So god awful? Then why not toddle off somewhere better, if you're really above all this

So, I'm hoping that the couple that ate in La Napoli in Annecy on Tuesday,lunchtime are SFN members, and would like to explain a few things, as I am really disgusted at their behaviour.

I shuffeled my way to my table, and had a seat, it only took me a couple of minutes to pick up on the monotone, toff accented ramblings of a man, at a neighbouring table, not because of language, accent, or tone, but moreso because of what he had to say.

it started off "oh, here we are, she's letting more people in, as if the place isn't loud enough"....The owner (a very nice lady,and very efficient) walks by, and jokes that he hasn't finished his plate, and so, no dessert for him, and he barks as his wife "WHAT did she say", the wife translates, and his response almost made me slide off my chair into a pool of goop "Well, you see, if there was something on my plate that looked, smelled, or tasted anyway appealing, I would have no problem eating it"....

Then came more ranting "look at all these people- the French, all having half bottles of wine with their lunch, all getting pissed, and after that, what can you do, not a whole lot, sleep for the afternoon?? HA, what a waste of life.. look at her, on the phone, this is a restaurant, for christ's sakes.... where is that waitress gone, anyway, I'm sick of looking at this plate, nobody wants a plate of uneaten food in front of them"...

The wife, all this time says just about nothing, what's the point anyway, darling is on a roll, why interrupt. The owner comes, clears the plates, and asks if everything was ok, the wife tells her it was "tres bon", but apologises that it was a little too much, and they don't eat a lot. the man barks across them as they talk about dessert "une boule glace si vous plait", and literally waves her off without looking up.

Then comes more commentary on the character types in there, the plates they're eating, who is, or isn't sending a text message, the dress of some types,the decor, and eventually, the desserts arrive with the owner telling them something along the lines of "here we are, enjoy your little gourmandises", and the man waits a second, before bellowing "she's taking the piss out of me now, GOURMANDISES... who does she think she is. Plus, look at that, on the menu, anyone not eating, but taking a space will be charged 2 euro. disgusting".

all the while, I was thinking "these are not tourists, are they. Tourists are not this ignorant. These people are expats".

without looking up, saying excuse me, or waiting for her to finish with the table she was at, the man asked for the bill. she got caught up with a group behind the counter, and, frequenting this place, I know that it's better to go directly to the counter to pay, rather than have her wastze her time going over and back to your table 3 times when it's busy, so I got up to go to the counter. The happy-go lucky couple got there just in front of me, where the wife told the owner that everything was delicious, and thank you, and all that jazz.

as they leave, the owner tells the lady she speaks very good French, and the lady replies that they're livign here 2 years, and live somewhere between Nimes, and Avignon, I think, if I heard right, and then she smiles, and asks if Mr speaks just as good in French, and he replies, flippantly "a little bit", and bolts for the door without a goodbye.

normally these people would ruin my meal experience, but, for some reasonn I felt like I sould have paid them for the entertainment they provided. If you're out there, Mr and Mrs groucho, thank you for a wonderful afternoon, but, please, if France is so god awful, and you detest everyrthing about it (and who can detest wine with the repas du midi), please, do yourself a favour, and leave.

to Mrs Groucho, this man will literally cause you to be ill. Save yourself.

lol, Beckie, i get a lot of that when I stand behind the bar in the hotel, they'll deliberate for half an hour how to say the names of the drinks (jacks and coke, and a beer is the same in any language), and then, just before getting served, they'll feel the need to throw a bitchy comment about how "she'll pretend not to understand anyway, bloody french", or "bet I'll only get half the amount of wine that lady has, because I'm XXXX "

laughing back at them is my remedy. I was taking an order the other night ofr a couple (welsh, as if that has anything to do with it), and I was writing up the docket, and the guy goes " let me see that, what are you writing, taking the piss out of us, are you.. ohh, "diner", right, sorry, thought you were writing something nasty about me on there"

WTF. yeah, so, because I work in the service industry, I must be a complete wench

I mainly mix with French people and I love living over here. I worked at McDonald's once & they had messed up the planning so we were really short staffed and to make matters worse we had an exceptionally high amount of people that all decided to come in at once. Everyone could see that the 3 members of staff (counting myself) we rushed off our feet but were doing our best to serve everyone. Two very arrogant English men walked in and said in English and very loudly "I bet we will get served last because we are English and I bet no one in hear speaks English!"

I couldn't help myself and turned round and said "You will get served like the French - you were last in so you will get served last and it's not because someone works in McDonnald's that it means they are too thick to speak another language, it just means that I would prefer to take almost any job rather than living off benefits!" To give them their due they did shut up after that and were pleasant when I served them - last of course!

Yes, I always find the humour based on my Welsh ancestry so original and belly laugh funny ;-) Can 60 year old people really believe they are being original. Maybe they're just senile.

I had a septuagenarian come up to my table in Berlin, and ask was I from England, as she had been staring at our table all evening. When I replied , no I'm from Wales, she replied, "I'll forgive you". Do you think it would have been unseemly of me to throw the old bat out of the window?

LOL @ Nick. I can relate to the Pont P thing, I get French guests in the hotel who pick up my accent, and insist on greeting me with the "ooh, ze hIrish one, ow doo yu dooo" everytime they see me, even if I insist on replying in French, or telling them I need to work my accent.

I do think a lot of these horribly xenophobic expat's have moved to the wrong country, and Germany with it's large anglophone population would suit them an awful lot better. The problem is along side their xenophobia, they are still petrified of a new German uprising and trying to forget about WWII is genetically impossible for Express/Mail/Sun readers. So at least France has lots of cheap wine to enhance their delusions of enjoying the experience. This guy , does however, seem to be at the extreme end of the Victor Meldrew scale, poor wife. Perhaps it was the chap who lost his dog on Richmond Park in London, and became a viral internet sensation, and he has had to move to France to hide from his neighbours and work colleagues?

Is this man the Fetton dog chaser?

I do love the grasping at any English speaker bunch, I have literally been chased around Point-P by a chap shouting at me "I can speak English". It was the one time I wished I had listened in my Welsh classes ;-)

One word: smug.

Anyone who puts all the people from one country in a pot named 'friendly' 'rude' 'funny' blah blah foolish to say the least! we all know there are folks from every country who are good...some are bad and others downright ugly!....Yes..we see some idiot Brits in France...they get a different type of daftness in Spain, Turkey and the Greek Islands...but there are plenty of other nationalities...who are less than delightful, and make awful tourists...Im from London...and used to work at the Intercontinental Hotel, I can promise you that some of the tourists I came across there make the 'British bore' look like the best thing since sliced bread....will not tell you what some rooms were like when the guests left...or the way they spoke to the reception staff....the Brits do not have a corner on rudeness...its just that as Brits...when we hear it we cringe and share the shame...!

Admittedly, my mother's sister behaves like this when she goes out. She walks into an establishment with the intention of having a terrible time, and causing same for those with her. Luckily she stays in Ireland, and always goes to the same places, so they know how to handle her.

I have barked at both expats, and tourists alike here, in the hopes that they might learn manners, tolerance, or at least common sense, but I think it is a lost cause once the person is over the age of 25.

People like that are bore's in their own country as well as any other...not happy unless they are having a right good wont change ignored probably!

People like that do my head in. Why do they bother coming here if they, or he, is determined not to like it. No wonder we keep quiet as we move around the supermarkets. It sounds like he has been here too long, and should be thinking of moving on - or back to full old UK.

My response to "So, how long have you been here?" is simply "Not long enough". A small phrase but it seems to be very effective against anyone trying to appear superior.


Last time we flew to Carcassonne from Liverpool, we stayed overnight at the Hampton by Hilton at Liverpool airport the night before the flight. On check in I mistakenly asked for a 'high room', meaning a room on an upper floor, to which the check in girl said with a wry smile and in her best scouse accent "all our rooms are the same height, sir". I just laughed my head off. Comedy is still alive and well in Liverpool.

It's nice to be in accord with everyone. We mix with French for preference and avoid many British. As I once said to one who was going home "where he wouldn't be ripped off any more" (yeah, right!!). "I've met more obnoxious British in France than I have French. I fish with them shoot with them, drink (excessively) with them and pass much time with them by choice. Our circle of friends is more French these days and that's because we have more fun with them. I know some good British people but they all think like us. I wish we'd made the move years before we did. I never deal with English people I don't know, they're obviously far more clever than I judging by their attitude and approach. Hey, it's 5 o'clock and time for (another) glass of Bordeaux already! Bon weekend a tous!

Or often comes out the joke!

The one who laughs last - didn’t get the joke.

Now, you will have seen Birks-Milne dialogues by now, so no surprise I guess that I will usually say 'One metre sixty-eight' or whatever measurement comes to mind. The other thinks I am raving mad but I get the laugh.

On a similar theme, I often find there is a common question that we all hear, and I can only assume it is a one-up-manship: “So, how long have you been here?”.
Then you see that smug look as whichever party who is “The Winner” (whoop whoop), announces that of course, they have been here “x” amount of years/months/days or tenths of seconds longer than “The Loser”.
“Why, is it a competition?” - I’ve found is a good answer. However it may just be a pet hate of mine.

I don't come across people like that here as no Brits come here either on holiday or to live. However, it makes me think of a wedding I went to in the UK, where I was at a table with three other couples I did not know who did not address one word to me and looked taken aback when I introduced myself to them (we did have to share the table and meal together, so I thought this was normal). They then discussed all the countries they had visited and one man kept saying 'Oh it was awful' followed by a string of complaints. He then announced that they were going to India and I felt saying 'Why bother, it's bound to be awful' but restrained myself, partly because he had turned his back to me for the entire meal.