Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Thoughts on France

Some things I noticed on a recent trip to France. None are earth shattering.

1. The Rise of the robots. The Hotels, McDonalds the Petrol Stations are all computer booths.

I can think of a few reasons for this. The French all seem to have credit cards so that makes it easier to have card run business. It also means that most shops look at you funny if you try pay with a 50 euro note.

I have heard French labour laws make hiring/firing people difficult so maybe using machines is efficient in a high labour cost country.

Eventually the same effects will happen here and many of these sorts of jobs will be automated in the next few years.

2. Desperado beer is inexplicably popular given how much good booze France has.

You see aisles of the stuff, people in queues have six packs of it. The only explanation I can think of is that wine has become stronger recently leaving a gap in the market for stronger beer. still this stuff is only 5.8% so though strongish it does not fill in the 8% light wine gap.

3. Sophie le giraffe. It is like a secret society. Parents around Ireland have been sneaking in this teething aid. Some friends smuggled back 4 for their friends. I was aware of the child minding powers of savanna ungulates. They have a series of creches here but whoever starts importing these into our homes in Ireland will make a few quid

4. "All our beef is French and Irish" Most restaurants had a sign like this displayed. This was the only non local food that was advertised as such. Our farmers tend to come across as EU sponging yokels but if Irish beef is the one food that is displayed as not French they must be doing something right.

5. An active lifestyle is encouraged which is good. There was via ferrata all over the area of the alps I was in and phone numbers to check canyoning conditions for particular rivers. I presume the French avoid getting constantly sued for this sort of fun.

Basically France is a great spot for your holidays.


Coffee Lemon said...

I believe the market gap for Desperado is more like: something that doesn't taste like beer, but that men can still drink without shame.

Cathy Desmond said...

I too saw the Bayeux tapestry recently and had some similar thoughts. It seemed to me like a giant cartoon strip and a lot more fun than I thought it would be. The staying power of a visual teaching aid hung on the wall was impressed on me in this era of flickering images.