There are so many things that are different here in France, it’s somehow really reassuring when some things are the same. It feels like although I’m thousands of miles away from home, I’m still somehow in the same world. So I love it when the binmen (les éboueurs) come round at Christmas.
Before we moved to our current shed, it was the firemen, not the binmen who used to come round. They’re very well-respected and loved over here, and if the two who turned up at my door one chilly afternoon are anything to go by, I can see why. I was more than ready to give them all my luvin’. I think I almost swooned.
Another reminder of home happened a few weeks ago when a lady knocked on the door. I’d seen her pull up in an ordinary estate car, so I was a bit surprised when she turned out to be the equivalent of the TV detector van. She did a physical check of the premises to verify that we didn’t have a TV, I had to sign a bit of paper, and then she was off next door. All a bit low-tech really.
But today’s visitors took the biscuit. Two ladies this time. One young, one old. Very pleasant, normal looking. They were hanging around trying to get a response from next door, but spotted me instead. Who could they be? None other than the Jehovah’s Witnesses! Great. Like I say, sometimes it is all the same world, even if the language is different.