BUSES. I don’t understand why state bus companies, that are operating at huge losses, let people get on without expecting them to pay. On UK buses, you have to pass the conductor/driver and pay for a ticket. On French buses passengers are expected to blip their pre-paid ticket at a machine. Many people do not bother to pay and the driver says nothing. Perhaps it is part of Liberté, Fraternité and Eqalité? When bus inspectors get on, it is interesting to see how many people get off! The inspectors catch some people who have to pay a fine of between 30-40€. As many people are aware, ‘C’est statistiquement rentable de payer seulement les amendes.’ = ‘Statistically it is cheaper to only pay the fines.’

BUTTER. The French prefer unsalted butter, but we prefer salted. When I served a scone to a friend in my teashop, she immediately noticed that there was a salty taste to the butter. During our first few months in France, we were looking for ‘salted butter’, which is a rarity in our region. Beurre salé, which is a speciality found in Brittany is very salty with more  than 3 % of salt. Beurre demi-sel has up to 3 %.  The lovely British Yeo Valley butter has 1.5g per 100g but some other UK brands have more. Demi-sel ismost likely to match your tastes.

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