our shop and were waiting at the end of the 10 items or less checkouts. We had all just popped into this hypermarket for a couple of items we couldn’t find in the previous store.
Chef was stuck in the queue waiting for the cashier. It was the same checkout I had passed through earlier. I had noticed just how strict she was with the number of items permitted through. The sign above the checkout said ten or less and that is exactly what she expected.
Anyone trying to go through with greater than ten was told to either leave the queue or remove some items. People were arguing that some items didn’t count. For example where there was an offer of buy one get one free. Surely, they would argue, these only counted as one item!
Of course, that is what I think they were saying. My French is passable and gets me by. I can order food and drink; I can reserve tables at restaurants for any number of people at any time of the day; I can even ask for directions. I may not always understand the response, but I can ask. For all I know, these people in the queue may have been having dig at the strange Englishman waiting to pay for his three items.
Whatever they were saying, it was very clear the woman in charge of the checkout was very strict. Before I had passed through, the family in front of me were trying to pretend they were individual customers. The mother had put her items on the conveyor belt and only had ten items. That is until the young boy produced a couple of bags of sweets.
She immediately placed them on the belt with a ‘Next Customer’ sign (obviously in French!) between her items and the sweets. As she was attempting to pass her son some money to pay for them, the row broke out between her and the checkout lady.
There was a stand off, but the checkout lady was not going to back down. The people in the queue behind were becoming agitated as they looked on. The French are not patient people. If they had been in cars in this queue, there would have been a cacophony of horns sounding. Thank goodness you have to park the car outside the store!
Eventually the customer had to discard the sweets and just purchase her ten items.
Meanwhile, as I mentioned earlier, I was, by now, standing waiting in the concourse and was transfixed on a woman’s hair style; a style which really didn’t suit the woman in question. In fact, I was struggling to think whether there was a woman any where in the world that this style would suit! I have only ever seen a cut of this style once before and I guess it didn’t look out of place then.
Mind you, having said that, it probably didn’t look out of place because it was on a dog!
The style in question belonged to the dog in The Magic Roundabout – Dougal. And, if you didn’t know already, Dougal’s creator, Serge Danot, was French. The picture below is from the children’s television series from many years ago, back in the 1960s.
The film industry then gave Dougal a shampoo to make him look slightly less shaggy.
Either way, in my humble opinion, the style suits a character in an animated film, but not a real life woman! Not even a French woman! 😉 The pictures above don’t really do justice to the severity of the cut on the French woman. Picture a thatched roof; the edge of the thatch and you’ll come close to the edging on her hair.