Monday, 6 January 2014

Are Irish people less judgemental than the French?

Yesterday I went to the supermarket with my 2 and a half years old son, Ethan. He's an active child, to put it nicely. As we were in the shop, he started to run around, occasionally bumping into other customers, and of course lying on the floor in the main aisle. He wasn't acting up as such, but let's just say I had to remind him a good few times to behave himself and to follow me.

We made our way to the check-out and of course, he didn't want to wait patiently for our turn, so he started to  go around all the check-out desks. He was always in my sight, but I had to tell him about ten times to come back. At one point, I tried to make him stay beside me but of course, he replied with the usual "terrible two" answer for everything: Noooooooooooo ! So I just let him keep on going with his little game. 

Of course, the woman in front of me took what it seemed forever to pay and of course there was a problem. One of the articles wasn't scanning and the cashier had to go check the price on the shelf. At that stage, I was starting to sweat and Ethan of course, didn't care. I couldn't leave all my shopping on the belt and go ( although I thought about it...). 
Eventually, I managed to pay and  Ethan came back to me of his own free will. He also had a Euro in his hand. I don't know where he found it, but I will bring him back to the shop next time, if he can find more for me!

If I had been in France, people would have made me known my child was misbehaving. Maybe not in front of me ( And I'm not even sure of that...) but I would have heard people whisper " Look at her, she can't even handle her child", " This is what you get when people don't educate their children" or " This child is probably hyper-active" and so on. There would have been sighs, lots of sighs...
My French mind made me prepared for that sort of reaction, so I was feeling very uncomfortable. But nobody else in the shop was.

During all this time in the supermarket, I didn't get a bad look from anybody, or a remark. I apologised to the people Ethan bumped into as we were going along, and they were all very nice. "Not a bother", " Don't worry", "Ooh, he's so cute" ( well, if you want to keep him for a few days...). Even at the check-out, I didn't hear any whispers. Not one.

I'm sure people in the supermarket were thinking the same as the French. So, are Irish people less judgemental or maybe just less confrontational? Maybe once I left the supermarket everybody was relieved but nobody said anything by fear of an argument? I am not a confrontational person either so it definitely suits me fine to live here !

Either way, I still think Irish people are less judgemental, especially towards children. And that's a breath of fresh air compared France.