bigjohn

There is many a good tune played on an old fiddle.

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“à bientôt”. Part II

Posted by Big John on September 17, 2007

There are two things that I dislike about the French. One is that they let their dogs shit anywhere, and the other is that they are bloody awful at parking their cars: which means that you have to be careful to keep one eye on the ground when window shopping, and never think that it will be easy to retrieve your car from where you last left it.

Now I didn’t noticeparking-l-t.jpg many ‘doggy-doo’ bins on my recent trip across the channel, but I did notice something new to me in the way of parking meters: a ‘robot’ (left) which knows when you have parked and also knows when it is time for you to leave. Unfortunately I don’t think anyone has explained to the French what they are, but their dogs find them very handy when they cock their hind legs.

On the whole I like the French people, and find most of them friendly, polite and helpful; but perhaps that is because I do try to speak to them in their own language. I have to explain that .. “Je parle francais comme une vache espagnole” … but they seem to appreciate the effort. I can honestly say that during last week I was the only British (or American) person I heard utter a single word of French. Blimey! it doesn’t take much to learn the words for ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ !

The other evening my wife and I sat in a café surrounded by very well behaved young Frenchmen. She remarked on the fact that you rarely see a French person drunk and that there would not be the same relaxed atmosphere in an English pub full of young Brits.

Later that evening (after a splendid dinner) we were walking back to our apartment along a deserted street, when ahead of us I caught sight of two men ‘holding up’ a lamppost. I told my wife that she was about to see a couple of those rare French ‘piss artists’ that she had mentioned earlier in the evening… “I bet they’re English” … she said, and … bugger me ! …

…   she was right !  

2 Responses to ““à bientôt”. Part II”

  1. Ginnie said

    Welcome back, John. Your special brand of humor was missed,… by me, anyway!
    I found that same thing while traveling in Italy….it was my dear fellow Americans who made me cringe.
    (Must be a rub-off from George Dubya)

  2. Terri said

    Sounds like you had a nice time in France.
    I totally agree with you on both the language or at least trying and also that I can’t ever recall seeing anybody drunk and out of control in a French restaurant.
    What I really love there (in addition to the food, the wine and a million other things) is the quiet in the restaurants. No yelling, talking so loud I can barely hear the person I’m with, etc.
    Ah yes…..2 weeks from today and I’ll be back in my beloved Paris!

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