Wednesday, November 17, 2010
View From My Window
I can't tell you how many people over the past few years have stated as a fact that French people are rude and unfriendly. "Why do you want to go to France?" they'd ask. "The people there are just awful...rude, unfriendly and they don't like Americans." Well, I'm not sure where they got their information, but my view is....they are dead wrong! I've have never been treated less than cordially in all my trips to France, and I can tell you that since coming here to my little village of Cadrieu, I've been welcomed by my new French friends with grace, good cheer, and an openness that Americans could do well to imitate. I've been invited into homes, introduced to family, and asked to join in village projects. People have listened to my awful French and have tried very hard to understand me. They've chuckled over my inability to twist my mouth into the shapes required to pronounce such words as "chevreuil," "feuilles" and "ecureuil" while good-naturedly repeating them over and over while I struggle to imitate the wonderful sounds that come from their mouths. I've gone to parties where I've gotten totally lost in the flow of fast French conversation when someone will stop and ask...'do you understand what we're saying?' and when I say 'only a little' that person will give me a quick synopsis. Cashiers at a French market are no more impatient than the ones at Wal-Mart who heave a big sigh and roll their eyes while you hold up their line fumbling for your credit card. French teens are giggly, loud, and a little rowdy on the bus, but then so are American teens. I could get very used to being greeted politely with a "Bonjour, Madame" when I enter a shop in the States or get on the bus. Plus, I'm always left with an "a bientot, bon journee!" ( see you soon, have a good day!) when I leave. Is your grocery clerk at Safeway this polite??
The View From My Window tells me that French folks are as open, friendly, and polite as anyone else in the world!
PS....in translation the words are 'deer,' leaves,' and 'squirrel.'