Right, it is time to set the record straight here. I have been complaining about the fact that, whatever I do, I am never taken seriously because of my French accent but, right now, I feel like a princess. A goddess. For some reasons, being French also gives me lots of perks. To be fair, I am a lot more relaxed and I don’t put up with what I used to, which must help.
Let me explain. Yesterday, I decided to do some grocery shopping. I don’t like it, but the family has to eat, right? To cheer me up, I went to my coffee shop first where, for some unknown reason, I was offered a free cappuccino. By the female barrista, if you must know. Well, I just enjoyed it. It was great.
Then, I needed to go to my local supermarket to buy some fresh fish. Nobody was at the stand to serve me. Typical. It was about 11.30 am on a Friday morning. I therefore had to ask someone for help. Eventually a young guy arrived. He was clearly annoyed. I explained that I wanted a couple of fresh soles. I also ask him whether he could skin them for me. You see, in France you don’t even need to ask, they do it automatically. And you have to stop them if you don’t want them to. But the guy told me ”sorry, ma’am, I am not trained to do this.” What?
The thing is, a couple of years ago I wouldn’t have said anything. I would have bought them anyway. But after having tried to skin a sole in my own kitchen only to manage to send it flying on the wall, I wasn’t going to accept this. So I replied. “Well, neither am I. What am I supposed to do then?” Blank look. In a very British way, I ended the conversation with “Well, thank you for being so helpful”. And I walked away without buying anything.
I was of course fuming but I remembered that there was a fishmonger on Tachbrook Street market, so I went there. He was lovely and very helpful. Just like in France, I didn’t need to ask anything and he even gave me a fresh Dover sole because he accidentally cut the head of one while skinning it (see, it is not THAT easy!). Which really didn’t matter, but he insisted to give it to me. For free. It was HUGE.
I couldn’t believe my luck: free coffee and free sole today. Today, I still feel like a million dollars. And guess what: I have never felt like this in France. Life is good!
Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London