French are friendly!!!

Old May 5th, 2005, 09:24 PM
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French are friendly!!!

Hi, still traveling throughout the USA but just had to drop by and say the French were amazing to our family. Very friendly! The best mannered people I've ever encountered and most helpful! I noticed the news had a few snipets about the USA which I consider not true also so maybe the media misleads us about each other. The only somewhat snobby person was a lady at the Louve that I forgot to greet with Bonjour before spewing English. It was a wonderful journey that we will always treasure.
islandmom is offline  
Old May 6th, 2005, 02:37 AM
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of course they are! ;-) they are just a bit shy sometimes, so you can think they are snob... when I go shopping I always end up talking with someone (man or woman) just to talk about choosing kiwis (like this morning) or taking a box too high for an old lady. and you know what? I don't even dare to ask for the time it is when I forgot my watch, and I can spend long minutes before deciding to give a call...
and I'm a stickler for politeness too!
have a nice day!
cocofromdijon is offline  
Old May 6th, 2005, 02:44 AM
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The French have been continually demonized in the US over the past couple of years for purely political reasons if nothing else. Bogeymen are always the perfect scapegoat and are usually conjured up by those who are frightened, misinformed, and unable to have their own behavior subjected to serious scrutiny.

I'm delighted that you found out the truth. Have a French Fry or French Toast (even if they weren't actually invented there) with a clear concience.
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Old May 6th, 2005, 05:18 AM
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I have been to France twice in the last year and I completely agree. They are among the kindest people in the world, yet people who've never been there still don't believe me. And if one more person tells me I should boycott France, I will SCREAM!!!!
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Old May 6th, 2005, 05:32 AM
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The French are widely misinterpreted by many Americans. Americans for the most part are very open and familiar even with strangers while the French are subdued, reserved and more formal. Americans often interpret this as being rude or unfriendly. It's a cultural thing. For the same reasons Americans in general love the Australians as they are so much like us. If you get to know the French, understand them and gain their respect you will have a very good friend. I am an American of French ancestry and have the advantage of understanding this since a child.

Larry J
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Old May 6th, 2005, 05:45 AM
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I don't think The French are all friendly. I don't think they're all shy.
I don't think The Americans are all friendly or shy either.

What I notice in Paris is that there is a value put on courtesy and correctness, more so in general than I find in my own USA. I've said this before; I don't think that part of the culture in France is to try to be everyone's friend. I do think part of the culture is to try to be courteous. That may sometimes come across to us non-French (or non-Parisians) as aloof or cold, but I think there's a difference between that behavior and rudeness. And also, I don't think Parisians are necessarily typical of all French people, any more than New Yorkers or Angelenos are typical of the rest of the USA. People who live outside of large cities, in my experience, tend to be more casual, more relaxed, more outgoing, on average.
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Old May 6th, 2005, 06:04 AM
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Hello Island:

I am glad to see that you have become one of the more enlightened Americans insofar as the French are concerned. In 15 yrs of traveling to France, I have NEVER met a rude Frenchman or rude Mademoiselle/Madame for that matter. Ingorant Americans reason that since " we helped them in WWII", the French should be kissing our buttocks. As far as I am concerned, we were simply returning the favor: During the closing days of the American Revolution, French warships blocked the sea lanes and attacked the British, preventing Lord Cornwallis from retreating from Yorktown, Virginia ( his escape route was effectively cut off)..

Vive la France!!.and all savvy Americans who appreciate our French friends, their history, culture..and of course food and wine..

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Old May 6th, 2005, 06:34 AM
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Thank you, thank you, Luis, for pointing out the historical fact that if the French hadn't come to our rescue in the Revolutionary War, we probably would be singing "Hail to the Queen" instead of the "Star Spangled Banner".
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Old May 6th, 2005, 06:45 AM
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How true. They are a courteous though formal people. They are not effusive like Americans. Encore, vive la difference!

As to the historical point of "Conway", re French help in the American Revolution, it is true but it is a debt we have paid twice over as a visit to Normandy clearly underscores.

I like the French and treasure many French friends.
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Old May 6th, 2005, 06:47 AM
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cocofromdijon is offline  
Old May 6th, 2005, 06:55 AM
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International politics is not ruled by favours or moral reasons.
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Old May 6th, 2005, 07:04 AM
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The following was posted by an idiot on another discussion group to which I belong. What gets me is, as far as I know, he's never been to France and has probably never met a French person:

"Things I Hate or Find Annoying: The French. Of course I had to mention them first. It isn't their infamous
arrogance, rudeness or annoying accent. I can even let slide the overall
wussie nature of their men. It is not their love of techno pop or absurd
ideas concerning women's fashion. It *ISN'T* even the simple fact that they
hate us -- it is why they do. I truly believe they cannot bare us because we
saved their cheese-eating asses twice in the last century. They just can't
stand the fact that McDonald's eating, beer-swilling,
only-200-something-year-old, totally uncultured, barbarians saved their dumb
asses twice. I think they actually hate (or are perturbed) by the fact that
WE saved them."
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Old May 6th, 2005, 07:11 AM
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I personally appreciate the courteous nature of Europeans. I still giggle though at my partner's T-Shirt: "If the French are so smart, how come they can't speak English?"
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Old May 6th, 2005, 07:14 AM
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I am going back to Paris in September with my Mom and in-laws. I am very excited to show them the city I last visited in 2003. During that trip, we learned the "polite" words of "bonjour" and "merci", etc. I found Parisians to be just as friendly as New Yorkers (and I was in NYC in August last year and was also surprised at how friendly they were, despite their reputation).

I hope you laugh at this, but when we went to London, there were Starbucks everywhere, and not a single one to be found in Paris (which is fine by me). I thought about it, and realized there is a "Starbucks" mentality to the U.S. -- quick, easy and friendly service. Paris/French culture is more of a slower pace, appreciate the finer things in life like a cafe au lait that takes time to arrive at your table while you sit and people watch. Once you realize that the French are just different, and not the snobs that the US tries to make them out to be, they are quite friendly. That's why we're going back. And you bet I'm already working on my Mom to learn the polite words so she can have the experience we did.

BTW, I also ran into one snob -- and it was a subway token person who was appalled when I started my conversation in English instead of a polite "Bonjour". I'd feel the same way if someone started assuming the same about me with a different language in my country.

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Old May 6th, 2005, 07:15 AM
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I'm happy to read this thread, as we leave for our first visit to Paris soon. Having studied French, I can't wait to hear that beautiful language spoken everywhere.
And, it's an important point that not everyone is the same in any culture. But I'm wondering if Parisians, if they are formal, are more like the Viennese, who seemed to be polite and formal? A generalization, for sure, but not meant to be all-inclusive.
I read somewhere that Parisians will think you're an idiot if you walk around their streets, grinning like a maniac and saying Hello loudly to everyone you pass. I liked that. I'd think that person deranged, too. I'll try not to do that-- but I think finally being in Paris will make me grin like an idiot!
Can't wait to see Paris.
Old May 6th, 2005, 07:47 AM
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Jules, please be advised that Paris now has at least 4 Starbucks... you cannot escape...
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Old May 6th, 2005, 09:04 AM
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Yep, Travelnut - we saw a Starbucks. I'm enjoying this thread. At the risk of repeating others, France/Paris is no different than anyplace else. There are polite, friendly people and there are rude people. I try to remember that I am a visitor and I try to speak French whenever I can. But sometimes it's hard to do. For instance in the train ticket line, the person behind the desk had no patience with my broken French. So - I at times ended up giving up and speaking English and pointing to figure things out. It can be very intimidating at times. At the Metro, we were trying to figure out if our basic ticket would get us back to CDG. I didn't think so, but wanted to ask to be sure, and so that we could give our last ticket to someone else who could make use of them. So I ask the woman at the desk, and she looks at me with complete scorn and yells: "NO GOOD!!" Meaning, the metro tickets would not be sufficient. Now, maybe I'm just sensitive, but I thought that was a bit harsh. Nevertheless, this was my third trip to France because overall I find French people kind and interesting, and I have that damn country under my skin big time!!

And to Maureen, who can't wait to hear French spoken, wait until you hear the children speak. I absolutley adore listening to children speaking in French! (And that should not be taken as condescending.)

Have a fabulous time. I just got back, and as usual, I'm ready to return!
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Old May 6th, 2005, 09:19 AM
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that is funny you say that, I love english children speaking in english!
and I hate when salesgirls talk to me as if I was nothing, just a number with not even a little smile, and I talk the same language!
I'm a bit sad because although I'm french and everybody on this post agree to say nice things about the frenchs, NOBODY said hello to me!
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Old May 6th, 2005, 09:36 AM
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Chere Coco:

Bienvenue au Salon de lettres aux Fodorites!!. Je suis heureux de faire votre connaissance... Je vais de habitude, a la France pendant le mois de Sept ou Oct, vers le Midi pour prendre des Vins, le von mets, et voir tout les choses belles, jolie et formidable de la France... Salut!

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Old May 6th, 2005, 09:37 AM
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...Bonjour, Coco!
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