Sunday, March 05, 2006

How to identify a French man (or woman) in public eating establishments.

This might be a little bit of a generalisation, but who cares?
I’ve learnt how to identify French nationals (I’m not sure if other Europeans do it as well) in restaurants, cafeterias, cafes and breakfast rooms of hotels.

For some reason, when eating bread, that is, bread rolls, slices, roughly cut baguettes, French people do not like to use side plates or plates in general. They tend to whack their morsels of bread straight onto the table (or if they’re lucky, the nice clean table cloth) and proceed to cut, slice and spread as per normal.

I used to think this was just behaviour in one’s own home, however, after watching several demonstrations of this conduct both in France and abroad, I have come to the conclusion that this odd behaviour applies anywhere and everywhere.

This doesn’t seem quite normal to me. Firstly, the plates are there for a reason. Secondly, think of all the GERMS that are on that table! Germs, which attach themselves to the scraps of bread placed on the table, and which are subsequently ingested.

While there might be less washing up to do, this just can’t be good for you.

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