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In which ways are the French different?


Jonzjob

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Ok here's a few for starters;

The French will always stand outside the car looking at it, in the automatic (rollers type) car wash (even in bad weather), whereby we tend to just roll up, sit still and drive off.

The French will put their holiday postcards in an envelope before sending, whereby Brits will stick stamp on postcard directy and send.

The French will happily try to kill themselves just to get past your car on brow of hill or on sharp bend, but will happily stop their car (whilst blocking the entire road) to talk to a neighbour, or drop off passenger in middle of dual carriageway.

The French have no notion whatsoever of what queuing etiquette means; You've all been there; You've been waiting at a bar for a drink or at a counter to be served for what seems like an age and everyone and his dog seems to be getting served before you, and along comes "Monsieur ou Madame", nudges you out the way or pushes in front of you without any notion of conscience whatsoever.

This one also also frustrates me somewhat. You are at the till or counter in a store, the phone rings or a customer behind you asks a question. The assistant will happily abandon you for ten/fifteen minutes to deal with the phone call or customer behind you. In the Uk it would be the opposite, the customer on the phone would be told to call back.

I still love it here though

 

 

 

 

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The French do not regard illness as a taboo subject.

Here's an example.

I’m currently undergoing chemotherapy. I arrived at 9.30 am as requested. The waiting room was packed with a horde of disgruntled earlier arrivals. The doctor, it seemed, was running late. A lively conversation was in progress as I muttered “Bonjour Monsieur/Dame” and slunk off into a corner with my book.

As my ear became attuned to the dialogue, I found that what was going on could only be described as a pissing contest. Symptoms and side effects were being minutely compared, and everyone seemed determined to outdo their neighbour. “Only four days flat on your back unable to move? All your hair fell out in the course of one afternoon? Ulcers as big as walnuts? That’s nothing! Let me tell you …” On and on it went. By the time my name was called I was trying very hard not to burst into hysterical laughter, as it was all rather reminiscent of Comic Relief’s Yorkshiremen sketch.

I just cannot imagine this scenario taking place in an oncologist’s waiting room in Britain. In my experience, we Brits just do not talk about such things, not in doctor’s waiting rooms anyway. Everyone keeps themselves occupied with the piles of ancient magazines provided and studiously ignores their neighbours.

Most of the French people I’ve got to know seem to be undergoing treatment for something or other. I feel I’ve been welcomed into a fraternity, and socialising is much easier, as I now have something of real interest to talk about. Every aspect of my treatment is commented on in detail. The average Brit, on the other hand, would be glazing over by the time I reached the initial diagnosis. It’s just not done to go on about one’s health problems – you’re expected to laugh it off and move on to a safer subject, like the traffic on the M25 or the weather. On the whole, I prefer the French attitude. I don’t want to dwell on my illness but I don’t want to have to pretend nothing’s wrong either. The British stiff upper lip is all very well but right now I’ll settle for French “hypochondria”.

Val
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Trust. I see so many cars left on the sides of main roads here with AV signs on them,sometimes for weeks at a time. Yesterday there was a very smart lookalike Harley motorbike left unattended. Now can you imagine how long any of these would be left before they either completely disappeared or had the bits nicked off them in the UK. Same with building materials if you have to take the stuff away first and then left to go back and pay off your own back and the lack of security everywhere here - no one seems to care a fig.
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[quote]And the labels on knickers are on the other side, and I have ended up putting them on back to front more times than I care to remember.[/quote]

Now this is worrying.  Do you mean the labels on your knickers aren't at the back.  'Cos if they are at the back, then you can't possibly put them on back to front, can you?  Or are they on the side?  And if so, which side?  Is everyone wearing different knickers from me?  Really, I have enough problems in my life without this, so just let's have a nice simple explanation, please.
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Brassieres are life jackets. I roared when out locally on one of the island crossings and saw lots of cupboards full of them. When I told my companions the difference between Soutien-gorge and bras and brassieres they were all laughing too. Fancy trying to put on and puff up a black lacey 50DD with peepholes to save your life in the event of a capsize!!
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[quote]Now this is worrying. Do you mean the labels on your knickers aren't at the back. 'Cos if they are at the back, then you can't possibly put them on back to front, can you? Or are they on the side? ...[/quote]

Swissbarry. English knicker's labels are on the left-hand side. French knicker's labels tend to be on the right-hand side. This is peculiar to Women's 'smalls' so probably why you were not aware of this French idiosyncracy...

Maybe you should pay more attention....

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[quote]Trust. I see so many cars left on the sides of main roads here with AV signs on them,sometimes for weeks at a time. Yesterday there was a very smart lookalike Harley motorbike left unattended. Now can...[/quote]

Please take off your rose tinted specks everyone. Do not get complacent. We left our lovely looking car with alloy wheels with `A Vendre` signs on the side of the road, a few hours later and four new tyres slashed , window smashed,both wing mirrors broken off ....oh and a swastika gouged into the paintwork, this being a french reg car! Mrs O
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I'm surprised so far that no-one has mentioned snails and BRIGHT green drinks. Grenadine cordial. I love the snails with loads of garlick, but quake at the idea of woofing down a glass of mouthwash !

Did you ladies know that it's supposed to be bad luck to take off anything wots the wrong way round and put it on the correct way?

I would not normally get mixed up between a double barreled sling shot and a life jacket. Some of the first you could drown in, the second is supposed to stop you drowning. If you think about it I suppose there is a connection ?

John.

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[quote]I'm surprised so far that no-one has mentioned snails and BRIGHT green drinks. Grenadine cordial. I love the snails with loads of garlick, but quake at the idea of woofing down a glass of mouthwash !...[/quote]

Jonzjob, grenadine is red , `mouthwash` is Menthe.

I think that TU is better off risking a bit of bad luck by changing her underwear to the way it should be worn......wouldn`t fancy wearing a String back to front Mrs O

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Opas I said that you couldn't be colour blind. I didn't say you couldn't be stupid! I missed out 'and' between the m/wash and Grenadine. My daughter tried the grenadine once. We had to pour it down the sink, didn't half turn it a funny colour..

I didn't know you could get string with lables. Seen it with flags and streamers on though . They use that at school fetes for bunting. I think the Navy use it on their boats too. They think it makes them look pretty. Nelson's boat has lots on it at Portsmouth sometimes ...

John.

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There are grenadines and grenadines. As far as I am concerned Teissere is the best and quite expensive. You don't need much in a glass either as it is concentrated.

I love a Monaco in mid summer, half beer/half lemonade and good dash of grenadine, really refreshing.

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Can i put a vote in for 'Priorité a Droite'  I have never got my mind behind this and I've seen some horrible accidents because of it.  Some of the roads near me are not marked with the priority, it is just assumed you know!!

Oh yeah, grenadine with lemonade and lotsa ice.  Just the thing during a spot of industrial gardening in the summer

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Their obssession with pessaries, don't you find the French pop them to cure everything?

"The French will put their holiday postcards in an envelope before sending, whereby Brits will stick stamp on postcard directy and send."

I always do this too for the simple reason that it doubles the amount of space you have to write on, which is very useful if you're verbose like am. 

By the way, Belinda, in all the years of buying knickers in both countries I never noticed the difference in the labels.  But you're right.  I went through my drawers last night and was easily able to segregate the French from the British contingent.

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Can i put a vote in for 'Priorité a Droite'  I have never got my mind behind this and I've seen some horrible accidents because of it.

Priority  to the right is not peculiar to france it exists in many countries - watch out the next time you are driving around a German housing estate. It relates to when carriages were pulled by long trains of horses. Obviously you couldn't see the junction way back on your cab, so you had priority to pull out.

Most accidents and near accidents I have seen are usually foreigners - the slips roads onto the Paris Peripherique are particularly notorious.

Even some roundabouts still operate like this, unless they have the give way sign before.

I think the most difficult thing to get your head round are the greetings , kisses(number of), or handshakes and then the 'tu' or 'vous'.  After 12 years here I still get this wrong. I notice that here in the Sw they start the kisses on the left cheek - I'm sure in the north we used to start on the right cheek

regs
Richard

 

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