The FT [via Chuckles] has an article on Paris but I daren’t quote from it because they have all these rules about their “high quality journalism”. So let’s skip the journalism and go straight to comments.
Basically, the author had said Paris was rude and uninviting and one or two observations gave him away. Some of the comments were quite interesting though:
# Paris is more for older people. (those who are aged 35 and above). Those people are more interested in architecture, art, musems etc. As for young people, its not a good place.
1. too negative, i want to live somewhere where people are friendly and outgoing, e.g. latin america, this helps my personality development, makes me happy.
2. really not as international as london or NYC, job market not international.
3. difficult to integrate into local culture if you dont speak local language well, difficult to make friends compared to more friendly and warm palaces.
A less jaundiced view:
Parisians are like cats; they purr when you stroke them the right way. They love being compimented and flattered. Many of them will return the compliment, and the way one thing leads to another, he will soon have many Parisian friends. They are not easy to make, but once he has them they will clasp him to their bosom. And who wouldn’t like being classed to many Parisian bosoms ?
That would seem to go for any people in any city.
Paris IS rude, but it’s not France, not the real France.
This country has the best kind of human, caring people, who offer help when you are in trouble because that’s what they do, not in the hope of a tip (like in the land of the free, Les Etats Unis….) nor hold back because they fear a lawsuit if they make a mistake.
The French will feed your cat, call an ambulance, recommend a good restaurant, suggest a better route to the south, tell you which shop has the best cheese, recommend a plumber, tell you which market is better, even which doctor will visit and which one is more reluctant to leave his surgery.
However, don’t expect the matronly figure (or he, especially if wearing a beret) driving a tiny Renault to give way, or allow you to be on front of her on any road; and remember she or he regards any roundabout as a major challenge to win the speed record for getting round it.
France is wonderful, and a daily voyage of discovery.
There are constant jokes made about Moscow by those in other cities and towns, ditto with any major city. People are commuters, struggling to cope with being like sardines. Move further out and you start to meet the nice people who have time for you. But even within the city, a bit of respect and an easygoing manner, along with a certain knowledge of the place, goes down well.
I learnt this from two Americans decades ago. We went over to Paris from London on a bus tour and one of the worst experiences was the food outlet on the motorway. The checkout girls were very rude indeed and the Brits made it worse by shouting at them. What a start!
These two went out from there and up the street, I followed and they took me into a cafe/bar they knew. They spoke French, I attempted my school French – the French laughed at my French and suggested I use English but the bottom line is the test had been passed.
Such things surely stand to reason – when in Rome, when in Paris. Personally, I’d not live in Paris but in Fontainebleau, Melun, Barbizon or else north-west or south. However, when I was in Paris with my ex-gf, even in a cafe off the Champs-Élysées, we were treated royally by all the waitresses and the chef himself.
I’ve heard from the French people I know that Parisiennes can be haughty but I’ve obviously spoken to the wrong Parisiennes – the ones I’ve known have been no better nor worse than anyone else.
Filed under: History & Culture