Embracing Unity and Openness: Exploring the French Countryside

  When I go deep into the French countryside, I often feel the open living environment there and the unified education and medical conditions across the country. What is even more touching is that there is no difference between urban and rural areas, at least not in our traditional sense.
No barriers, no barriers

  In the French countryside, even village and town governments will not set up fences outside scenic spots to block tourists’ sight and force you to buy tickets. The French will even build viewing platforms along mountain roads and seaside roads, set aside parking spaces, and set up signs to announce in advance. For example, they will set up a high point on the roadside of the winding mountain to look into the distance, where you can take a break and look out over the valley.
  There will be no cards outside the scenic area, but a parking lot will be set up nearby to allow out-of-town tourists to travel less. In a place called Saint-Emilion, the priceless underground wine cellar is even unattended. You can walk down from the external driveway and directly enter the underground wine cellar. Thousands of bottles of wine are neatly stacked in every corner. Those that have been stored for many years The dark red bottle has a grayish-white mouth, which is a sign of bacterial growth and is in a state of fermentation. Once it is served on the table, its value will double. I was also surprised by this unguarded marketing approach of opening the door to all strangers.
  If we must talk about the differences between urban and rural areas, we actually saw horse plowing, which is rare among urban people, in the famous White Horse Manor. It was in a lush vineyard, and suddenly I saw a high-spirited white horse being led by someone. We were very excited to see the white horse in front of the White Horse Manor and picked up our phones to take pictures.
  When I got close to the vineyard, I saw three horses plowing back and forth in the grape ridges nearby. The horses were evenly paced and moved in an orderly manner, and they were all driven by women. The petite hostess in front of us was trying to adjust the reins to keep the horse from getting too excited. There is a pruning and plowing truck specially designed for driving in ridges beside the road. It looks a little taller than a bus, but it is very narrow, making it easy to enter the ridges for pruning and plowing. This advanced giant vehicle and the traditional horse plow were lined up one behind the other, creating a great contrast.

  I asked the hostess of the castle at breakfast the next day, and she told me that using horses to plow was an ancient custom in the area. It was common for white horses and women to help plow. Compared with men, women are more skillful and can control an experienced horse. It took no effort on the part of the horse; all she had to do was adjust the rake, give instructions, and lead the horse. An experienced horse has neat gaits and will not trample the roots of the grapevine or damage the grape trellis. This is the main reason for using a horse. That morning, under the white clouds, there were several tall horses neatly lined up in the dense vineyards, with skilled female drivers. It had the feeling of the Barbizon School, and human civilization seemed to have returned to the 19th century.
  Since there are no distinctions between urban and rural areas in France, and there are no migrant workers, that means there are no hourly workers at home, no wet nurses or nannies responsible for raising children, and of course no live-in nannies, or even drivers, bodyguards or even security guards for the owners to drive.
  When it comes to fertility issues among the French people I have met, women will take care of themselves if they can afford it, and will not give birth if they have no conditions. They will neither ask for aunties nor ask for help from their elderly parents. For the French, everyone has their own life. , mutual respect is the most important thing. Not only the French, but also people in Western countries are accustomed to doing household chores by themselves. Families need to keep electric saws and tool boxes, because maintenance personnel must make an appointment in advance. Moreover, the labor required for door-to-door service is too expensive, so over time, men will train themselves to become electricians, plumbers and other unexpected types of work.
  If they have room to operate, they will buy back the tools and materials, build shelves, paint the walls and even lay the floor tiles themselves after returning home. If possible, we will even build a workshop in the basement, which can be used for carpentry erection, drilling, and planing, as well as for storing electric drills, electric saws, and reel extension cables. Some people can even build a sunroom and inlaid with glass, just like professionals.
  When I was working abroad many years ago, I often bought lubricating oil and antifreeze water, filled them with oil and water, and knew how to carefully check the condition of the car before running long distances. As for replacing the battery and spare tire, it was easy to handle. After returning to China, these abilities that I originally had have deteriorated, and I have become accustomed to looking for maintenance workers whenever there is a problem.
Where did all the trash go?

  As I said in the preface of my new book “Che Teacher Online”: For an iron chain, the weakest link determines its overall strength; for a wooden barrel, the shortest board determines its capacity ; For an environment, the dirtiest place determines its environmental ranking.
  From this point of view, the French handed in a very high score. Their rural streets are as clean as the Champs Elysées, or even cleaner. There is absolutely no difference between urban and rural areas. On a recent trip to the countryside, I drove for ten days in the south of France. I passed through busy bustling cities and stayed in quiet rural villages where no one was around. I drove thousands of kilometers in a zigzag manner. When strong winds blew, the air There were no plastic bags flying up, and there was no sludge soup flowing on the ground in the heavy rain. Not only the garbage dumps, but also the garbage treatment plants are not visible. People may ask: Where did all the garbage go?
  Garbage disposal is a symbol of a city or rural civilization and involves at least three core elements: garbage treatment plants, sweepers, and people’s habits of making garbage. These three points determine the speed and quantity of garbage growth. The French have decades or even centuries of experience in dealing with sewage and garbage. As for the cleaning staff, they are the backbone of the pollution control. Every time I see cleaning staff working hard on the streets of Beijing, I am full of respect. They are constantly cleaning up the garbage on the ground, and it seems that they can never finish cleaning up. Is there any way to permanently solve this problem?
  This brings us to the third point: not providing opportunities and excuses for making garbage. France has banned supermarkets from providing free plastic bags many years ago, and locals will not even throw away paper scraps. This may also be a factor in the urban-rural differences that still exist in our society. Improving the environment of a place is often not a matter of money; what matters is ideas. If education doesn’t work, social coercion is needed. You can be fined for parking casually, and you can also be fined for throwing things anywhere. Singapore has become a role model for environmental protection through social education and legal enforcement. As for the French, their awareness of protecting the environment comes from the heart.

  In the early morning, the hostess of White Horse Manor opened the bright restaurant on time. I was always the first person to walk into the restaurant in the morning. When I entered, I saw a square table in front of the two windows with napkins laid on it, and two chairs facing each other, which happened to be a square table. Seating for couples, there were two couples traveling with us. If I occupied a two-seater dining table, one of the couples would have to sit against the wall. Obviously, the window seat is often the best. When dining, you can look out at the lawn outside the window and let the sun shine in, making it comfortable and comfortable. So I walked over to the shared table for six people against the wall, sat down and saw that only orange juice, croissants and butter were placed on this table. It seemed that the hostess also expected that we would sit together, so she placed the breakfast table. Put it in this position.
  Halfway through my meal, a French friend from a couple walked in alone. He looked around like me and said in French: Why dirty another table? So he sat down next to me and had breakfast. Another couple who came in later also noticed that the small sunny table by the window was suitable for the two of them. Seeing that we were already dining, they naturally sat with us. Everyone happily finished the sumptuous breakfast in a relatively dark corner. , so that the five of us and three families in total only soiled one tablecloth.
  When the mind is calm, people are pure, things are pure, and the environment is pure.

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