BF told me this story the other day that his professor recounted to him many years ago:
In France, he went in to buy stamps for his business.
Since it was a Saturday, he waited 30 minutes in line, and when he got to the counter, he asked for 100 stamps.
The cashier gave him a side-eye and said:
“Well, what are you going to do with 100 stamps!?”
He replied he was going to use it for his business.
“Oh non, monsieur. Stamps for businesses are only sold between noon and 2 p.m. It’s now 3 p.m. so I cannot sell them to you. We are only selling stamps for personal use right now”
“Well what if I want to buy them for myself? I’ll pay for them now.”
“No, it’s too late now.”
“Monsieur, it’s too late. I already know what you’re going to buy the stamps for. You will have to come back tomorrow during business-specific hours.”
He had to leave that uber long line and come back the next day.
This is exactly the kind of thing that happened to us at least 4 times when we visited France.
People adhering to the rules so strictly that they would forfeit business for the sake of rules. It’s like they don’t want our money, which is the same problem I’ve encountered to a certain extent, while living in Quebec.
At the train station trying to pick up tickets we already paid for (SNCF), at the dollar store (Tati), at the best ice cream store in Paris during summer hours (Berthillon), and at the currency exchange place (Bureau de Change) all within a space of 2 weeks.
This is why at the end of my trip, I could NOT imagine living in France. Ever. Visiting, yes. Staying there? HELL NO. I’d bust a blood vessel.