Some thoughts on France and the French

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Some thoughts on France and the French Reviews

Sailor Sailor
2 reviews
Aug 20, 2007
Some thoughts on France and the French

With two exceptions from the hundreds of people I have encountered on this trip, the French have been friendly and courteous. People on the canal bank would wave and shout a cheery ”bonjour” as we passed by, including children and youths. Shop assistants and market stall holders always greet you with “bonjour” and send you on your way with “au revoir” and “bonne journee”. We parked the boat on the canal bank in town centres, industrial areas and out in the middle of nowhere but with never a hint of a problem, in stark contrast to the experiences of friends who have hired narrow boats in England and have had to run the gauntlet of youths throwing missiles or just insults.

The French retain a love of family values and a respect for French customs and traditions, much more so than the English, with the result that there seems to be much less violence and petty vandalism than in England. Cap d’Agde is pretty much a working class resort although the French would probably not recognise the term, preferring the word “familial” and although there are many groups of young people here, in three weeks I have yet to see an example of rude or uncouth behaviour. I’m not sure you would be able to say the same about Southend or Blackpool.

Dogs! The French love their dogs although they seem to have bred a type which has lost the use of its legs as they carry them everywhere. They haven’t worked out what to do with dog shit yet though so they just leave it where it falls.

Two other things the French are very keen on: jogging and fishing. Every day there is a constant stream of joggers passing the boat - all shapes and sizes and all speeds. They also love to fish although these are probably not the same people as the joggers. Every murky pool or quay, no matter how dirty or littered with dead fish will have its complement of fishers, all ages, both sexes and all intent on catching something for supper.


Although the French appear to drink quite a lot and there are bars everywhere with people having an aperitif or digestif or just a glass of beer or wine, there is very little drunkenness, in stark contrast to the UK where every town centre on Friday and Saturday evenings is a place to avoid if you don’t want to see young people getting falling down drunk. The French find the concept of going out to deliberately get drunk very hard to understand.
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