In sleepy surburbia here in the outskirts of Perpignan, the busiest establishment by far, is, The Pharmacy. They now have a pully ticket system like they do in large group situations where people can't manage to form an orderly queue like busy delis in French supermarkets, or The Prefecture ( cue psycho music). It really is that busy.
Walking into the French Pharmacy is like walking into the set of Cheers ( you know , where everybody knows your na-a-ame). The atmosphere is relaxed, the regulars know each other and the barman (oops pharmacist) knows your order before you even get to the counter.. They will gossip and chat and exchange pleasantries and leave happy with their state paid drugs "A la semaine prochaine, bisous!" All very "sociable" indeed...
The latest craze for the pill popping happy French is 'La Pharmacie Drive In". Yes, you read it correctly folks, there are about 100 Drive in Pharmacies throughout France and the number is growing.
It functions just like a fast food outlet, you drive up to the window with your ordonnance ( prescription) or just explain your symptoms and hey presto, et voilà, you are served without having to go to the trouble of putting your achy achy big toe out of your vehicle...
I'm not sure it would take off here either in our little suburb, sure they would miss all the craic and weekly contact then!!
The French juxtaposition ; a nation with the best healthcare in the world peopled with hypochondriacs!!!
A ta santé!