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french attitudes that annoy you


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My friends in the village like to go fishing, and have permits to fish in some of the lakes in the Gers.

Yesterday they were set up to start and an official came by and told them they couldn't fish there. No reason (acc to them).

B., who is easily roused, said he'd paid for his permit so "go away" in so many words. He speaks a little french.

After that a group of people on horses arrived, rode into the lake where the horses rolled about in the water (it was a very hot day)and some riders naturally fell off.

So no good for fishing. The official returned and it sounds as if they had a loud argument, ending with her saying if you don't like our rules go back to where you came from. Friend is going to make a complaint. (they've been here 26 years).

It seems that french officialdom won't tolerate argument and expects people to do as they say. Whereas we british think we can challenge what doesn't seem fair? What do you think?

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I was discussing this very subject tonight with the running group, enfin as much as you can discuss anything that requires them to open their minds and grasp the concept that some people and countries think and behave differently to them.


Its not that they wont accept being challenged but that they are completely unprepared for it and will most likely never have experienced it before, they have blind obedience instilled in them during their education and questioning to understand the why of something is not tolerated.


You are à la fois putting them on the spot and exposing that they themselves dont know the reasoning behind what they are telling you to do, they will have been told what to do/enforce by their hierarchy and will not have asked why, they dont want to lose face so either get aggressive or make something up which is usually implausible (again they get no practice) when you call them out on it it makes them even more frustrated.


Usually but not always if you are in front of the topperson in an organisation they will have the knowledge and the patience and communication skills to explain it.


Around here communication skills are almost non existant.

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The subject came up when I heard a runner telling another who I now know works for EDF that he didnt want the new Linky meter, the other guy said "you have to, its the law" and he would have been believed but for my polite intervention.


I asked him if he was sure or just repeating something that might be untrue as EDF and ERDF employees had frequently done to me in the past, then came the "on m'a dit" I discussed it a bit further explaining my case and how and why I was not accepting a change to linky meters and then he decided that yes you could refuse them, EDF cannot force you but they will charge you €150 each time they have to come out to take a meter reading.


I am fairly sure that will turn out to be also be untrue but it follows the normal pattern, I let it drop.

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Surely "saying no"  (in this case to a Linky metre, something I can't wait to have so I can monitor my  electricity consumption as I now can my water) is typically French.

For Linky see here: https://www.quechoisir.org/actualite-compteur-linky-peut-on-le-refuser-n10779/

Every time some sort of reform is suggested there is a rentacrowd rabble with a banner saying "Non à   XYZ".

I joked about this with some French friends last week saying that if the President said that he was going to give 10,000€ to everyone in France there would be people in the street howling 'Non aux KDO' [:D]

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I should add, this attitude doesn't annoy me personally. I do what most french people do around here with small restrictions - say yes, ok, then do whatever I was going to do in the first place.

Which is the same advice that an old lady once gave me when we were talking about bossy husbands.

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[quote user="Chancer"]You can already monitor your consommation électrique Norman unless yours is a really old compteur. [/quote]

I can't because it is in an impossibly high position.

I am supposed to provide a 2 monthly reading to Directe Energie but unless I can trap a neighbour into standing on a step ladder I can't read it....even then the cover can only be opend with a special key that I haven't got.

With the water (and I hope with Linky) I can see it daily on the Internet...

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Supposed to.


You have turned native Norman [:D]


I choose to take readings for my own purposes but have got fed up with uploading them to Direct Énergie as their web-site makes it very difficult when you have multiple accounts, I understand why and am not complaining but they dont chase me as they get 2 relevé actuelle per year from Enedis.


So assuming you are paying monthly there is no need to provide the relevés except to be pre-warned that you are using more than budgetted for and there will be an adjustment, I have had one of these but they wont do it from your won readings only the Enedis ones. 

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Patf, I am now curious as to how long B has been in France????

Rale'ing, kicking off, is a french preoccupation that I appreciate enormously.

I doubt that anyone realises that other countries see the world in a very different light. I have had french people tell me that X n'existe pas, and british people telling that Y doesn't. And yet X and Y do exist, just not in the each other's countries.

I used to have some battles at our Mairie, and then one of the ladies who dealt with me, married a german and went to live there. She was back at christmas a couple or so years later, and we were both at a fete, and she came to me smiling and said that until she had moved there, she had never imagined how differently other countries worked, and thought of me often, when she was having problems with officialdom.

Re the fishing: In spite of there being permits issued, there could have been restrictions on actitivies due to the canicule, so maybe there was an arrete, maybe prefectorale about that. I would find out.

That someone is told to go home if they don't like it...... well, I have nothing against that......but that is just me......... as a guest in someone elses country, I accepted just that.

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If both parties were able to communicate properly in the common language the misunderstanding, frustration and insults would probably not have happened.


And I am not laying the blame for lack of communication in French with the British person, I have had similar exchanges and recieved similar insults when I have expressed myself perfectly in French but the French person is by comparison unable to, the worst offender being my Maire [:(]


You would think communication skills would be necessary for the job but not here where Le Front National always romps home, the 1ière adjoint by comparison was head of communication for Assurance Maladie before retiring, we get on really well and comspire to expose the Maire (with me being the fall guy) regularly.

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Idun - believe it or not they've been here 26 years. He worked most of that time (building repairs etc, all legal). But somehow they've retained their british trait of mistrust  of the french. He speaks a little french, she even less. They've had many problems due to confusion of language and culture.

Good point about an arrete due to water shortage.

But then, why were the horses allowed to bathe there?

And I agree with what you say, that we're guests here and should respect their rules. But I can't say that to B.

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NO, Idun and Patf are WRONG !!!!!

We are not guests, we are living in the EU. That is the point of the EU and lets remember the French (like they keep reminding everyone) invented the EU.

The French living in the UK are not guests. That is their home. Who has a problem with the French living in the UK ?

OK the UK just voted out......but amongst other things the fact that France and its 'rural half wit population' choses when they are in and not in the EU is why the UK voted out. The whole EU thing is such a sham.
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 You have not got that we are NOT all the same..... so WRONG, I am not. 

REALLY, what can I do about people's belief systems, yours included............. and the answer is, absolutely nothing.......... so I have to accept that that is what they believe, even when what ever it is, as far as I am concerned, is complete nonsense.

And I hate this federal europe, I didn't even vote for the initial thing that the UK did, and that, in comparison to what we have ended up with was actually not half bad.

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Not something that annoys me, just something very different, in a kind of way I admire it but would really like to know what is behind it, is it simply the blind obedience/compliance once again.


Have any of you been to the Cinema in France and I am not talking about a VO English speaking film?


Did you notice that everybody and I mean everybody remains seated until the very last of the crédits have shown?


And that can be 15 minutes for a modern film [:-))]


And they all look like they are reading every last word even though they are often in English, no talking amongst themselves whilst waiting for when (they believe) they are allowed to go.


What is all that about?

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Been to see lots of french films, and as I have never sat through the credits in all my life, pre France, we have never sat through them in France either.

Whether we left seated people, I have no idea, I would not have paid attention, just got out. I cannot remember the kids having a go about staying longer either...... and as they grew would pull me up on some things we did that were 'different'.

Now you really have me wondering if we were the only ones....... and I really do not know......... and never mind if we were.[:D]

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I've never been to a cinema in France , so can't comment on that.

A nation's language often reflects their attitudes, and I've noticed some differences between english and french. eg

french has more words for fear than english. (some will disagree)

english has more words for pain than french. (ditto).

the nearest french word to embarrassed is gené - not quite the same for us.

And the one that I noticed early on here - the correct answer - la bonne réponse.

                                                               the  wrong   answer  -   la mauvaise réponse. - moral judgements seem to apply in this sphere too.

Also  "desolée" (english desolated) a bit overthetop for plain "sorry!"                                  

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Desolé is just plain sorry, you should avoid being misled by the literal translation.


IME sorry seems to be the hardest word and people are rarely expressing regret for their actions rather than the other persons response.


Je m'excuse and je me permets always sound wrong to me but only because I too sometimes fall into the trap of doing a literal translation.


Etre navré, or faire les excuses sincere can also be used according to the situation.

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French films and cinema goers:

Yes we go to see French films at our local cinemas. We stay for the credits mostly to see where the films were actually filmed..

As it's often just us and one or two French people I can't say I've really noticed the French staying put for the credits.

Sometimes it will be us two watching the French films and the French choosing to see an American film in the other salle.?
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Chancer, I have just spoken to my son and he laughed.

He said that often people will stay these days as some films show the out takes after the titles, and one has to wait to see if they do.

They don't always.

Does that answer your question..... and that would be a reason for me to stay too....... with some films the out takes are better than the actual film!

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