I’ve been to the doctor three times already in France (four if you count the visite medicale required for the carte de séjour), but today was my first appointment at an eye doctor. Not only did I finally learn the difference between an ophthalmologist and an optician – I always just say eye doctor in English – I also managed to not forget the alphabet or numbers. I tend to forget the simplest things in French when I get nervous.
My appointment was with a nice young man at the Clinique Générale (which is like a maze when you aren’t sure where you should go), and the appointment took less than 20 minutes. First I looked at a road with a hot-air balloon at the end, and then it was on to the boring letters and numbers. Bright light so he could inspect my retinas and that was it. No annoying puff of air or that bizarre stain to dilate your pupils. I handed over my Carte Vitale, paid 48 € and got two ordonnances, for new glasses and new contacts.
Now I need to go to an optician to choose my frames and turn in my prescriptions. Ophtalmologistes (what I used to call eye doctors) and opticiens are not in the same office in France. The person who checks your eyes and the person who makes your glasses are two different people and professions. I never really paid attention to that before in the US. Actually, I don’t know if I ever even met my optician there…
P.S. Net is clear, and flou is blurry.