One of the things that has always struck me about France is the number of hairdressing salons that exist. It has lead me to wonder, somewhat irreverently, if the French are the most highly coiffeured race in Europe. Even 2-horse villages have 2 hairdressers/barbers. And a “salon de toilettage” for pet grooming too.
As we tear up and down the D936 towards Bergerac and back we pass through the little town of Gardonne, which we have nicknamed “the village of 1,000 hairdressers”. I don’t know how many there are in Gardonne, but there are at least 3 and a salon de toilettage within 100 yards of each other. This set me to thinking about how many hairdressing salons & barber shops we have in Sainte-Foy, and I decided that one day I simply had to take an inventory. I have now done so.
Before I list them it is, perhaps, worth noting that Sainte-Foy is the biggest little town for several kilometers. We have Castillonne (de la Bataille, of Hundred Years war fame) to our west and Bergerac to our east, each about a 20 minute drive away, and many people come into the town for their routine needs, so it isn’t unreasonable for it to have a lot of facilities. At least, more than one would expect for a town with a resident population of just 2,750.
So the other morning, while I was waiting for the huge load of linens that I was washing at the launderette to be ready to go into the tumble drier, I walked along rue de la Republique and up-and-down rue Victor Hugo, then along rue Chanzy (back to the launderette) and counted. Here are the results of my short survey:
13 Hairdressing salons/barber shops. 13!!
11 Banks & Insurance agencies
1 Salon de Toilettage
Clearly, I didn’t count every shop in town. There are plenty of clothes shops, 2 excellent kitchen shops and all of the other facilities that one would expect a thriving small town to have. I just counted the things that caught my attention that morning. Next time I’m going to count all of the restaurants. That will take me a while. For now I’m going to take a guess. Are you ready? OK. Here goes ………… 20 restaurants and 5 bars. I’ll let you know how good a guess this was later.