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How do you feel the locals treat you?

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Thanks for all the replies. I was pleasantly surprised with the total lack of horror stories. Either France is a very nice place to be an expat, and the french are very welcoming, or I've just got lucky, and stumbled on a forum that only has nice intelligent members, who know how to interact with the locals. Hopefully both.

Thanks again for the insight.
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[quote user="sweet 17"]

Never done French city life, idun.

Of my previous village and the present one, I have found differences.

We knew an important family in the previous village and OH knew some "people of standing" (headmaster, notaire, landowner, etc) through his table tennis club.

But, where we are now, we knew no one but I find many more greetings and smiles and we have also made a nice lot of friends more quickly.

The present place is a lot more user-friendly but only in comparision to the previous one.  In the old village, we had invitations to quite a few grand houses, completely to our surprise.

Time might produce a change of opinion but I LOVE living here; quite a home away from home....[:D][:P] 


That is because you lived in the local chateau and they thought you were blue bloods[6]

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And I agree with Idun too.  Getting lots of bonjours means nothing, its all very superficial.  I had a very nice neighbour in my first house and a hideous one in my second.  The first was happy to have a neighbour and we helped each other out and exchanged food and without them I would have left France years before.  The second was just awful, a drunk who drove under the influence, noisy, rude and just painful to live near.  If you read french fourms generally you will find that many people have issues of noise, lots of hunting dogs barking etc and feel as they are 'expats' they cant complain and if they do then nothing happens and trouble follows soon after.

In genral though in my first town in interacting (hairdressers to school gates) I was asked daily 'why I had come to France' and had a general sense that people were not that impressed with the influx, only a couple of times was this hostile but as my french improved over the years I came to realise that many french have an opinion about what the english are doing in France and this said after a smile and a bonjour to their friends thinking I didnt understand.  When living on the Charente/Dordogne border the english were seen as a cash cow  and therefore had our uses and so were more accepted because of that.

To the OP, renting is the way forward, make sure you know an area really well before you buy as making the wrong choice can be years of pain as you cannot simply sell up if the neighbours are horrendous as its taking a good year+ to sell these days.

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Sorry Davey, you want horror, is that what you really wanted. I could give you horror, really I could. Some of it is not my story to tell and I would need permission to put it on a public forum, so I won't until I have permission.

And the monsters, because I am talking about people I would class as monsters in any society, were friendly and generous with their garden produce and amicable, I never guessed their true colours through  those many years of superficial contact until all hell broke loose.

I have stories of absolute joy and horror. I was in my village for 25 years, a lifetime.

There are horror stories on here already, of problems with neighbours, french courts etc. Carefully what you want to know hein!

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People are the same the world over, there are good and bad. Don't kid yourself that all the French are overly, warm, sensitive people because they are not. Some are, some are not, just like the UK or any other country. There are feud's in villages, the French gossip just like anyone else, it's part of human nature. In many rural villages a lot of the people are related to each, because you don't know who is related to whom you could get in to trouble if your not careful what you say and to whom. Ten years on and I am still learning and some of the things I discover fill me with amazement. Providing you move here with your eyes open wide and you are not looking for some magical shangrila as put forward by popular TV programs you should be OK but like I said in my first post, rent first and buy later because if you buy and get it wrong it's an expensive lesson to learn.
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