After reading this website, I didn’t know my citizenship was such a nightmare for some anglo-saxons !!
I think that there are areas in any country where there are difficulties with those who are different.
That includes those from the same country that are different.
Saying that we have been made so welcome here in the Clunysois, more so than anywhere we have ever lived.
Looking through the site and the comments there seem to be quite a few half baked assumptions and even worse the sort of racist fairy stories you get from the Tommy Robinson brigade.
Don’t worry Maxime, these are people who would have the same problems or worse if they tried to live anywhere outside the UK. There is a blinkered, very insular mindset that unfortunately you do find among anglo-saxons, well saying that I think mostly among the English. It’s what’s led to Brexit. We don’t all share it.
Maxime… France is great !
re the website… I really think that some folk write this sort of “rubbish” just to get attention ! Do they get paid for the number of “clicks”, I wonder…
Don’t worry I don’t get offended or sad reading this. In fact it’s quite the opposite, I find the comments really funny. My country is a real nightmare for these people ! hahaha
Overall, I can also clearly understand that France won’t fit everybody, and that some people won’t like the place and/or the people. But to me it is brave to dare give it a try. That’s the only way to know. Let’s be honest, even anglos posting on this forum are sometimes struggling with french things.
As for the comments, some people should never move outside of their country !
Maxime… folk often make mistakes in their own country, too…
I know of folk who retired to the place in the UK, where they had spent some happy times on their holidays… but often right across the country from their home/family/friends… ooops… suddenly they don’t know a soul…
Doesn’t take long to realize that a place which is a fun-holiday resort for 2 weeks, isn’t perhaps the best place to live full-time… or the place which gives much needed peace and tranquility to the hassled executive (due to its isolation)… is not the right place to be when it snows… etc etc…
and there will always be folk who are never happy… unless they have something to moan about… I think that is true of all nationalities…
I think part of the problem is that Brits sometimes genuinely don’t understand that in order to live in France you do need to move to another country. They think it should be like staying there on a very long holiday. They don’t research and they don’t plan for any of the practical aspects, all they do is choose which part of France they will live in, using the same criteria they would use when they decide which gite to book for this year’s holiday. When they start discovering the implications of having changed their country of residence in terms of the obligations it brings, they start panicking because they’re totally unprepared.
Maxine, you are missing a basic fact here. This forum is here to help anglos (sic) who are struggling in some way it’s its raison d’être.
I’ve always presumed that people who rant on sites like that are trying to find something to blame for their own shortcomings. Some near neighbours here returned to the UK complaining that it was difficult to live in a country where the shops closed at lunchtime and upset because their neighbours had once suggested that it would be nice if they could talk together in French.
Sadly some people come to France thinking it will be just like their home town in the UK but with more sun cheaper wine and better bread .
Plus, of course, whenever they have been on holiday everyone spoke English so no need to learn a complicated new language. They forget that on holiday they didn’t need to speak to fonctionnaires or bank staff or the garagiste or the doctor.
It’s part of the British psyche though isn’t it - if you want to make yourself understood in “foreign parts” speak English, just a bit more loudly and firmly than usual.
It’s the “world owes us a living” attitude that gets us disliked.
I came across an older couple in a Brico shop buying a large item and the lady on the caisse tried to ask them whether they wanted a facture and what their address was. They understood not one word. They were clearly living here and I saw a Carte Vitale in the ladies wallet but they could not understand the most basic questions. I stepped in to help because I felt for the poor woman on the caisse who was being talked at in a loud, slow manner “What do you want? Is that a bill? English? You speak English?” I was so embarrassed to be British at that moment.
We get people on here now and again who have just the attitude you describe. They are always the ones complaining that ALL French artisans or builders or healthcare workers are rude and unpleasant and unhelpful. They always say things like “I can’t believe there was absolutely no-one who spoke English” or were astounded that “all the documents were in French!!!”. When it is suggested that maybe their attitude is the reason for the unsatisfactory service they are experiencing they usually disappear.
I call it ’ A Place in The Sun ’ syndrome.As Mandy says people really think that France is just the same as the UK but with better weather and cheap booze.
I’ve just been outside, they’re wrong about the weather.
Ah yes. Winter. Amazing that it happens here as well
Oh dear - I can just hear them, I’m cringing at the very thought.
I can’t understand the “won’t learn French” attitude if you actually live in the country - my French is really not very good but I try and although I stumble a lot and struggle to understand a lot of stuff which people say I do at least try to conduct business in France in French.
Even if I can’t I can at least muster “Désolée mais je ne parle pas beaucoup de français”
Yes, much as I like watching them to while away a spare half hour I blame the “Place in the Sun” programmes as well.
I’m always embarrassed that I don’t speak French as well as I should after living here for 11 years but, like you, I always try my best and apologise if I’m struggling. I would never expect anyone to speak to me in English but if they do then I have to admit to seizing the opportunity.
The worst for me is the telephone, especially when someone phones me and I don’t know what the subject is. Brings me out in a cold sweat.
Yep, that’s why I have a distinct preference for electronic communications
Ha ha Mandy… the telephone is the one area in which you are in complete control… if the person has telephoned you…
When they talk too fast, I cut them off with “trop vite” which I repeat until they stop to take a breath and/or actually slow down.
If I’m not sure from which Bureau/Company they are from (they always gabble it) again… I interrupt… “vous êtes qui” … “de ou”… “quelle nom”
If it is a “cold-call” they’ve got to be really committed to continue talking to me… and as soon as I twig that is what they are I bid them a cheerful “au revoir”
I cannot simply ignore the phone as I have folk from all over who have my number… but I do manage to sort the wheat from the chaff pretty swiftly. If I am sure it is someone I need to speak to… I politely make them slow down (as always) and then I repeat their words back to them… (as I scribble notes)…
Frankly, I do prefer face to face… but nowadays… I have my telephone patter… off pat…