One of my favourite French stores is LeClerc. It's huge, pandering to my multifarious, eclectic mind! Normally the French go out of their way to be as uncompetitive as possible. But leClerc - why, it's almost American. Take the car park. Last summer they went to huge expense in fitting special photo-voltaic panels across the huge roof expanse. This is an amazing boon to shoppers in summer: no longer do we have to hit a wall of heat on opening the car door. It's even cool enough to take the dogs. And, during that ridiculously busy Xmas period, they even had yellow-jacketed attendants pointing the way to available spaces. But, as usual, what's infuriating are the French themselves. When unloading a trolley-load at the checkout, don't even think of standing at the top end of the trolley. I learned that to my cost. The queuing person behind you will start to fill up the belt with his stuff - leaving you with just 6 inches of room to load items one by one! And, if you're waiting behind a family with small children, it can take ages. First they sit their toddlers the other side of the belt, whilst they chat to the check out girl and slowly complete a cheque, fiddle with id etc. (French banks charge a monthly fee for cards, so the French often use the cheaper facility of cheques).
It's no good. Must take a leaf out of the late Michael Winner's book: keep calm dear.
N.B. Need to take a break - so back in 3 weeks. A bientot.