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Some French people occasionally lose their savoir faire while travelling..

Some French people occasionally lose their savoir faire while travelling..

Old Jun 13th, 2007, 05:52 AM
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Some French people occasionally lose their savoir faire while travelling..

...especially if they have a "business meeting" with some Russians as part of an international conference:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4u3449L5VI


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Old Jun 13th, 2007, 05:53 AM
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What IS this british fascination witb the French, anyway?
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Old Jun 13th, 2007, 06:02 AM
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They live next door.
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Old Jun 13th, 2007, 06:04 AM
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But in this case, it's more that we don't often get a chance to see the human side of these big international hoohas.

And I was thinking of some of the hang-ups about the French that we see on these boards.
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Old Jun 13th, 2007, 06:09 AM
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Their other neighbours are just as curious - and a lot more craven!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6747801.stm
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Old Jun 13th, 2007, 07:07 AM
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"Short of breath and euphoric".. makes a change from "tired and emotional", but since that's been around for the best part of 45 years, it was time for a change.

Come to think of it, "short of breath" in this context is absolutely brilliant. In case you haven't heard about his new official portrait:
http://tinyurl.com/2ad2nx
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Old Jun 13th, 2007, 07:32 AM
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The portrait is brilliant.
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Old Jun 13th, 2007, 08:31 AM
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Well, this might be the right thread to tell this story:

My husband and I were in Venice a few weeks ago. It was as crowded as you might imagine in mid May, sunny and quite warm. We stopped at a crowded sidewalk cafe on the main walkway between the Zattere and the Academia Vaporetto stops to have a cool drink. As is our habit, once we got situated with our drinks, we snapped pictures of each other toasting to our lovely vacation.

After a few moments of settling in to people watch, I notice that the there are a pair of French women at the table next to us and one of them is staring at me with daggers in her eyes. She looks away but when I look again, there she is, staring at me with such a look of loathing I wonder if I have snot on my face or something.

This goes on for quite some time and I whisper to my husband, so he can see if I'm imagining it. He looks and sure enough, this woman wants to kill me for some unknown reason.

After about 10 minutes, my husband stretches his feet out in front of him and she immediately leans over and says to him "Your shoes are bothering me. They are too close." We are shocked. He apologizes and pulls his feet back in (remember this place is very crowded so the chairs are close and hoards of people are continually passing by) and then he says to her, "Do you have a problem with us?"

She then goes off on a rant about how we took her picture without asking her permission and that it is not alright to take someone's portrait without their express permission and she did not give permission to be in our picture and "I don' know how it is in America but in France people own their own visage!"

At this point we are dumbfounded. We say we did not take her picture. We were taking pictures of each other. Perhaps she was captured in the background but we certainly were not taking her picture. She says, "Well we just don't do that here!"

My husband responds, "Well, this isn't France, it's actually Venice. And I notice you have a big camera hanging from your neck. Do you mean to say every time you've taken a picture here you've asked all the tourists who are in the background for permission?" I can see he's getting angry and it takes a lot to get him angry. She tries to convince him that it's different when there are background people and that we purposefully took her picture and she doesn't choose to be in our picture. She doesn't know what we will do with her picture, and on and on. I'm telling him to just let it drop but he won't.

He turns on the camera, searches for the pictures we took to show her we did not take a picture of her. He finds a lovely picture I took of him and shows it to her and she says, "That's me." The tip of her nose is in the far corner of the shot, along with about 20 other people. "You had no right to take my picture."

At this point I realize there's no arguing with her. I ask him to drop it but he deletes the picture to try to appease her, of course to no avail. We are then treated to a lecture about how it is in France where people respect the "visage."

After she leaves (her friend was silent throughout and looked quite embarassed by the whole thing) the German folks at the table next to us on the other side take out their camera and ask us if it's OK if they take pictures of each other. We all have a good laugh as they snap away. We take their pictures with their camera and they take our with ours.

I apologize deeply to the thousands of strangers who are in all of our pictures from our 2 week trip to Italy! I hope that not too many of them are French.
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Old Jun 13th, 2007, 08:51 AM
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I think you and your husband were quite nice. After she wouldn't drop the issue, I probably would have told her that she was so ugly there was no way I would have taken her picture on purpose.
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Old Jun 13th, 2007, 10:04 AM
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Plafield, that is quite funny (although it must have been annoying). I was taking pictures in Montmartre, and a French man objected that I had taken his picture. Of course I had no intention of taking a picture of him. So it wasn't just that woman. There may be some sort of French sensitivity on this issue.
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Old Jun 13th, 2007, 10:12 AM
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Not at all. Some people are just weird. However, the French privacy laws are the strictest in the world, so it is true that if you took their photo in a private situation (i.e. not at a movie premiere) and it appeared in a magazine without their permission, they could sue the hell out of you.

As for the Sarkozy clip, it is making the rounds in France to much hilarity and also quite a bit of outrage as to why it was a Belgian station that aired it before any French station dared to do so. Very unfortunately, the Belgian station has apologized to Sarkozy as though it had done something wrong.
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Old Jun 13th, 2007, 10:34 AM
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Very funny story, plafield. I've lived in New York City for years and often wonder how many tourists get home to find me in their backgrounds and walking through shots. It would be an interesting sort of immortality...

I was in Paris a few weeks ago and a small crowd was demonstrating near Les Halles. Not sure if it was pro or anti-Sarkozy. I went to take a shot and a bike cop was staring at me hard. He just stared but I decided to circle around so he was out of the shot before taking it.

Have you seen those Street Life photo pools on Flickr? I often wonder if those homeless people okayed having their pictures taken, much less shared on the web. Poignant they may be, but here is someone in the worst spot of their lives. Maybe they don't want to publicize that.
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Old Jun 13th, 2007, 10:37 AM
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Since I don't speak French, was there an explanation given as to why he was so out of breath?
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Old Jun 13th, 2007, 10:47 AM
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The Belgian journalist said that he had just come from a meeting with Putin "and apparently didn't just drink water."

Note: Sarkozy claims to be a teetotaler and disdains wine or beer at official receptions.
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Old Jun 13th, 2007, 10:51 AM
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Oh, just a small remark about the title of this thread.

The term for this is not "savoir faire" but "savoir vivre".
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Old Jun 13th, 2007, 10:59 AM
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I often try to walk between a photographer and his quarry in churches, when they are ignoring notices saying "no photography".

"I was just about to get a great shot when this bald-headed old coot passed right in front of it!"
Heh heh
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Old Jun 13th, 2007, 11:00 AM
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Taking pictures of homeless people is the really low, and any so-called wanna-be "street photographer" who does it will never deserve the name. Exceptions made if you can actually tell a story with your photo, but that's rarer than hens' teeth.

I would have immediately started taking pictures of the French woman, nice big closeups, so you could show people the really fantastic "angry lady" shots you got in Venice. What's she going to do, hit you?
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Old Jun 13th, 2007, 08:08 PM
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My husband did sit with the camera perched as if he were about to take shot, but it was not on. She was very upset, thinking he was going to take her picture again, and I told him to stop and just let it go.

I was mad, though, that he deleted that nice shot of him, even if her ugl nose was in the corner! And I do wish we had a good shot of her to show our friends!
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Old Jun 13th, 2007, 10:02 PM
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And they talk about Ugly Americans!
This is definately Ugly French.
Shadow
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Old Jun 13th, 2007, 10:57 PM
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Mais c'nest pas votre visage, c'est le gargoyle sur la cherche.
Just playing.
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