My home syringing proved ineffective, so I asked my GP (in France, généralissime) to look down my ears with his little intraauriculoscope. 

"Hmm, that's a job for the ORL", he said.

So it was that yesterday evening I found myself in the charming Augustin district of Bordeaux at the ORL's cabinet. It's a family business with mother and daughter being orthoptists (I looked it up but I'm still a bit foxed) and father being an ORL.

He was a charming man, addressing me as "Cher monsieur" and it didn't sound odd, contrived or even outdated. 

Just as well, really, as he proceeded to hoover out the inside of my lug holes before using alarmingly long probes to scrape out gobs of evil-looking goo.

"I won't get an infection?", I asked. 

I got one once after a doctor in Cardiff used their new electric syringe machine and put me in agony such that I cried into my pillow every night for days on end.

"No, we'll give you drops." 

I thought they would.

"The left one needs a bit more attention. Do this night and morning for ten days then come back and see me again."



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