At the pharmacy :
"Do you have anything for when your ear is blocked with cerumen, some drops, perhaps ?"
The assistant went to a small display of assorted drops for when your ear is blocked with cerumen, including cotton buds and alarming rubber spiral gizmos for drilling into your lughole.
"This is what you need. These drops. The instructions are on the box."
"And do I need any cotton wool* to block up my ear with the drops in?"
(I said ouâte de cellulose, I hope this is correct, I have a vague memory of this word and I can't be bothered to look it up having spent a week looking up words like Rückfahrkarte and Putenschnitzel - this latter is not rude.)
"You have to rinse it."
"Yes, rinse it" showing me the box which said, "il faut le rincer" = you have to rinse it.
"With what shall I rinse it?" quoth I, "with tepid water?"
"Yes, with tepid water. Do you have one of these at home?"
I stared blankly at the rubber bulb designed for squirting water into your aural orifice.
"No, we don't have one of those at home."
"You suck up the tepid water and, hop, squirt it in your ear."
"Ah good ? In England they say you must never put anything in your ear except your elbow."
"Really?" I could see her thinking, "They're nuts these English".
So I left the pharmacy with a home ear-syringing kit.