For anyone considering a move to La Clusaz, please note that these foods are not available when dining out:
- British fat chips (from a fish’n’chips shop)
- basically, anything else that doesn’t revolve around cheese, potatoes and meat
Thankfully, England is well-stocked, and I took full advantage. The food was great, and so was the shopping. However, the queueing was not. When buying a bikini and a sun dress — both of which, ironically, I’d rarely wear (if ever!) in England, I spent more time waiting in queues to try things on than I spent looking for them. I queued for tables at restaurants, toilets, changing rooms, to speak with literary agents and even when picking up a pizza (it went cold). Normally, at least two toilets are vacant. Nobody notices. Similarly, the changing room attendant will watch the people line up, wait for someone finished to exit a changing room, count the rejected clothes, hang them up to be returned to the shop, and — oh, wait a minute: another person has come out so there are now two vacant changing rooms but nobody is allowed in yet because the attendant is still checking the exiting people’s clothes and hanging them up, and has not thought about giving those waiting the correct token for the number of items they’re taking in so that the queue can move without these hold-ups. I guess I’ve lived away from England for long enough now for this to bother me once more. It’s needless queueing, but the English have grown up with it, so they seem far more tolerant than me. And don’t even get me started on the restaurant that couldn’t seat us, nor take a booking for an hour’s time, nor call us when a table became available since they couldn’t reserve it an hour in advance.
So, my suitcase is stacked with new clothes and lots of Haloumi cheese (unavailable in my region of France). I will not miss the queueing in England, but I’m already missing the food.