Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Pretentious? The French?

Yesterday I had the exciting experience of paying a visit to the Médecin de Travail to get a certificate saying that I was fit for work. Expecting her to ask me to strip to my underwear as soon as I entered the consulting room, I dashed home from work to change into a slightly less greying bra and a pair of matching socks before power walking up the hill to the clinic, which turned out to be a waste of time because my appointment started 15 minutes late and she only asked me to take my jumper off.

I was mildly interested to learn that I was one centimetre taller than I thought I was but the best bit was definitely the eye test. After reading a series of letters (and desperately trying not to mix up the French, German and Italian alphabets) I was given a passage in very small print to read. The doctor allowed me to stop when I stumbled on the word “vicissitudes.” (I'm not sure I can even pronounce that word in English.) I glanced at the name at the end of the passage. It was from Diderot, a French Enlightenment philosopher and writer who lived from 1713 – 1784.

In France, you are never safe from people trying to educate you.

2 comments:

  1. Sounds difficult! When I went for a medical they had some crazy machine where you just push the buttons when it asks you what you see.... I have no idea what my results were; just some mumble from the lady that I could see well enough to work.

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  2. Stumbled upon your blog and this post jumped out at me for some reason....I LOVE this anecdote! Diderot at the eye doctor...only in France.

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