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French/American, He Says, She Says  
User currently offlineMirrodie From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 7443 posts, RR: 62
Posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 1896 times:
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Just back from SXM, loved it , great time.
French side rocks as mch as the Dutch.

Yet a friend of mine just got back and hated it. They said, "They hated us b/c we were American" and felt they got treated like crap.

Playing Devil's advocate, I feel its the other way around. Perhaps he's got anti-french sentiment and what is feeding his perception.

Here and there, I hear similar rants, where someone gets back from vacation and says, "the French hate us." Bullshit. I dont' buy it.

Sorry, but having just gotten back from Paris and SXM within the year, I never got that treatment. Perhaps these people are the same ones that jumped on the "they're not french fries, they're freedom fries" campaign, perhaps not. (Having also been been to Australia, Prague and Tahiti this year, I still have not seen this "they hate us" attitude.)

I'm wondering if anyone else has heard the same or shares the same or differing opinions.


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13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAerobalance From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 4681 posts, RR: 47
Reply 1, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 1892 times:

Quoting Mirrodie (Thread starter):
I never got that treatment.

Same here, went to Paris last year and it was great, just make an effort and the people will help. Be obnoxious and they would do what anybody would do.
Going back there this Friday.



"Sing a song, play guitar, make it snappy..."
User currently offlineAAFLT1871 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 2333 posts, RR: 10
Reply 2, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 1883 times:

Quoting Mirrodie (Thread starter):
Here and there, I hear similar rants, where someone gets back from vacation and says, "the French hate us." Bullshit. I dont' buy it.

As I had posted in other threads before, I go to Paris on average of about 3 times a year for work details, and never once have I been treated like crap. I have found it easier to stop and ask a french person on the streets for directions, now mind you I know very very little french, and they have always been more than willing to help now in NY, another story as most will not give you the time of day.



Where did everybody go?
User currently offlineAgill From Sweden, joined Feb 2004, 1007 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 1869 times:

Hmmm most french people I know say that people in Paris treat you as shit nomatter where you're from.

User currently offlineAirCop From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 1852 times:

Quoting Mirrodie (Thread starter):
Sorry, but having just gotten back from Paris and SXM within the year, I never got that treatment.

Been to France, and various french islands several times never once had a problem. Just how you treat people. One of the all time best experiences with French people was at a nude beach on Guadeloupe, met two couples as we arrived, drank their wine, had a great day. Try to understand the culture of where you are, and then the acceptance among the locals is good.


User currently offlineMirrodie From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 7443 posts, RR: 62
Reply 5, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 1828 times:
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Quoting Aerobalance (Reply 1):
Be obnoxious and they would do what anybody would do.



Quoting AirCop (Reply 4):
Just how you treat people

Yes Yes Yes, I think its all about the attitude that you go with.

I just want to these people down sometimes and say, look, its not the french with a problem, it's YOU!



Forum moderator 2001-2010; He's a pedantic, pontificating, pretentious bastard, a belligerent old fart, a worthless st
User currently offlineDrDeke From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 830 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks ago) and read 1820 times:

Yeah. A friend of mine was doing some fieldwork in Rome and overheard a middle-aged American woman trying to ask a non-English-speaking restaurant employee where the "washroom" was:

"The WASHROOM. The WASHROOM. Don't you people WASH around here!?"

I think that type of attitude would get one a slightly different reception than a more considered approach.

DrDeke



If you don't want it known, don't say it on a phone.
User currently offlineBraybuddy From Ireland, joined Aug 2004, 5649 posts, RR: 32
Reply 7, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 1786 times:

Well, Parisians are even notorious in France for treating non-Parisians as "provincials". I´ve seen this attitude myself, but, like you say, it´s the exception rather than the rule.

I reckon, no matter where you go, if you treat people with respect you´ll get respect back, no matter where you´re from.


User currently offlineSearpqx From Netherlands, joined Jun 2000, 4343 posts, RR: 10
Reply 8, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 1778 times:

While I have been treated rudely in Paris, it was an exception and the yahoo that did it was treating everyone like dog crap. For the most part Parisians have been at least polite and frequently very friendly. I walked into a small restaurant in the Latin Quarter once and had the best meal of my life. It was late at night, I speak no French beyond the standard, hello, goodbye, thank you, etc., the staff and patrons spoke a similar amount of English, and yet I was there for over two hours and felt like a long lost cousin. I also think they comped a good part of my meal, because wine, appetizer, salad, steak and dessert only came to about $15 (USD).


"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity"
User currently offlineBraybuddy From Ireland, joined Aug 2004, 5649 posts, RR: 32
Reply 9, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1743 times:

Quoting Searpqx (Reply 8):
I speak no French beyond the standard, hello, goodbye, thank you, etc., the staff and patrons spoke a similar amount of English, and yet I was there for over two hours and felt like a long lost cousin

That´s the key to travelling Searpqx: you HAVE to make an effort if you want to be treated with respect. The first things I do when travelling to a country where I don´t speak any of the language is ask the first locals I deal with how to say "please" and "thank you" in their language. It´s only common sense.

And welcome to my RU list btw.


User currently offlineSearpqx From Netherlands, joined Jun 2000, 4343 posts, RR: 10
Reply 10, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 1719 times:

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 9):
The first things I do when travelling to a country where I don´t speak any of the language is ask the first locals I deal with how to say "please" and "thank you" in their language. It´s only common sense.

"Beer" and "Coffee" are useful too! Its safe to say I can get pleasantly plastered and subsequently sober up in at least a dozen languages! Big grin



"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity"
User currently offlineOzGlobal From France, joined Nov 2004, 2711 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 1689 times:

The best advice I can give you is to undertake the following thought experiment:

Imagine you are a French tourist, arriving in new york. You get off the plane, check into your hotel and then set out to "do" NY. You've got a short list of touristy destinations you believe you must see, so you hunt them down and check them off your list. You don't speak English so you just speak French to each person you have to deal with. When they don't understand you repeat yourself in ever louder voice, as if their problem is deafness, even though it clearly isn't. Rather than enjoying the exotic experience of the differences from France, you complain in a loud voice about how things don't work the same as back home and how you can't get a decent croissant or Margret de Canard. In the face of this non-stop assalt, some of the service industry workers facing you channel some frustration into short and sometimes sarcastic responses. You interpret this as the fact that they and their entire nation are anti-French.

Now image you decide to seek out and enjoy the experience of being immersed, like a local, in American culture. You ration the touristy destinations and seek to go where the locals go. You make an effort with your limited English, not just to get better service, but because you're keen to try and experience the exhilaration of being understood in another language.

Which one would you rather be serving as an American? Which one would you rather be?



When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
User currently offlineMirrodie From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 7443 posts, RR: 62
Reply 12, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 1679 times:
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Quoting Searpqx (Reply 8):
speak no French beyond the standard, hello, goodbye, thank you, etc., the staff and patrons spoke a similar amount of English, and yet I was there for over two hours and felt like a long lost cousin. I also think they comped a good part of my meal, because wine, appetizer, salad, steak and dessert only came to about $15 (USD).

Great anecdote, same thing happened to us, visiting the Guiness Pub in Paris.

Wife and I sat at a table with locals and we caught a few strange stares. But as we made an effort speaking a bit of french, next thing you know, the table is buying rounds of beers for the Americans at the table . Big grin It was one young frenchman and 5 french ladies, buying round ofter round and belting out really poor renditions of "Stairway to Heaven". We're practicing our french verage, they are practicing their english. One of the best memories we held in Paris!

Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 11):
Imagine you are a French tourist...yada, yada, yada ....You interpret this as the fact that they and their entire nation are anti-French.

You are one of those mean Parisians they are talking about, arent you?  Wink

j/k seriously, yes, you are backing up my point, its all in the attitude of the visitor.



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User currently offline767Lover From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 1672 times:

Went to Paris a few weeks ago and found everyone to be very friendly and helpful.

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