faire le ménage

A few days ago, we went to Annecy for my MRI*. The news was basically very good: no ruptures to the ligaments, just a bone contusion which should hopefully see me back on skis in a few weeks.

“De toute facon, il n’y a pas de neige cet hiver,” shrugged the doctor as he gave me the prognosis. Ah, France. People in this region really do love their mountains: there are even pictures of climbers stuck on the walls in the Chamonix hospital x-ray room.

Afterwards, we decided to take a little hobble around Annecy’s old town, which was charming, as medieval French towns always are, though I think its boating lake and ferris wheel would have appealed more had it not been a rather drizzly, grey day.

When we were ready to head back, we asked a market stall holder directions to the hotel de ville, where we were parked, and following his instructions, off we went. However, a couple of moments later, a lady who must have overheard our exchange interrupted us. “C’est exact, mais cette voie est plus jolie. Je vous accompagne.”

And so she did, leading us over delightful bridges and through tiny alleyways until we could see the town hall. “Bon séjour!” she wished us as she headed back exactly the way we had come. Ah, France.

Finally, we stopped at Carrefour on the way home to do our weekly shop. Before I moved here, I hoped that I would shop at the market as much as possible, not at the Tesco Extra-esque hypermarche. But the truth is that we live in a touristy area, and the markets are not cheap. Besides, the food at the hypermarche is excellent, and very inexpensive. A couple of weeks ago, we found ostrich in the meat section. Horse and veal are always available. When I applied for my Carrefour loyalty card, the woman at the customer services desk asked me, “vous habitez á France tous le temps?” It gave me a little buzz of joy to reply in the affirmative.

Another reason why Carrefour is actually not alike Tesco at all: we stopped at the fish counter and noticed a species we weren’t familiar with for just 4 euros per kilogram.

“C’est quoi ce poisson?” we asked. “Qu’est-ce que le gout?”

The fishmonger looked at us and replied honestly, “il n’y a pas de gout.”

That explains the price. We bought some rosy pink salmon instead. Ah, France.

*While ski touring last week I had a nasty fall and injured my knee. I’ve been on crutches since; no skiing for me. Ben said that if I was still happy here despite being unable to enjoy the mountains then moving was definitely the right decision. Well, I can enjoy them, simply by looking out the window. That’s why moving was the right decision.

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