Instructions in French

The French love to do things in person.

On the one hand it can feel frustratingly two-decades-ago. On the other, it’s rather lovely.

Example: to re-enroll my daughter for next year for her after-school theatre class, I couldn’t; send an email, telephone, complete an online form. Instead I had to get my person to the village after-school centre and do it in person, ‘cheque book’ in hand (did I mention it can feel a little two-decades-ago!). And while I was there I was invited to be social and enjoy a glass of wine. Vive la France.

Do-it-in-person or Do It Poorly
HOWEVER… I am convinced that the do-it-in-person culture has a lot to do with why instructions and marketing information is pretty awful.

They really seem to have no idea how to convey comprehensive information via, for example a poster:

The above was very confusing. This appeared to advertise a village event including fireworks. We don’t have a campsite in our village, so the large five-star “Camping Paradis” was utterly confusing. Perhaps it was a sponsor? But why would a random non-local five star campsite sponsor an event in our village? And even if they did, did it warrant their name taking up so much of the poster?

At the bottom of the poster was the website of the organisation in charge. I went to the site. It gave me a little more information- like a photo that was clearly recognisable as our village centre, confirming that I didn’t need to navigate to this mysterious ‘Camping Paradis’ wherever that was… BUT….

Long story short we discovered too late that this event was a BIG DEAL in our town. It went on all afternoon with rides, games, a circus and more! You could eat dinner up there with the village. There was an amazing African band. And the one thing we were in time for – the fireworks- were cancelled due to air quality.

Am I Just Dumb?

What’s your opinion? Was I being dumb? Dies this poster convey this fabulous annual village celebration in some way that I have missed? Or is this poster frankly rubbish?!

Here is a photo of the instructions for our sizeable fuse box:

If someone out there would kindly reveal what the permanently lit, and flashing red lights mean, next drinks are on me.


Thanks for reading. I blog about living overseas, learning French, life in France and random other bits including trail running. Do come again.

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