The French

The French

 

Now already judging from the title it would seem to the innocent bystander that with one stroke of my virtual pen I’ve happily alienated an entire race. My argument needs justification and clarity, it needs a persuasive and forceful pitch otherwise I’ll come off looking like a xenophobic red neck or an ‘American’ as they like to be called in the USA.

So to clarify; I love the French for so many things, I love their stubbornness and their refusal to accept certain realities like the invention of the motor car! Yes an odd one this, a bit of an enigma really, it seems there is no need for pavements in France because there are no cars; pedestrians wonder about absently with a total disregard for safety. They are often seen straying out into the middle of the road without looking and ignoring things like pedestrian crossings. On the other hand once these same aforementioned Pedestrians get behind the wheel of a car and become drivers; pedestrians don’t exist. They see no reason to obey the rules of the road, speeding through villages, overtaking on blind bends and a stubborn refusal to use the indicator. Once; and this is young French men in particular, they have reached their destination at break neck speed they then amble out of their car and nonchalantly walk to wherever they are going like they have all the time in the world.

I adore the French for embracing their freedom and their liberty, in particular their freedom to urinate liberally anywhere at any time. Don’t get me wrong most of us have been caught short especially after a night on the ale, sometimes we all have to make a pit stop walking home from the pub. The French on the other hand can urinate in a crowded car park at nine o clock on a Saturday morning with total disregard for the sensitivities of others! They have also – the cheeky little chaps – watered my terrace while my good lady wife and I have been – until then – enjoying the French tradition of the aperitif. We looked on in amazement, stunned to the core as the perpetrator decided to establish a rapport with us while he still had his john Thomas in his hand!

Ahh the French way of life, cafes, good food, fine wine and of course the cheese all to be admired and no doubt. Tradition is important to the French, they believe in holding onto the past and in turn passing it onto the younger generation. Nothing exemplifies this more than the strike or the demonstration. From an early age children are tutored in the art of stopping traffic, ramming unwanted leaflets into your face and generally causing disruption and havoc! These little militants may not fully understand the finer points of the debate at hand, and despite the fact that they are not even old enough to vote they are allowed to skip school and protest. It is of course a way of life worth fighting for and probably falls well within their human rights to refuse such measures as; working more than twelve hours a week and giving up their two hour lunches. Far be it for me to suggest that retirement before you have even finished school may be taken it too far.

The French summers are something to be admired, balmy days picnicking under the shade of an oak tree or in a field of sunflowers perhaps? Days spent on camp sites barbequing duck breast and snails, sipping champagne from plastic flutes while listening to the clunk of granddads balls as he teaches the little ones to play Petanque. Look here’s a yummy mummy cycling back from the shop with a baguette and a camembert balanced serenely in her wicker basket. Idealistic isn’t it? Now try to buy the simplest item from a DIY shop or organize a delivery of any given white good, not a chance in hell! Everything just grinds to a halt during the summer, everyone in France, that’s everyone takes their holiday at the same time! There they are skipping about from one campsite to the next, lying on golden sands or by glimmering pools snacking on foie gras and oysters while someone like me just wants to put a bloody shelf up.

Most of all I love the bureaucracy, the shear fact that France has the best forestry management in the world goes’ to show just how much paper is needed to fuel officialdom.  The computer says no mentality is I have to say second to none, only the whole point of a computer is to make life not only more efficient but also paper free! Just let go of the paper, you don’t need to use a cheque to buy a fridge magnet and a tin of cat food at your local supermarche.

Yep I love the French and I really, really want to be just like them, in fact what the hell I’m off to pee in the park.

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About CageWriter

Englishman Living in France with my French wife and bilingual son. I'm a struggling writer as in I struggle to write even though I feel it's my calling. I get easily side tracked, this blog being a case in point!
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