In France there are special lines, let's call them priority, for pregnant women, women with small children (don't get crazy, 3 months and younger) and most places would include the elderly in this group.
The lanes are clearly marked, but apparently the people wanting to use them need a sign to let the less than intelligent cashier in on their "status".
Welcome to France:
I finally went to the Carrefour in the 16th that everyone talks about.
It was big, literally 3 isles of yogurt and it was cheaper than the normal crazy prices of Paris.
However, I had been warned of the employees.
I'm standing in a rather long line when and I see a sign to my left:
FEMME ENCEINTE- that's me, pregnant women
Femme avec jeune enfante (trois mois et moins)-women with young children, 3 months or less
So I precede over.
This is the FIRST time I'm pulling the pregnancy card. Not one person has given up a seat on a bus or a train.
I'm standing there and hear the cashier yelling at me! (This is all done in French, but I'm not typing that way, many a blogger does this, but trust me I lost my "love" of the French language a few years back and even though I don't speak perfectly I get by).
He is asking me if I know this is the priority lane.
He screams it again!
I say, "Yes, I'm pregnant!" I point to the sign and then to my belly.
Here's the deal, if I say "enceinte" with the slightest imperfection, it may in fact sound as if I've just said, "I'm bleeding", but regardless, bleeding or pregnant, I would STILL be priority! Plus I said it just fine.
When you're pissed you would be amazed at how much French you can really speak.
A man in the lane over says, "She's pregnant!" I turn to the side to emphasize the belly!
He asks me if I have a "priority card"?
There is a card, that you can ask your doctor for upon first finding out you are pregnant. You can flash it and people are supposed to give you the "right of way" on public transportation and such. In most countries there is a little thing called manners and you don't need a card to ask for common courtesy. Ah, but I am in Paris.
I say, "No, I don't have the card". I turn and point to the belly...again!
I just added the photo again, for the point that I DON'T NEED A CARD, I'm five months pregnant, any idiot can see that!
He does the classic French shrug and that's it, no more eye contact, no excuse me for being an ass, no I'm sorry madame, nothing. Mannerless coward.
But, never you fear he is out to get someone!!!
An old man enters behind me.
Sir!! This is a priority line!
The man answers back with "I'm old".
A lady enters.
Madame!!! This is a priority line!
She let's him have it, to the tune of a little something like this: "I'm 93 years old, I've earned it!" He shuts up.
Another man enters with a stroller.
Sir!!! It's less than three months!!
That man walks away.
Enter another elderly man.
Sir!!! This is a priority line!!
"I'm handicapped!!! "
I swear somebody gave this kid a set of cash register keys and he thinks he is the freaking police of Carrefour.
Now I'm right in front of him...
"This line IS for pregnant women right?"
He answers yes, NO eye contact.
How is it, that this city if filled with assholes who are cowards?
As I finish up, the old man starts messing with him:
"Don't put my beer with hers we don't want her to drink it!", he says smiling at me.
At that moment I loved that elderly man.
He kept me from going postal.