Transcript for Episode 276: Having a Baby in France

Categories: France How To, Health & Safety

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Discussed in this Episode

  • [04:01] Why did Shauna have her baby in France?
  • [06:46] Will you get good care if you have a baby in France?
  • [07:24] In France they give frequent ultrasounds
  • [08:34] Having a baby in France is not expensive even if you don't have insurance
  • [10:26] Some French doctors charge more
  • [13:52] American expats who live in France dread getting sick while visiting the US
  • [16:04] Having a baby in France was a positive experience
  • [17:53] French doctors take a lot of precautions
  • [20:14] There is too little awareness of post-partum depression in France right now
  • [26:17] Follow-up at home after having a baby in France
  • [28:11] French people will tell you if they think your baby is not covered up enough
  • [31:38] French people don't let pregnant women stand in line
  • [33:26] Getting child-care in France
  • [36:22] Generally speaking French people are frugal
  • [40:27] Will having a big house make you happy?
  • [41:56] Is the choice of café or restaurant that important?
  • [48:22] Being born in France does not make you French
  • [49:47] Have a vacation in France and save money on hospital costs
  • [52:54] What is it like living in France under Covid-19?

Annie Sargent  00:00

This is Join Us in France Episode 276. Bonjour. I’m Annie Sargent. And on this episode of Join Us in France, I talked to Shauna Dinsart, who lives near me introduce and who had her baby here. So we talk about what it’s like a few things where France needs to do better. And this episode will give you a great glimpse into everyday life in France.

 

Annie Sargent  00:24

Right after the episode, I will also give you an update about living with Covid-19. And how French people are coping with it or trying to anyway, most of my listeners live in the US where you’re now facing a variety of different situations. But no matter what stage your area is in, I guarantee you will eventually be asked to shelter in place, because that’s the only way to fight this nasty thing. I really dislike the the term lockdown that people are throwing around so much because it’s a term borrowed from prisons, and It’s it’s excessive. But I’ll get back to that in a bit.

 

Annie Sargent  01:05

Show Notes for this episode are on https://joinusinfrance.com/276, the number 276. And if you try if you’re planning a trip to France, even for several months from now, the site is chock full of great resources and you should check it out.

 

Annie Sargent  01:24

I want to read you a short and sweet review of my my tour. Whoever wrote this said “Wonderful tour learned so much!” Thank you so much for letting me know whoever you are. If you take one of my tours, I really appreciate a review. It really helps.

 

Annie Sargent  01:43

And as a podcast listener, you are entitled to a discount on my tours go to https://joinusinfrance.com/audiotours/ to see all the details and I’m only saying that because people will listen to this episode in the future. But of course right now, nobody is taking my tours

 

Annie Sargent  02:30

Bonjour Shauna and welcome to Join Us in France!

 

Shauna Dinsart  02:34

Bonjour Annie

 

Annie Sargent  02:36

How are you?

 

Shauna Dinsart  02:37

I’m doing well how are you?

 

Annie Sargent  02:38

I’m good. Is it rainy in Paris?

 

Shauna Dinsart  02:41

I’m not in Paris right now. Actually I’m in Toulouse

 

Annie Sargent  02:43

Oh, you’re in Toulouse! Then I know it’s raining.

 

Shauna Dinsart  02:46

It is! Are you near me?

 

Annie Sargent  02:48

I’m near you. Yes, I’m also I’m in this suburb of Toulouse. So yeah,

 

Shauna Dinsart  02:53

Me too! Maybe we’re neighbors!

 

Annie Sargent  02:56

Do you live in Toulouse?

 

Shauna Dinsart  02:57

Yeah, yeah, I moved. I was living in Paris for a little bit over a year. And then I moved down to Toulouse last year.

 

Annie Sargent  03:04

Oh, excellent. Well, welcome, neighbor.

 

Shauna Dinsart  03:07

Thank you, neighbor.

 

Annie Sargent  03:10

All right, so today we’re talking about having a baby in France. Now I’ve produced some episodes about moving to France. Even one about buying a house in France, in, you know, thinking, this person is going to retire in that home later. And also one about seeing doctors in France. But I’m French born and raised myself in Toulouse. But I, I had my daughter while I was in the US, because at the time we were living in the US, and so I can’t really talk to having a baby in France very much. Besides, you know, chatting with other women. I mean, obviously, I have the background information here, but I’m very Yes, but I’m very curious how you know how it went and how you how you got to have a baby in France?

 

Shauna Dinsart  04:01

Well, I’m very curious how you had a baby in the US. I think that’s quite funny that we reversed countries and had a baby in each other’s countries. So that’s cool. Yeah, so you probably know more about having a baby in my country than I do, actually. Because I have not done that yet. So sure, but yeah, I’d love to explain my story. I moved while I was actually, while I’m from the US, I was from Seattle, and I was working in Texas for a few years working in aerospace. And I met my husband who is French, and he, he is from Avignon. And we kind of were at a place of where should we where should we live? Because neither of us were from Texas. That was just where we were working and our project was ending so I really wanted to move to France.

 

Shauna Dinsart  04:58

I think that’s pretty pretty typical of an American to want to move to France is kind of like this dreamy idea that not many people get the opportunity to do. So of course, I jumped all over that. And I said, let’s move to France. And we did. And we moved to Paris. And it was hard for me to like, I wouldn’t be able to get the same level of job that I had in France, as I did in the US. So I started to take on more of my creative work and really pursue my writing.

 

Shauna Dinsart  05:31

And with that comes working from home and having a lot of spare time. And that kind of that kind of is what led me to have a baby in France because it was one of those times of I don’t have a whole lot going on right now. So we know when a baby eventually so Why not now? Yeah, and it was really a decision out of convenience and time, which I don’t think is a typical reason people have a baby. But that was our reason. And I won’t take it back. I think it was the right thing to do at that time. But yeah, so we decided we were going to do that. And I got pregnant in Paris. And so I had a doctor in Paris. I was seeing, but I ended up having the baby actually inside Toulouse an emissary. So, yeah. So

 

Annie Sargent  06:27

How did it go? Like the baby? You know, the experience, the pregnancy, the giving birth, all of that? Yeah. But compare that a little bit to what happens. I’m sure you have friends who’ve had babies in the US. Tell us how it compares.

 

Shauna Dinsart  06:46

Yeah, I’ve heard a lot of stories and I think there are a lot of differences. For me, I think, the better care probably comes. It depends how you define better care, I guess. But for me I felt like I got better care here than I’ve heard of in the US in terms of during my pregnancy, I was able to see my doctor really whenever I wanted. He wanted to see me every month. And every month I got an ultrasound, which is not typical in the US from my understanding

 

Annie Sargent  07:19

No you would only do that if you had some serious problems with the pregnancy.

 

Shauna Dinsart  07:24

Yeah, yeah. So and I think you get like two ultrasounds or something during pregnancy in the US in the first like six months and that is due to insurance restrictions. But here we don’t have those. So my doctor had an ultrasound machine in his office and so he would give me an ultrasound every single visit so I got to see my baby all the time, which was, which was great. It was it was a huge plus that I know a lot of my friends in the US were jealous of because I, you know, if I happen to find out the sex before the 20 week mark, like in the US, like if the baby was in the right position, I could have found out whenever it was in the right position. So there were some cool things like that.

 

Annie Sargent  08:17

Yeah. So I’m assuming that you’re on the French healthcare system since your husband’s French and he probably works in France.

 

Shauna Dinsart  08:24

Yeah, he works in France. He works for an American company in France.

 

Annie Sargent  08:30

But he still has French benefits and all that.

 

Shauna Dinsart  08:34

Yep. So I have my carte vitale and I have my mutuelle and so I have the full coverage. Right. I think and even if, to be honest, if I didn’t have any coverage, I think the bills would have still been less than in the United States.

 

Annie Sargent  08:50

Yeah, it’s it’s pretty typical that in France, you pay less even if you pay out of pocket.

 

Shauna Dinsart  08:58

Yeah.

 

Annie Sargent  08:59

Than You do in the US with just your co pays? Yeah. It’s It’s It’s kind of mind blowing.

 

Shauna Dinsart  09:06

it’s mind blowing when you understand how much it is. It’s a lot. I mean, the difference is astounding.

 

Annie Sargent  09:13

Yeah. So recently on the Join Us in France Facebook group, somebody mentioned that she had to have an emergency appendectomy while she was visiting in France, and that the total cost to her was around $3,000. And that, that included five days in the hospital plus follow up visits every day with a nurse for two weeks.

 

Shauna Dinsart  09:42

With no insurance

 

Annie Sargent  09:44

Yes, this was out of pocket. Yeah. And then she had a bear of a time getting that small amount of money reimbursed by her American insurance, but she got it back eventually. But you know, it’s just it’s like not even comparable. And the reason why it is that way is because everybody in France has basic health insurance from a government run program. Right? And so the government gets to set prices, right? And doctors are all in private practice and they can ask for however much they want, but people are not dumb.

 

Shauna Dinsart  10:24

And they don’t take advantage of that in my experience

 

Annie Sargent  10:26

So no so there are some doctors that will say, and usually it’s like the more like holistic kind of doctors, you know, doctors who have odd practices, right in my book anyway, they will often charge more than the than the normal rate, and they have to disclose that in their waiting room. So when you enter you just see Oh, I you know, a normal office visit is 25 euros but I charge 100 bucks. Yeah, and if you don’t like that, I’ve never seen that. I’ve heard of it, but I’ve never seen it. Okay, because there’s so few people who get away with this unless you’re like, you know, superstar of doctors. People are, you know, you get perfectly good care for 25 bucks a visit for that’s for a general practitioner. Right. So why would you pay four times as much?

 

Shauna Dinsart  11:12

You wouldn’t.

 

Annie Sargent  11:24

Yeah, most people wouldn’t.

 

Shauna Dinsart  11:26

Yeah, most people wouldn’t.

 

Annie Sargent  11:28

Right? And then you and I, we both have top up insurance. Yeah. So so the Nash right so the National Insurance is what’s called régime obligatoire. So that’s everybody is into one of those. There’s not just the one company managing it, but that that’s neither here nor there. And then on top of that, when you’re employed you typically can purchase or your employer will purchase for you top up insurance called Mutuelle, which means that you your out of pocket is almost nothing ever,

 

Shauna Dinsart  12:07

Or sometimes it is nothing. Yeah.

 

Annie Sargent  12:11

Right. So the cost of you having your baby in France was probably zero,

 

Shauna Dinsart  12:16

You know, it was almost zero, I, near the end, I had to actually come in to the hospital two or three times per week because my son was small in the womb. And so they wanted to do some non stress tests. And but after six months, after you’re six months pregnant, everything is covered 100%. And so I didn’t have to pay for any of that. And I stayed for a week in the hospital that they keep you for at least three days no matter what, even for the most simple, uncomplicated birth. You’re staying in the hospital for three days. I was in there for a week and I think we paid total 200 euros and we might have been reimbursed that even right So it almost nothing.

 

Annie Sargent  12:18

Right? No, it’s it’s just for Americans. it’s mind blowing. When I mention this, and I’ve had, and I’m sure you’ve had this happen to you as well, I’ve had visitors from the US friends or families, when it’s my husband’s relatives. They are elderly. So sometimes there are things that happen. And I mean, my mother in law broke her foot last time she was here, that could happen at any age. Right. Right. And, and it didn’t cost him I think maybe, you

 

Shauna Dinsart  13:32

No, it’s no devastating. You know, I think

 

Annie Sargent  13:35

it was under 100 bucks or something. I mean, it’s not like, you know, and she got good care. She, she’s fine.

 

Shauna Dinsart  13:42

Yeah, yeah. When I go back to the states with my son, I’m always like, please, nothing happen, because it’s going to be hugely different.

 

Annie Sargent  13:52

So it’s really important for those of us Americans or expats who live in France, full time to have traveled insurance because if anything happens, that would be a catastrophe. I mean, it’s like, we can’t afford it, you know. And last last time, I needed to see a doctor in the US. I actually asked when I called to make an appointment. This was my old doctor that I, you know, I was in when I was living there, he was my doctor. Well, I was treated like a brand new patient because I hadn’t seen him in three years. So there were a lot of fees for just being a new patient, and they couldn’t tell me how much they were gonna charge me.

 

Shauna Dinsart  14:29

Yeah, I heard that or that. Hospitals won’t even tell you how much

 

Annie Sargent  14:34

No, you have no idea. It’s like you’re going to do this and you have no idea in France is very straightforward. Every doctor has to tell you this is how much I charge

 

Shauna Dinsart  14:41

No, period. And then you walk out and everything is paid. You’re not the huge difference for me is you’re not sent a medical bill a couple months later in the US. Something didn’t happen and you have no idea what you’re paying and then you know a month later you receive this 1500 dollar medical bill and It’s not like here you, you pay what you owe, and then you leave, and then you don’t hear from them again. Right. But he’s done. So comforting.

 

Annie Sargent  15:06

Yeah, yeah. When once you leave the hospital, you will do I mean, it doesn’t always happen that way. Because you may have to pay something next time you go see this practitioner, like if it’s something where you have follow ups, they may say, Well, she’s gonna come back, we’ll just, she’ll feel better. We’ll just take care of it next time. Right. And also in France, they will see you without asking you for a credit card. Yep. Like, you know, you’re going to a hospital. The first thing you need to do is not give you give them your credit card. So it’s a very different system.

 

Shauna Dinsart  15:43

Very, very different.

 

Annie Sargent  15:45

Anyway, sorry. I’ve been talking too much. So all right. How was it for you having your baby here and how old is he?

 

Shauna Dinsart  15:51

He is 14 months old. He’s still little. Yeah. Oh my gosh, he’s just the most fun little handful ever. I know. He’s like So much trouble, but so much fun.

 

Annie Sargent  16:02

Is he walking yet?

 

Shauna Dinsart  16:04

He’s not he just started standing on his own. And he thinks it’s so funny. And he’s so proud of it that he just knocks himself over. He just, like cracks up and falls over. And he’s just adorable. So I feel like the whole experience was really positive. Like, I look back at my, even the day that I gave birth, and the whole experience was positive. Like, of course, you’re going through pain. And of course, it’s hard on your body, but like my husband and I were in the room, just like laughing throughout my labor, just having fun. So I feel like I had a really positive experience.

 

Shauna Dinsart  16:41

My doctor who had been following my pregnancy, he was on vacation. So I wasn’t expecting him to come in. And they actually called him and he said, Well, you know what, I’m actually not busy right now. So I’m going to come in and he delivered my baby. So that was really cool. Yeah, I feel like I got pretty Good care the whole time, which was I mean, obviously comforting as a like first time mom and being in a different country. I’m not, I’m not confident in my language skills at all. I can get by I can go to the doctor go to the grocery store, I can kind of go anywhere. But I’m not super confident in it. So I think if it were just me at the hospital and not my French husband, I would have had a really hard time with the language. But he was there.

 

Annie Sargent  17:36

It is very specific. I mean, medical stuff. Yeah.

 

Shauna Dinsart  17:39

Yeah. It’s hard. Like the terminology. It doesn’t come right to your mind, especially during labor.So I feel like that was all really positive. And then

 

Annie Sargent  17:50

And you didn’t have any complications, like I,

 

Shauna Dinsart  17:53

I didn’t really have many complications. My son was born quite small. And so that’s why we stayed longer and we stayed for a week. And they just which I also felt comforted by that as well because they followed him. He wasn’t like he was under what the equivalent of NICU that he was under the care of the neonatal staff, but he was in my room with me so he wasn’t separated from me, but they still followed him. So I felt like I had a whole bunch of people on my son which was really great and comforting and

 

Annie Sargent  18:30

You had a neonatologist come to your room and take care of

 

Shauna Dinsart  18:34

He would take him down to the Neo net facility or room down within the the hall we would do that several times a day. But for the most part, he was in the room with me. And nothing ended up being wrong. It was all like precaution and yeah, just make sure and I am from what I understand in the States  that sometimes you might leave the same day of having the baby or like the next day And here, I think it’s really cool that they keep you at least three days, because those three days are an absolute whirlwind. And I mean, having this new little being to take care of

 

Annie Sargent  19:12

Especially for first time parents, it’s a huge deal.

 

Shauna Dinsart  19:15

Yeah, yeah. Not knowing how to change their diaper and like, bathe them and do all of these things you need to do it.

 

Annie Sargent  19:23

You know, there are a lot of emotions around this as well, like you’re a first time parent you. You’re all you’re afraid of. I was like this Well, but of course, my daughter was born very prematurely. So she also had a lot of medical issues. Right. But even when, when she was at full term, you know, bringing her home was really rough on me emotionally. And thank goodness, my, my husband and my mother in law were so you know, they were so willing to do things and they weren’t afraid. Yeah. I was petrified.

 

Shauna Dinsart  19:59

I was too, I was a mess

 

Annie Sargent  20:00

I was s so it’s it’s really difficult emotionally so you need support you really do like you can’t I don’t understand how they can just send women like go home with your baby and figure it out like No, don’t do that.

 

Shauna Dinsart  20:14

Well, I’m glad you brought that up because the emotional support aspect of it. And I felt like I said comforted by being there for a few days and I was an absolute mess. Those few days I was crying at everything. It was the hormonal shift. Everything was so heavy for me emotionally. But what didn’t happen that I would say is the challenge here is that when I came home, you know, the midwives they come visit you at your home and they check on you, they check on the baby. And they do that several times after you give birth.

 

Shauna Dinsart  20:52

But what was never asked by a midwife or a practitioner, like my doctor, or anybody was how I was doing emotionally and mentally. And that is something that’s taken very seriously in the US. Right. And I know that the I’m not sure when it started. But I know that now the doctors who are following pregnant women after they deliver, they’re definitely like scanning for postpartum depression and asking the right questions. And that never happened for me, which is hard because I did struggle with postpartum depression.

 

Annie Sargent  21:30

Yeah. And really common. I mean,

 

Shauna Dinsart  21:33

yeah, I mean, I feel like almost everybody does to a certain extent.

 

Annie Sargent  21:37

In my case it wasn’t so much postpartum depression. It was just, but maybe it was it. I mean, my daughter’s 21. So it was a long time ago, but but it was because she was so fragile physically, you know, medically, it was the medical issues that that petrified me,

 

Shauna Dinsart  21:56

Because that’s really scary. Yeah,

 

Annie Sargent  21:58

because you go from everything’s fine. You know, it’s a big emergency, you know, baby turns blue on you. You doesn’t it’s not comforting. Notice when

 

Shauna Dinsart  22:11

my son came out blue as well. And I remember the doctor trying to distract me with my placenta. Yeah. And I was just like, just give me my baby and I didn’t understand what was happening. But um

 

Annie Sargent  22:27

yeah, they know to intervene right then

 

Shauna Dinsart  22:29

Yeah, yeah, I did and I didn’t know and they were they were doing their best to keep me from seeing what was going on the other side of the room. But I and I, I’m not sure if everyone struggles from postpartum depression specifically, but I know that everyone has their emotional rollercoaster after giving birth and I think it’s something that should be paid attention to just in case it does become severe and

 

Annie Sargent  22:55

Agreed

 

Shauna Dinsart  22:57

It doesn’t happen here or it didn’t for me.

 

Annie Sargent  23:00

Maybe it’s better now. You know, we’re so yeah, I think in France, we were very behind when it comes to psychotherapy for the longest time, all you could do in France was psychoanalysis. So you lie on the sofa, and you go every week and you talk to this person never talk back to you, you know, this weird stuff. They were very much into Freud kind of theories. And even to this day, like I listened to a lot of France Culture So it’s French. It’s like the French NPR equivalent. Whenever they have shows about mental health, they always feel obligated to invite these dinosaurs that, you know, just don’t understand that. There are better ways to to to help people. They’re just still in the old mindset. So I’m not surprised that it’s new that they talk about postpartum depression.

 

Shauna Dinsart  23:59

I don’t know I think they really are to be honest. Like, in my experience that was 14 months ago, so

 

Annie Sargent  24:06

Not that long ago.

 

Shauna Dinsart  24:08

Pretty new, and it and I even kind of went to them and said, Hey, like I’m feeling pretty down, like I need to talk about this. And it was kind of resisted, I guess it was kind of, oh, it’s the baby blues. It’s normal. Oh, go make sure you have a social life, you know, like, like these kind of things rather than let’s really like dive deep and look at how we might be able to treat this for you.

 

Shauna Dinsart  24:37

And I’ve had mental healthcare in the US for depression and anxiety when I’ve had those issues in the past. And so I’m familiar with the mental health system. And here, I feel like the experience was much different and not in a good way. And I feel like there are so many things that were well like done really well during the pregnancy and the birth and the follow up care, but that was that piece that was lacking that I felt was the most important piece lacking for sure.

 

Annie Sargent  25:08

It’s very good to know about that. Yeah, it’s very important. So did you get how long did you continue to have follow up at home,

 

Shauna Dinsart  25:17

And I had follow up. I feel like the first week I was home, I had somebody come three times. And then after that, it was if I needed follow up, like if I felt like anything was going on physically with me or the baby, I could go into the midwives office, which was really close to my house, so it wasn’t that big of a deal. So it felt like kind of I could have unlimited follow up if I wanted, like, but when I was ready, when I was physically feeling normal, again, as normal as you can after having made a baby when I was physically at that place, I was able to just, you know, stop going back to the midwife.

 

Shauna Dinsart  25:58

And then my But the follow up care was, I mean, there are so many things you can do here. And so many things offered that I don’t hear about being offered in the United States like the pelvic floor, Rita re education. It’s something they offer here. And almost to everyone like you. There’s not really any requirements. And in the United States, it seems to be pretty rare that that’s offered and is it’s quite expensive.

 

Shauna Dinsart  26:29

And then for the baby. He did like physical therapy, because he had some kind of like, kind of like a kink in your neck, where you have a stiffness in your neck from delivery. And so he went to physical therapy, I want to say a couple times a week for several weeks. He also went to an osteopath. So kind of like a chiropractor.

 

Annie Sargent  26:58

No, no better than a chiropractor.

 

Shauna Dinsart  27:00

Yeah, I’m just trying to…

 

Annie Sargent  27:03

That’s just my opinion.

 

Shauna Dinsart  27:05

Yeah, yeah. I mean, this is these are things that like we didn’t ask for. It was just, this is where you go next and we just kind of passed around to like all of these different things. And to me, I was like, this is a little bit overboard, and it felt over like overboard to me, maybe like a brand new mom, and I’m like, this is a lot to handle. But

 

Annie Sargent  27:29

You had appointments all the time.

 

Shauna Dinsart  27:32

I was like, always somewhere with him. Which I, I guess I should be grateful for that. And I and I was at the time I was like, okay, thankfully somebody is following the care of my son. But man is this a lot to juggle? And so there was a lot going on. I mean, I have to say, like the carers there, I can’t say that there was a lack of care in those areas. So

 

Annie Sargent  27:59

And so what Is it like going around with a with an infant and with, you know, like the culture around having a baby with you that sort of thing? Let’s talk about that for a bit.

 

Shauna Dinsart  28:11

Yeah, there are some good things and some, some not so good things, I think. I think the hard like one of the big challenges I had is, and I think this is probably across all cultures and people telling me in public, what I need to be doing with my child, basically, in spouting their ideas, which I must say is feels a little bit more common in France.

 

Annie Sargent  28:40

Put a coat on that baby!

 

Shauna Dinsart  28:42

It was, it was that it was, yeah, like everywhere I went and my son gets really really hot and he I put him in a car seat and he like sweats like dripping sweat. And so I had I couldn’t like bundle him up. I had him in September. It wasn’t it. I’m in the south of France. It’s not cold. And I swear to you everywhere I went, there was someone around the corner telling me to put a hat on that baby, you know, just wanted to be like, do you think I don’t? I don’t want to take care of him like, Yeah, it felt very personal.

 

Annie Sargent  29:15

This is terrible. But it happened to me all the time because I lived in Utah at the time and as you know, you target seriously cold, right? Yeah. So you come with your the first time we visited France, she was 11 months old. Okay. And so we fly to Toulouse, and it feels so warm compared to Utah. And so I I’m not using the heavy coats and the gloves and the hats and all of that, because I’m like, This is nothing. Yeah. And everybody kept on commenting. And so I would just have this line ready like, well, if I dress her the way you want me to in Utah, she will never leave the house. Right. You know,

 

Shauna Dinsart  30:00

Right, yeah,

 

Annie Sargent  30:00

just I just relax. I got this, you know, but of course, I’m French and so I can,

 

Shauna Dinsart  30:06

you can probably snap back really easy. Yes. And you probably have the right comebacks. And for me as an American who’s not super confident in her French language, yeah. And I just got pissed off like, I’m just upset about it. And I wouldn’t have anything to say, which would make me even more mad. And I was like, Oh, I should have said this. I should have said this

 

Annie Sargent  30:27

Afterwards. It’s terrible. Because I’ve had the opposite thing where I think something I’ve never said anything to anyone. But sometimes I think your baby is bright red. That child is too hot!

 

Shauna Dinsart  30:42

Like, take off some layers.

 

Annie Sargent  30:44

Take some off! It’s terrible, but I’ve never said anything. But they say something then you know, I’m an old French lady.

 

Shauna Dinsart  30:50

Yeah, I’m glad you’re not saying anything. That’s like I feel like the worst and I guess it depends on the person but for me, it felt very, like it was so annoying to me, right? Have people act like I wasn’t giving the right care to my kid and I’m like, You don’t know him like I know him, give me a break. So that is something funny that I feel like French kind of get a kick out of hearing that because they can kind of relate sometimes.

 

Shauna Dinsart  31:16

And my in laws are similar. They’re, they’re French. And so they they have the ideas about how, how he should be raised and all of that. But I also can complain to them about things like what I just complained to you about. And they’ll, they’ll laugh because they’ll, they’ll probably be like, relatable, it’s relatable for them.

 

Shauna Dinsart  31:38

But one thing that is very cool. When you go anywhere in France, either as a pregnant person or with a baby, you kind of get treated really well and shoved to the front of any line. Yes. That I don’t think it actually no, it’s not the same in the States because I’ve been there with my son and when I go to the airport, which I go quite often with him and he, we every single time they just push us right over to the, you know, the side area where you go straight through. And it’s not even a question. It’s like a line, I know that I get to get to the front of the line. So that’s pretty cool. They they definitely like have a respect for you as a new parent. In the same with the parking spots in the grocery store. There’s always like a family parking not that there’s ever one available. But it’s it’s kind that they do that right, I think.

 

Annie Sargent  32:35

Yeah, I had a funny experience not so long ago, where this very obviously pregnant woman was. Several people said go to the front, but she was waiting. She had sent her husband back in the back of the store  to get something. So she was like, No, but he’s coming back with more stuff,

 

Shauna Dinsart  32:52

Right! Like I can’t,

 

Annie Sargent  32:54

But everybody who came by told her to get to the front of the line!

 

Shauna Dinsart  32:56

They really kind of like push you to the front almost. They’re like, you should not be standing behind me right now. Which is actually quite nice. Like, I mean, I respect it. And I feel like as a pregnant person, especially I was pregnant in summer in South of France and like really pregnant at the end of summer and so I was just hot and uncomfortable at the time. So when people would push me to the front like, oh, thank you so much. Yeah.

 

Annie Sargent  33:26

Yeah, that’s cool. And so is your child getting any childcare? Are you with him at home all the time?

 

Shauna Dinsart  33:36

No, I’m glad you asked because childcare is absolutely amazing here. He has a Nounou or an assistante maternelle and he there are so many options for childcare here and you pay almost nothing. I know that back in the States. A lot of women don’t go back to work out of you know, it doesn’t Makes sense financially because of how expensive childcare is.

 

Annie Sargent  34:03

Right

 

Shauna Dinsart  34:04

So maybe their job won’t even cover childcare, the paycheck they’ll be getting, or maybe it’ll just break even. So it’s it kind of doesn’t make sense. And here it’s, it’s totally different.

 

Annie Sargent  34:18

It’s subsidized.

 

Shauna Dinsart  34:19

Yes. And there are so many options of childcare, just different childcare options, and the most you’ll pay is a couple of euros, you know, per per hour after you’re reimbursed. It’s, I mean, it’s, it’s really nothing. So my son is in childcare part time because I’m writing which is about part time. So I put him in childcare three days a week, and that’s when I get to work and it’s great for him because he gets to play with all the little kiddos and it’s great for me because I get to have my time to work and a little bit of alone time and

 

Annie Sargent  34:59

So it’s not if he has a nounou probably it’s Yeah, probably has three or four kids with her.

 

Shauna Dinsart  35:04

Yeah. And she’s also part of was called a ram and they go meet a whole bunch of new news in this shared space that has like a baby like playground area and I mean they have like 10 nounous come and each new note comes with like four kids and they’re all playing. And so it’s basically like the dream situation for my son. He just absolutely loves it. And I

 

Annie Sargent  35:30

Where I walk my dogs, there’s no playgrounds for babies, you know? Yeah. And there’s often when the weather’s good, there’s often several ladies who take care of babies in the mall and everybody’s playing loudly and it’s, it’s fine.

 

Shauna Dinsart  35:47

It’s I think it’s super cool. I love that they’re doing it. It it’s hard because my my son is always sick. I think he is sick more often than he is not

 

Annie Sargent  36:00

Hmm, he’s in contact with a lot of other kids. Yeah,

 

Shauna Dinsart  36:02

I mean, it’s the price you pay, right? Like, I’m not going to keep him home. So he doesn’t get sick but that man is the child cares like options and the whole system here really, really awesome. I wish I wish the United States would could adopt something like in they could in theory but they’ve probably won’t.

 

Annie Sargent  36:20

Yeah, it’s it’s a matter of paying taxes really

 

Shauna Dinsart  36:25

It’s money it’s all its money.

 

Annie Sargent  36:27

It’s It’s It’s the fact that French people understand that we’re all better off if we have universal health care and care for the kids and good schools and all of that it’s it’s not i’m not saying that French people are never selfish. But because we are.

 

Shauna Dinsart  36:46

Yeah, I mean, everyone,

 

Annie Sargent  36:48

Right, but but we kind of have more of a an understanding of what makes society better overall for everybody and I think definitely taking care of your pregnant women and your babies. Yes, very good, you should do that!

 

Shauna Dinsart  37:03

And I think as a whole France and French people are less greedy as a whole. And so the united states i think there’s, you know, a portion of people who are not greedy I, but a portion of people who might be a little bit more greedy and doesn’t balance out quite the same. I think in France, the French people are just generally not as greedy and they do see the common good of like, all of these benefits. So yeah, it’s,

 

Annie Sargent  37:34

It’s more of what does it take to be successful? Like in people’s mind, it’s not necessarily having the biggest house and having the biggest car and all of that it you know, French people are not consumers. I mean, we do consume plenty, but not like Americans,

 

Shauna Dinsart  37:51

Not like Americans. No, and I’m not a consumer at all. Right? Very much like a minimalist and just a terrible consummer it’s not my thing, right?

 

Annie Sargent  38:02

So, find a lot of French people who will tell you, you don’t need to buy that. I have one come borrow it. Oh, yeah. Yeah.

 

Shauna Dinsart  38:10

Or like, buying secondhand is huge here, which I, I know, it’s gaining popularity in the US, but it’s just naturally popular here. And it has been for a long time. So

 

Annie Sargent  38:23

My parents were the consummate reusers. Yeah. They just use things like if somebody was throwing something away. My dad would look at it and go, Oh, I can fix that. Ande he would!

 

Shauna Dinsart  38:37

Those are my in laws. My father in law, exact same way like he will fix anything. And I think it’s kind of amazing.

 

Annie Sargent  38:46

People would bring him radios when he was retired, you know, my radios broken, can you fix it? And he would typically you would find

 

Shauna Dinsart  38:54

That’s my father in law

 

Annie Sargent  38:56

And like, it’s just the Before you go buy anything you think, Oh, can I buy it secondhand? Or can I fix one or you know, stuff like that? Yeah, it’s just not the same. But it also means that France, the economy is not happening. You know, like, I mean, I’m just it just whenever I hear about Americans, like the all the new TV packages that you get whatever. We have a few, but like how long you spend in front of the TV that you pay several hundred bucks a month with all these? Like,

 

Shauna Dinsart  39:34

Uh, yeah. You’re right. I mean, the the cost of things like what is spent on just everyday things. It’s astounding in the US for sure. Yeah. And I don’t think I realized it until I moved here.

 

Annie Sargent  39:51

Yeah, and I normally don’t see it like, well, I forgot who Yeah, I grew up here with very frugal people. Paul Yeah, you know blue collar frugal people nice really lovely people but you know not rich and rich. You go I went to America did college I had a successful career all of that. We had a big house we had trucks. We have this we had that my parents came over. We’re like, What?

 

Shauna Dinsart  40:18

Why do you need all this stuff? Right?

 

Annie Sargent  40:20

Why is your house so big? Mom, that’s just how houses are here. You know?

 

Shauna Dinsart  40:26

That’s Americans

 

Annie Sargent  40:27

Yes. How it is in the West. You know, people have big houses. But yeah, but why do you don’t need four bathrooms? Like No, No, I don’t. True.

 

Shauna Dinsart  40:38

But to be fair, there’s I mean, I am definitely loving the smaller house movement that’s happening. I am super comfy and like a 700 square foot house. That’s like, that’s nice for me. That’s super cozy, but there is so much more space in the US than there is here. See, like I do. See that proportionately it kind of makes sense that the houses are bigger there. Yeah, yeah, here it’s very tight. And there are a lot of people in a smaller space so they don’t

 

Annie Sargent  41:09

But even in the country if you go like, if you drive an hour away from Toulouse, there are plenty of people the land isn’t that expensive, but they still build little, you know, houses that share walls, because young people don’t want to be buying. You know, they don’t want a big mortgage.

 

Shauna Dinsart  41:27

No. Yeah, they mean, yeah, I understand why

 

Annie Sargent  41:31

They’re like, No, that’s too much money. I don’t want to spend that much on housing. Right. They will spend on going on vacation they will spend on food they will spend on other things,

 

Shauna Dinsart  41:39

which the vacation is a huge, huge thing that’s different culturally, I think. Yeah, well, for one you guys are you have some vacation here. You’re allowed to take a certain number of weeks per year. But yeah, the money is definitely spent differently. Yes, we still

 

Annie Sargent  41:56

have some rainy but not the same. Yeah, yeah. I’m always very very shocked. And I’m going to say this even though it’s a travel podcast, but I’m shocked how many times on the group on the Facebook group people will nickel and dime over like should I tip? Should I not tip? Like you spend thousands on this trip? Yeah. Are we hitting you have you have a massive house and you have big cars and you have all these things? Why are you worried about a three euro tip?

 

Shauna Dinsart  42:31

Right?

 

Annie Sargent  42:32

You know, so but it’s just a different mentality is it’s really the mentality that is different French people would never sweat the small stuff like that, like, Yeah,

 

Shauna Dinsart  42:42

I don’t know about that.

 

Annie Sargent  42:44

Some people do.

 

Shauna Dinsart  42:45

I have to say I know some French people that will sweat the small stuff.

 

Shauna Dinsart  42:51

I’m very intrigued by this Facebook group now. So is it the what is the Facebook group called?

 

Annie Sargent  42:56

It’s the Join Us in France closed group on Facebook. You know, it’s, it’s, it’s my window into America.

 

Shauna Dinsart  43:07

I’d love to join.

 

Annie Sargent  43:09

Because the questions people ask and the things they worry about that I’m like, huh? It’s totally not what I would worry about. I’m not a bit like I’m

 

Shauna Dinsart  43:22

Funny. Yeah, I’d be glad to jump on there.

 

Annie Sargent  43:24

Like they’re fascinated with. I need to pick the right cafe.

 

Shauna Dinsart  43:29

Uh huh. I mean, I’m fascinated with that I can relate

 

Annie Sargent  43:32

really well. Oh, are there any bad ones? Like

 

Shauna Dinsart  43:35

Oh, yeah, there are

 

Annie Sargent  43:36

Yeah, but then you go once and you never go again. Right?

 

Shauna Dinsart  43:39

Yeah, but then you’re wasting that one experience. I am with the cafe seekers.

 

Annie Sargent  43:44

Oh yeah? You’re with the cafe seekers? For me, I couldn’t care less to me a cafe displays where you sit and you have a cafe au lait and move on. That’s it like,

 

Shauna Dinsart  43:52

Yeah, but it’s, um, don’t you want. If you’re spending the time and money, I want it to be a really good experience. So I’m going to choose the best cafe if I’m going to be going to one, I’d rather have that then have a crappy coffee and, you know, a rude person.

 

Annie Sargent  44:10

Well, okay, rude person is a different issue, but they all serve the same cafe cafe coffee, like they all get their coffee from the same providers.

 

Shauna Dinsart  44:19

Depending on where you’re going, I guess.

 

Annie Sargent  44:21

Like, all the cafes where I go, I see the same logos up against their coffee machines like yeah, they just buy from the same wholesalers. So the coffee is essentially gonna be the same. It’s just yeah, it’s just maybe you prefer the chairs of this this one or that one?

 

Shauna Dinsart  44:38

You’re right. Sometimes I prefer

 

Annie Sargent  44:40

The setting like the setting is different. The bathrooms are different. All of that Yeah, there’s there’s some differences but i i don’t worry about it. Like when I go visit a city I don’t research cafes before I go.

 

Shauna Dinsart  44:53

I am researching every restaurant. I’m researching cafe there. My Google Maps is has stars everywhere so that anywhere I’m out I know I can jump into a really cool place. I am a researcher to the end of time.

 

Annie Sargent  45:07

You see. So you’ll fit right in that group.

 

Shauna Dinsart  45:11

Yeah, I’m that person.

 

Annie Sargent  45:13

No but it’s good. It’s good for me to hear it because to me, I’m like, this is silly, but it’s not necessarily silly. It’s just what you want.

 

Shauna Dinsart  45:19

It is just different.

 

Annie Sargent  45:20

Yeah, yeah, that’s what you want to do.

 

Shauna Dinsart  45:22

Yeah, yeah. Where do you want to spend your time and I’m fine spending hours researching good places to go where that seems like a total waste of time to a lot of people.

 

Annie Sargent  45:31

It certainly does. I don’t care. Okay. When I sleep, I care. I care about the comfortable bed and I care about having enough pillows and I care about those.

 

Shauna Dinsart  45:41

I probably care less about that than I do about where I’m going to dinner.

 

Annie Sargent  45:45

I couldn’t care less like a to me if if I’m paying if I have if I can pay if I can spend 30 bucks for dinner. I know I’ll have a good meal.

 

Shauna Dinsart  45:54

Yeah, you will definitely the best that that 30 bucks is going to buy you I mean Clearly not, it doesn’t really matter.

 

Annie Sargent  46:01

No to me. So you know, I’m not hungry at the end. Um, I had a nice meal it tasted different than what I make at home. So, great!

 

Shauna Dinsart  46:09

Yeah, we see things very differently. We are not on the same page at all.

 

Annie Sargent  46:15

Yeah. And I think most Americans are like you like, what? I know if it’s, I don’t know, if it’s a French versus American thing. I think it might just be my personality. I’m like, I don’t care.

 

Shauna Dinsart  46:25

I mean, my French husband is his maps look the same as I do. He, he will research till the end of time as well.

 

Annie Sargent  46:31

So so it’s not that it’s not a nationality thing. It’s just a personality. I really haven’t had. I mean, I must have had a few bad meals in France.

 

Shauna Dinsart  46:42

I’ve had a lot more than that. But yes,

 

Annie Sargent  46:44

But if you’re if you pay enough, I think it has to do with a price point more than I agree.

 

Shauna Dinsart  46:49

I think at a certain price point in France, you can’t really get a bad meal.

 

Annie Sargent  46:53

I mean, it might not be your favorite ever but it’s gonna be decent.

 

Shauna Dinsart  46:58

Yeah, but at the lower price points like when you’re just grabbing something,

 

Annie Sargent  47:02

You know? Yeah, then then all bets are off.

 

Annie Sargent  47:05

Yeah, totally. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. You have to know like, My daughter is vegetarian so when when we meet her in the city, very often we end up at places that will serve falafel because this nice dish. So now I have my favorite falafel places in Toulouse. And just because I’ve tried so many.

 

Shauna Dinsart  47:25

I began a lot of the time so I listened to your podcast about vegans in France. And it was a lot easier to eat vegan in Paris for sure. Yes, but there are some good vegan places. Yes in Toulouse too. I love a good falafel yeah for for

 

Annie Sargent  47:42

Yeah falafel are just good. So so it’s fun to go try them you know because that’s that’s one thing I know she will have so but you it’s a person. It’s it. It has to fit your personality but it sounds like having a baby in France fitted your personal Just fine. So that’s

 

Shauna Dinsart  48:01

It was great. Yeah, I would suggest it to anyone who you know.

 

Annie Sargent  48:09

Yeah, we probably don’t have a, I’m going to France just to have a baby thing

 

Shauna Dinsart  48:14

I would love that story though, if anyone does that I would love Yeah.

 

Annie Sargent  48:18

I have never heard of that. Because

 

Shauna Dinsart  48:21

either because

 

Annie Sargent  48:22

Giving birth to a baby in France doesn’t give that baby French nationality. Oh, no, you have to have parents and grandparents as well.

 

Shauna Dinsart  48:31

So but maybe somebody will hear this podcast and they’ll say, you know what, I can save a lot of money. And I can also get a trip to France. And then I’ll go to France and have a baby.

 

Annie Sargent  48:41

I do know. I do know an American expat who she lived in, in Texas, actually, and came to France to have her baby. Wow. And then she moved back to Texas. I mean, she’s never she didn’t move to France. She just came to France to be with her parents and have the baby Oh,

 

Shauna Dinsart  49:00

So she came to France to have her baby. That’s pretty cool.

 

Annie Sargent  49:02

But she was French to begin with. Okay. All right. So she’s French to begin with. It’s just she felt more comfortable having the baby near her mother and her father. And make sense. And because she’s French, her parents are French. The baby is also French. Yeah, I know. So in that case, but I don’t think it makes any difference because my daughter was born in the US and she has French nationality because her mother and her grandparents and blah blah, blah are French so

 

Shauna Dinsart  49:32

Right she has duel.

 

Annie Sargent  49:34

So you basically right she has you and I do you base it on more lineage than just having one child being  born in France, so I thought it would help anyone. It wouldn’t help them become French.

 

Shauna Dinsart  49:47

No it would just help them save money

 

Annie Sargent  49:50

And have a good experience hopefully and

 

Shauna Dinsart  49:52

have a vacation in France. Yeah. It’s paid for vacation in France and have the babies built pay less than you would in the United States.

 

Annie Sargent  50:02

Well, Shauna, it’s been delightful to talk to you. Thank you so much.

 

Shauna Dinsart  50:07

It’s been great! Yes.

 

Annie Sargent  50:08

And I, I’m sorry. I just realized that you’re in Toulouse when we started talking. Otherwise, we have done this in person.

 

Shauna Dinsart  50:14

Yeah, that would have been fun. No,

 

Annie Sargent  50:17

I didn’t pay attention. You might have told me and I didn’t pay attention to it.

 

Shauna Dinsart  50:20

I don’t know. You never know.

 

Annie Sargent  50:23

Thank you so much.

 

Shauna Dinsart  50:24

Thank you, Annie.

 

Annie Sargent  50:25

Au revoir !

 

Shauna Dinsart  50:25

Have a good day. Bye.

 

Annie Sargent  50:27

Thank you, Chris Bolton and Erica brown for pledging to support the show on Patreon this week. And also thank you Simone Gorman for increasing your pledge. It means so much to me because I know you won’t be visiting France for at least a few months. But you want to support me and the work that I do and that that really means a lot to me. I will do my best to spoil my patrons with interesting rewards. I have several in planning but they reading they require some reading of Books not quite done getting here.

 

Annie Sargent  51:03

Visit https://www.patreon.com/JoinUs Join us no spaces or dashes to see the different reward tiers. And thank you so much for giving back.

 

Annie Sargent  51:15

And I have to mention that I’m super proud of my VoiceMap tours. Not only will you see the best pairs, but you’ll understand what you’re looking at too. But of course, nobody is taking nobody’s traveling my right now. So nobody’s taking my tours. The sales of my tours have taken a precipitous dive, which was to be expected. But eventually life as we know it will resume and you can make every minute in Paris count by taking these tours. And who knows maybe you’re listening to this long after the Covid-19 pandemic is over. So you can check them out on https://joinusinfrance.com/audiotours/

 

Annie Sargent  51:53

As for the podcast I’m going to continue to bring you some trip reports stories about France, French culture, history, food destinations, all of that. Elyse will have more time to be on the podcast now. So I’ll invite her but we will have to record her over the phone because even though we don’t live far from each other, she can’t come to my house right now. So I’ll have to find a way to do that.

 

Annie Sargent  52:21

And it’s kind of funny to hear all these professional radio people who always had a voice professional, you know, an audio engineer, work with them. And now they’re recording from home by themselves and they don’t know how to do it. I learned a lot. I’m still not perfect, but I learned a lot doing it for so long.

 

Annie Sargent  52:45

I know that several of you have had a hard time getting home from Paris. It seems to have settled down by now most people are home.

 

Annie Sargent  52:54

Alright, let’s get into this Covid-19 thing. This is totally unprecedented. For And for you and for the whole world because we’ve had pandemics before, but nothing quite that that affected everyone quite like this one. France has ground down to a halt. People are staying home, some are working from home, some have been furloughed and the police have started enforcing the stay home rules by handing out fines to those who are in violation.

 

Annie Sargent  53:23

So this is not quite a lockdown. It’s just a fine, okay. But you can be outside for specific reasons, you know, for shopping for food, the medical stuff, you can go to your pharmacy, you bakery or whatever. The my little village bakery is still open, they have a sign that says only three customers inside at the same time. And if there are more people, which there often are, you have to you know, everybody’s standing like 10 feet away from each other on the park in the parking lot.

 

Annie Sargent  53:51

And then when you get in there’s tape on the floor to respect distances. And if you run into someone you know, which I did yesterday, then you Just say hi for the distance, everybody healthy, you know. And that’s all you can do. It’s really odd.

 

Annie Sargent  54:07

And the bakery is asking us to use contactless credit cards to pay for stuff so they don’t have to handle money and then wash their hands again. Also, if you have to sign for anything, you’re supposed to bring your own pen. If you have to show ID for any reason. You’re supposed to show it at a distance and not hand it to anyone. Yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s eerie. It’s different.

 

Annie Sargent  54:29

I went grocery shopping six days ago, and I won’t go back for another week. if I can help it. Probably will be okay. But yeah, it’s very, very strange, but I’ll still keep going to the bakery every couple of days for fresh bread because I don’t want to live like a savage okay.

 

Annie Sargent  54:49

The second reason you can leave your house is to go to work. There are still people who work. Anything medical is still happening, including veterinarians, food production, distribution is still going on folks who run the power grid in the water system. They’re working. Some public transportation folks are working, but that’s minimum service. Toulouse Airport is pretty much shut down, that have a neighbor who works at the airport. And she said on Monday was a ghost town, and she works the information desk. So she’s been furloughed for now. And her husband has a government job. And so he works from home.

 

Annie Sargent  55:25

That’s just, you know, that’s how it works. Some childcare folks I’m working too and all of those who are working are really taking a lot of extra sanitary precautions which makes their job harder. I really admire medical people and people who are working with the public right now. They’re doing us all a great favor and putting their lives in danger. And I understand that doctors and nurses are trained to do that but grocery store clerks and childcare people, you know, they’re really going out of their way to to be good to, to everyone, and they have my gratitude.

 

Annie Sargent  56:05

The roads are empty. It’s eerie and depressing. People are posting constantly photos and videos of empty cities and I don’t know we are we like to wallow in it so much because it’s just depressing. It feels like we’re at war, but we’re not. I mean, honestly, once you’re settled in your home, and you have a routine, it works most of us. But emotionally, it’s still difficult.

 

Annie Sargent  56:29

Lots of French people had the choice to leave the city because they have a place in the countryside or whatever and lots of French people do. They have a family home somewhere they’ve left. If they get good cell reception, wherever it is, in most places in France anymore, you get good cell reception. It’s so much easier to do this sheltering in place in in the countryside than it is in a city.

 

Annie Sargent  56:55

And of course, all the people who are not working will get unemployment. Those who are unemployed already will get more time to look for a job. We have a pretty good social safety net in France, and it’s doing its thing and I trust things will get sorted out. We don’t have, okay, France doesn’t have a lot of people living hand to mouth. We have some we have homeless people and we have migrants and the social safety net is trying to take care of them at this time as well. But we have overall we have a lot more social safety net, let’s let’s just leave it like that. And so it’s not quite as dire as I think I fear things are going to get in other countries.

 

Annie Sargent  57:42

The third reason to leave your house is to go help a neighbor. I haven’t had to do that yet, but that’s allowed.

 

Annie Sargent  57:48

The fourth is to get some exercise. You can run or walk or ride your bike, but you must go by yourself and you must start from home. I’m seeing lots of people on Facebook saying Oh, my husband got stopped for walking the dogs got fined for walking the dogs. That’s not right, well, blah, blah. And then you read on. And eventually they admit that before he walked the dog, he took his car and drove 10 miles to go to a nice place to walk the dogs. Well guess what? Every everybody knows that there are nicer places to walk than others. And if they all drive there, it defeats the purpose.

 

Annie Sargent  58:26

So you can walk and you can run and you can cycle but you have to do it from your house, no car, no car involved at all. And yeah, you can you can take your kids out to run around and to ride their bicycles, but you can’t meet up with other families. They haven’t roped off the playgrounds where I live, but I haven’t seen anybody using them the last few days because nobody’s disinfecting them as far as I know, and people are being smart.

 

Annie Sargent  58:53

Another thing that you can do is call for a repair person. So if you have a leak, somewhere you can call a plumber, and they will come fix it. And if you have a problem with electricity, you can call an electrician. But this is not the time to replace your bathroom, you know. So same with computer things, especially for people working from home, they can get their computers fixed. They can people who work in the middle of medical field, can get cars fixed, stuff like that. There are a lot of allowances for that sort of things.

 

Annie Sargent  59:28

The borders between France and the rest of Europe have been closed. There are still a few flights, but only to get people home pretty much. There were a large groups of French people who were stuck in Morocco, where French people love to go on vacation. And so they are slowly coming back on chartered flights.

 

Annie Sargent  59:51

And the biggest change is that we must all go out with our ID which I’ve never carried my ID and my Life. But now I do. And we must fill out a form before we set out to go outside the house, indicating one of the few reasons that are possible to go out. You have to check it off. And if a police officer asks you, you have to explain yourself and say, this is where I live, and this is what I’m doing. And they’re going to make sure that you’re not, you know, 100 miles away from home. And doing God knows what.

 

Annie Sargent  60:30

There has been lots of fines, and especially in large cities, in Paris. There’s even a few people, a handful of people that have been arrested because they absolutely refuse to stay home. It’s gonna get tricky because some people have a pretty nasty home situation. And so I don’t know how this is gonna work out but hopefully they’ll find ways to To help them anyway.

 

Annie Sargent  61:02

So let’s all shelter in place, let’s all do our best to stay home. These are strange times we’re living in. I hope it’s completely obvious by now that traveling anywhere is a terrible idea. And that this may continue for, you know, many more weeks, possibly months, I don’t know, these measures in France were and they were announced for two weeks, but I’m sure it’s going to be extended for at least another month, because viruses don’t die off like that. And until we have a vaccine, you know, it’s really it could come and go.

 

Annie Sargent  61:39

And what makes this so tricky is that there are plenty of people who are carrying the disease without showing any symptoms so good for them for not being sick. I’m happy for them, but they can spread the infection fast because right now it’s the virus that’s doing the traveling and it’s getting around.

 

Annie Sargent  61:59

For the longest Time the types of questions I was getting on the on the group was, is it really bad in Paris? Or is it really bad in you know, in the south? Or Where am I supposed to stay away from this place or that place? At this point, I hope it’s very clear to you that we don’t really, unless you’re in one of the few countries, that’s testing everybody. And apparently Norway is doing that now. South Korea also did that anyway.

 

Annie Sargent  62:30

Even in France, they’re they’re only testing people who present with symptoms. So they don’t really know the extent of the of the virus and we know viruses get around. And there are so many silent cases that it’s you know, so don’t be worried about is my state Okay, is my city okay? It is not, it cannot be! This thing is really everywhere and the only way we can deal with it Just to stay home and that is it’s no fun. It’s, it’s no fun.

 

Annie Sargent  63:06

mean, I’m used to it, because that that’s that just my personality, but it’s going to be hard for a lot of people. And a lot of people are in denial. And yeah, it’s it’s going to be over the long term, it’s going to have a lot of challenges. And, and that’s, that’s we don’t really have a choice, do we?

 

Annie Sargent  63:28

But it will pass. It may be a few months, but it will pass. And I know we’ll get sick of it, all of us. But at the end, we’ll have wonderful parties and wonderful trips, and we’ll go see all the things we have missed out on and do all the all the wonderful trips and visits that we couldn’t do when we were at home. So let’s just hope for all that and stay healthy and keep listening to the podcast. I’m hoping to not be too much of a downer. And if you have questions or comments, send them to annie@joinusinfrance.com. I wish you a great week. I’ll talk to you next Sunday. I can’t remember right now the episode is next Sunday. Let’s see if I can click fast enough. And without I should have written it down. Right here next week it will be Episode 277 Oh, and it will be an episode with Elyse that I recorded at my house about a lovely place called Limoux that you’ve never heard of. So this will be a dreamy episode and she did a really good job, you know Elyse she’s really good at making you wish you were there. So that’ll be that. Thank you very much for listening and Au revoir.

 

Annie Sargent  64:44

The Join Us in France Travel Podcast is written and produced by Annie Sargent and copyright 2020 by addicted to France. It is released under a Creative Commons Attribution non commercial no derivatives license.

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Categories: France How To, Health & Safety