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Recent visitors: any anti-american sentiment ?

Recent visitors: any anti-american sentiment ?

Old Jul 25th, 2006, 09:09 AM
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Recent visitors: any anti-american sentiment ?

In light of the current developments in the middle east, some friends have expressed concern that the French may be unfriendly or worse to American tourists. Has anyone been there recently? (I will be in Paris and Provence/Riviera) Any problems?
Thanks.
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 09:10 AM
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Oops, caption should have said to France.
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 09:22 AM
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In my experience in France and with the French -- going back almost 60 years -- you have nothing to be concerned about. The French are quite capable of drawing a distinction between American citizens and the actions (or inactions) of the U. S. government.
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 09:25 AM
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the French? I don't follow the logic here at all. What about that head-butting incident, huh? And why would they target Americans rather than, say, Israelis?

Yes, I've beeen there recently and I didn't encounter any, but a lot of people wouldn't know I was American anyway. Some I did talk to in French asked me where I was from, so I guess they didn't know for sure. I don't usually have long contacts with French people I don't that would involve things that a French person could retaliate against me for for being American. Like what, not allowing you to buy something in Galeries Lafayette? I really wonder what kind of bizarre thought process your friends have. If the French are unfriendly to Americans, which some are, there are lots of other reasons for it than the Israel/Lebanon mess.
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 09:29 AM
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17 days in France this month. Not a shred of an indication of resentment or anti-American sentiment.

I still laugh at the comment a Parisian security guard made a couple years ago, though. He said, "Americans think we don't like them. That isn't true at all. It's just your President we don't like."
USNR has it right. Most French understand that the average American has no more influence over what the American government is doing than they do about what their government is doing.
On the other hand I think it's sad that so many Americans seem not to have that same realization. I'm still amazed at how many people I know did nothing but badmouth ALL French people because of the stand their government took when we went to Iraq.
 
Old Jul 25th, 2006, 09:30 AM
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Younger Europeans LOVE Americans. They will want to all speak English with you and ask you if you know Jennifer Lopez.
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 09:32 AM
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None more than usual - most of the world is able to distingish between citizens of a country & the government of a country, so unless your name is Bush, Cheney or any of the other madmen you shouldn't have a problem
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 09:34 AM
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Just got back. Don't even give it a second thought. Be as polite and patient with the language barrier as you can be and you'll feel very welcomed there. Politics are politics and I can't imagine you'll get into a political discussion at a restaurant or on line at a museum, not to worry.
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 09:34 AM
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In France, you should be fine. Just avoid any demonstrations you might come upon. Last time I checked, the French love your $$$ converted into Euros.
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 09:40 AM
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Generally speaking,99% of the french people you wil come across will be completely indiferent to your citizenship (what difference can it make when you are buying a pain au chocolat, a bus ticket or photographying the Tour Eiffel ?)
Your attitude is much more important than what is written on your passport
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 09:41 AM
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While studying in England 2004-2005, I was more uncomfortable and encountered more anti-Americanism among my liberal American friends after the 2004 elections than I ever did among the British or other Europeans. Not sure if things are different now, but I doubt it.
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 09:56 AM
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Kudos to USNR, you worded it exactly right!!! I recently had a conversation with someone who said to me "Paris?! Don't the French hate Americans". to which i replied 'Just our politics, they can distinguish between the two'. She looked at me and said 'Oh'
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 10:04 AM
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Um, no. We were actually over there when the current conflict broke out. Had I not turned on a TV, I'd not even have known. You friends have obviously never been to France...?
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 10:05 AM
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Could they possibly be any worse to all tourists (not just Americans) than they always have been?!?!? Heck, they aren't all that nice to one another.

NOTE: The above is just a joke. There are very many nice French people. I especially remember the red-haired, 20-something receptionist at our Paris hotel back in 1988--oooooo, she was so nice.
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 10:10 AM
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We just returned on the 23rd of July from our 3 weeks in France, so we were there during the beginning of the current crisis in the middle east.

Since I do speak French, I meet people on a more personal level, and very few French people even mentioned anything political to me. We talked about our families, our homes, our lives, and the general things people talk about when they are getting to know one another, not politics.

I have been warmly welcomed by the people I met, and over the past 6 years of visits I have fallen in love with both France and the kind, warm hearted, generous French people.
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 10:16 AM
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I am puzzled by the head butting reference. Please explain.
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 10:23 AM
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The only time that I have ever encountered anti-American feelings was in 1985 when we bombed Kadafi (sp).

I was staying at a hotel in Avignon, with mainly French guests, and several different French people, at different times, took me on about the US flying over their air space after being denied permission.
They also threw in a few of the usual anti-American slurs that you hear about.

Since it had just happened, and I couldn't understand the French news on TV, or read the French newspapers, I was at a total loss as to what exactly had occurred. Being totally ignorant of the details, I couldn't confirm or deny their accusations - so I ignored them.

Other than that incident, I have never in umpteen trips heard any other deragatory remarks about America.

Well, there were quite a few jokes and comments directed towards us during the Clinton/Monica fiasco. The papers and TV there were discussing it constantly, just like here. People just couldn't understand why Americans make such a big deal about sex scandals.

We were on a five week trip at the time, and that got old really really fast, but there was nothing that we could do but grin and bear it.

Hey, Americans piss me off sometimes, especially my own family ;-)

Nina
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 10:28 AM
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I was in Paris for a week in June -- no problems. As usual: Behave politely, appropriately, and with good manners, and you won't have any problems.
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 10:32 AM
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I was there recently and had a few problems. But hey, I'm Scottish, and the problems were about the inadequate water supply to our house, and the fact the icemaker broke down.

We spent the Sunday evening in the village square watching the whole World Cup final including the Coup de tete de Zidane (kittie, feel free to look up "Zidane" on google for headbutting incidents). the only people the French had a down on that night were the guys in the light blue shirts.
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 10:40 AM
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Nina, I was in Italy during the Clinton/Monica scandal and oh did I get teased 24/7. At first it was funny but it did get tiresome after awhile. My various friends in Italy finally realized it and stopped but their friends and acquaintenance kept it up. I just kept a smile on my face but I did wonder what their reaction would be if they were here in the US and got tormented almost hourly due to actions by their PM (the former PM certainly could be a butt of lots of jokes).
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