Well, here are some of the good points:
Hardly any traffic on the roads. Wide open and a pleasure to drive through. Hardly any people when you get out into the countryside, and it's a huge piece of real estate, so there's loads of room for all. Generally, spotless sidewalks and roads, and well-kept properties, and a minimum of graffiti evident and that only in the larger urban areas. So it is clean, fresh and charmingly decorative. A drive through the area around St Emilion did make me feel, at the time, that for anyone it would be food for the soul.
A fantastic Health Care system – Seriously, I think it may be the best in the world. Doctors are actually interested in helping solve 'whatever' you perceive as a problem. There is no dismissive, superior attitude about minor complaints and each is dealt with comprehensively and thoroughly. Their mission seems to be to find an answer, however trifling some other systems may consider your complaint.
And they have all the gear! The state sees to it that even outlying areas are equipped with the latest and, for example, on the roof of our local hospital serving a very limited rural population (although they have the latest gear, too) is a Helipad from which to convey serious cases to Bordeaux Hospital in about 7 minutes, I believe.
It really is something, their system, and one has to give credit where due. And here's an example: Dentist last week – two of us, full check up, 4 or 5 X-rays just to be sure, full cleaning and he took over 1 hour and a half. Cost 81 Euros, yes that is eighty one Euros, and the Health System refunded 70% of that.
He's the best dentist I've ever had. On a crown he took over 7 hours over 5 appointments, and he can do a root canal without any pain!! Total cost 480 Euros including the porcelain crown.
On Medical: Doctor's visits and such, they refund 90%. Prescriptions are similar but I forget exactly how much.
But the main thing is they 'care', they really want to solve the problem and will refer to specialists at the drop of a hat. Cost for roughly 1 hour with a specialist has been between 23-60 Euros depending on the issue. But that is refunded at around 70%.
So the health system is outstanding, as is their other pride and joy, La Poste.
A letter mailed today, even this afternoon from Bordeaux (in fact anywhere in France) will be delivered tomorrow morning. It is amazing. However, it might be explained by the fact that I think about 30% of the population work for La Poste, but nonetheless it is impressive.
And finally, I don't want to tempt fate but I'll just say that there is a more relaxed acceptance that not all goes their way and so serious arguments or aggression are rare. It is laid back, it is true – just have a watch of Russell Crowe's 'A Good Year' – it's not far from the truth, in fact the director living here in Provence has captured the feel of the place pretty accurately. Ridley Scott.
I'm waiting to conclude the farce of my entry for the 23 Feb competition, but we'll leave that for another day, and I'll leave you by referring you to some nice photos my wife took of our place.
Spring and summer are coming … I can feel it. 14ºC today and clear.
Here's the link: http://frenchcountryproperty.weebly.com/
Pool day tomorrow. Bonne soirée.
~ Author of fiction