Retiring here to France from UK in 2008, has given me more time and opportunity to know and be involved with younger and older French, most of whom have never moved far from, if at all, their place of birth. Also 6 yrs. of owning a holiday property in the Aude, before retirement in the Herault
If you had read my reply properly you would have seen I only said as some ex-pats. With exception of the Aude, everywhere has been rural - mountain and countryside, none of them expat communities, but all French inhabitants with some unknown till arrival, occasional visiting expat holiday home owners. I have got involved in local village life, (my 4th department experience here, I am on local village comite des fetes, 2nd one I’ve joined, so yes I said what I did with good reason. My moves have all also been for logical and practical reasons, marital and health.
I was not slighting ALL French, wouldn’t dream of it, pragmatic as they are, it’s a shame you should have read my reply the way you did! I stand by my comments to Doreen, who also has lived here a long time with her husband, she was replying to comments from an apparently ex-pat couple who had maligned her. We all get older and hopefully wiser!