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Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Step-up or stigma?

A check-out at the Intermarché gives priority for the disabled. At first sight a good idea. Granddaughter Bella saw an elderly woman, wracked with Parkinson's, hand over her purse to the till-girl.

But an old man joined the queue behind us, moving slowly, needing his walking stick. Did he qualify as disabled? How does one verify?

The situation solved itself. A younger, more vociferous chap tagged on and with him I established the French for disabled. Handicappé, of course. Then the younger man opened his wallet and pointed to a certificate stamped with the unrelated letter R. Some kind of anti-foreigner scam? What the hell? I waved them both through.

In future I'll avoid the Caisse Prioritaire check-out. Or possibly apply for an R stamp myself.

LOST TIME I used to crawl-swim a mile twice a week, posting about this to excess and boring many commenters. For several complex reasons I had to give up swimming.

It's hot here in Autignac. Yesterday I donned my cozzie and my sun-proof tee-shirt and stood timidly. I used to jump in but I'm older and fear a heart attack. Like a wimp I use the ladder – but without a trace of oooh-ooher-oohoohooh! Not surprising, the pool thermometer registers 28.7 deg C. Did three ten-length swims and will jump in today.

LIVING ON Clive James has leukemia and emphysema and may die any moment. His collected TV criticism should be ephemeral but isn't. "Joan Lestor was a splendid chairperson (at the Labour Party Conference): When a speaker's time was up, she slung him off the platform. 'Thanks comrade.Lovely speech. Don't spoil it.' And back the poor sod went to another year of anonymous toil."

6 comments:

mike M said...

Glad you're back in the water. Ten minutes of Googling this morning (sputtering along on one cup of coffee)produced no result re the "R' stamp, certificate, grocery, handicapped, checkout situation. There is some sort of "R" rail pass...a student thing, as I recall. I thought you were franco-fluent enough to avoid scams and trickery.

Ellena said...

Swimming is a great substitute for dieting when in France.

Lucy said...

Always rather a dicey business, the caisse prioritaire, I've overheard French people grumbling about it and saying they simply avoid it, but then when there are dawdling long queues at all the others... I tend to think it's a bit like food banks and much other charity, those that need it most don't use it while others take advantage. The R means nothing to me but I'll try to remember to ask.

Enjoy your dips!

Rouchswalwe said...

Just so you know, I was always happy to read about your swims, being as I am a Kanazuchi (your Japanese word for the day meaning a hammer who sinks in water). And I'm happy to know you're enjoying swims now in France!

Ellena said...

R for respect but definitively not for retardé which has be changed to the smooth `in need of special care`.

Roderick Robinson said...

MikeM: I can do the language but even then there are many exceptions. Especially tutoyer. And then there's the kissing. No, far from FRanco-fluent.

Lucy: I had the feeling I was being conned but, heck, it's France and it's happened before.

RW (zS): Did fifty lengths yesterday; didn't think I'd got it in me.

Ellena: As I said, a good idea but not completely thought through.