10 Ways To Know You're in France

1. Public Displays of Affection are a part of life - at the tram stop, on the tram, in the park, at the cafe.

2. People go jogging all the time, everywhere.

3. At the supermarket, everyone painstakingly packs up all their food in bags, then pays for it. All the while, the cashier and everyone in the queue are watching and waiting.

4. You see young people pay by cheque. Seriously - people still pay by cheque. And you get dirty looks if you don't have the right change to pay for your baguette.

5. Coffee means a shot of espresso.

6. You walk along head down to avoid the dog poop on the footpaths.

7. Your breakfast cereal is full of chocolate. And you tried to buy a healthy one. Special K in fact. (Maybe could have tried harder.)

8. No parking signs mean 'let's try to cram three tiny Peugeots up on the footpath here'

9. You can't catch the tram because there is a protest (manifestation). Or perhaps a strike (greve).

10. There are magnificent Roman ruins round the corner but no-one cares. And you live in an apartment built before the Treaty of Waitangi was signed.

Seriously, France, we love you.

Drum beats, confetti and people of all sorts filled the streets for Bordeaux's version of Carnaval this week. It is a parade and street party to celebrate the end of winter. Let's just say it was a little different to the kiwi Santa Parade, with topless ladies and masked ghoulish figures, as well as floats. At the end a huge crowd of people dance along behind the retinue. It is pretty hard to resist the party feeling. Spring is coming! There are more pictures in the Sud Ouest Newspaper if you are interested.


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