Posted by: kathandroger | February 24, 2013

Knowing when to finish

There are many similarities and many differences we have observed between the French and British cultures since we’ve been here. One big difference is the time it takes to do things here. Meals of course last for ages (we are regularly ‘a table’ for 5 or 6 hours); short meetings are unheard of in my experience; and programmes on the tele often seem interminable. Take ‘Ze Voice’, the french version of ‘The Voice’ of course. Last week we watched the first hour, then turned over for a film for the best part of a couple of hours and Garou, Louis and the rest were still going strong when we turned back. We watched for a while more, but eventually were defeated and went to bed. Similarly Top Chef, a programme I watch on Mondays. I have yet to make it to the end of an episode this series, giving in after about 3 hours! I’ve been going to quite a few meetings of late and now know that if we start at 5pm I’d better prep our dinner before I go out as we are unlikely to be done much before 8.30.

The problem seems to be that over here people don’t know how to end things. Even when the conclusion has clearly been reached, off the conversation goes again – or out come the cakes and drinks just to make sure the event is properly strung out! In the UK people are always in a rush; being focused and getting things done is important. Brits always seem to have too much to do and not enough time to do it. How come the French don’t?

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