Living in France can be strangely puzzling at times. It’s a country of contradictions, where opposites abound and values and behaviours differ widely. One example is French design prowess. France has given us photography, the cinema, pasteurisation, the metric system, the automobile, the parachute, the ballpen, the Suez Canal, the Eiffel Tower and the TGV high-speed train. The list of French ingenuity goes on, so how is it that SNCF, the French national rail company, managed to purchase more than 1800 new trains that are too wide to pass through stations, so that 1300 platforms will have to be widened? More importantly, the national motto, Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité is widely revered and disregarded at the same time. Yet the French seem unperturbed by such peculiarities, dismissing…