Why I may have to leave this Network


(David Abse) #1

Do you know, my wife calls me a grumpy bastard, and I have been often accused of looking at the miserable side of things and taking a negative attitude towards people. But this site and people’s blogs on it are beginning to make me feel like an amateur.





So many blogs are moans that this has provoked me to have a moan myself. Most of the moans are about France and the french. Do you know what this provokes from me (and I expect from other readers)? The most horrible response of “What the hell are you doing here then?” and “P**s off back to the UK then”. Because, believe me, it is a lot worse there,as several of my friends who have been made redundant there will tell you, and also those friends on long hospital waiting lists, and with kids in awful inner city schools, and those living in nice North London areas where there is a murder on a weekly basis.





Really, I am sick of hearing about all the terrible things wrong with France. No one is forcing you to live here. But then no one is forcing me to read your moans, so the simple thing would to be to stop going on this website, wouldn’t it?




(SANDRA WRIGHT) #2

Totally agree with you - but would also say the same thing to all those non natives who live in the UK and constantly moan about it - go back home then !!


(Nikki Rose) #3

My parents moved to the Charente-Maritime 10 years ago, and have never looked back. They totally immersed themselves in the local community and have adopted the way of life in their area as their own; they set about improving their French from the start, made friends with many French locals, as well as making friends from other countries... and have no desire to return to the UK.

When they do come over for (very short) visits - usually to attend weddings, christenings and funerals! - after enjoying catching up with friends and family, they just cannot get back on the ferry quickly enough, and cannot wait to get back home - to France!

Many years ago, they decided what their priorities were, and moved to France with much excitement. Other than the normal exasperation with French bureaucracy, they have taken on board all that is good and not so good in France and they have created a simple, but incredibly full and enjoyable life there, the like of which they could not have done had they stayed in the UK.


(Gina Hams) #4

Owww I love it 'ere.. G.


(Jane Williamson) #5

I understand your feelings as to modern day America, it bears no resemblance to the fine words on the Statue of Liberty. In the UK David Cameron is reinstating the British Empire Medal to reward young people for service to the community, which in itself is a noble thing, but why call it the British Empire Medal?

However much countries have spent their money badly, spent it they have and we must all accept the consequences. France will have to face the reality of Germany and china calling the shots for the time being.

Let us hope that we will find that we will finally have a relaxation of the over bureaucratic method of government and its attitude to setting up business.

After all, we may find that that, should such a thing happen, the brightest and best of France's young people, now working abroad, may come home!


(Catharine Higginson) #6

Some really great points there Kirsten!


(Kirsten Monteil) #7

Here here! This seems to happen to some people especially when they’re not happy in their homeland, they go on vacation somewhere, and voilá they have found the promised land,at last! “I must move here, its so wonderful”, they say, and promptly go for it. Once a bit of time passes and the novelty wears off, they see that it is not the promised land after all. Very few of us even bother to look at ourselves, how we got wherever ‘here’ is, or think, "what can I do to change how I feel?"
After a few years in Italy I was almost there, but realized that I had done the above. I still loved Italy when I left but went back home to tackle things I was displeased with. I worked on myself to become truly happy wherever I was. It worked. I became truly happy and then married a Frenchman who immigrated to the U.S. almost thirty years ago, and we live in L.A., my home ‘town’.
I think I would like to retire in France where all his family lives. I speak French fluently now and the French way of life is more natural to me than my native American. But I ask myself if it is just because when we go to France, (almost every year, for a few weeks at a time), I’m on vacation and I just LOVE France? I need to ask myself this and other tough questions before I move there. I talk to, but more importantly listen to ex-pats who’ve moved there and my French friends who have lived in both places. That’s why I joined this website. One can never be totally prepared for a situation, but at least I will try not to have on my rose colored glasses, if and when we do make the move. Good luck to everyone, I do love reading your posts, thank you!


(Linda Shepherd) #8

It is always difficult for in-comers wherever/whoever they are! We lived in our village in the UK for over 20 years, and my husband always felt like an in-comer. Nothing new under the sun I guess!


(nick harman) #9

Our postie in Charente said to me, ‘its all right for you, your english, Im parisian and they hate me for it and ive been here 10 years!’


(Doha Cameron) #10

Hi Suzy,
I will call it more ignorance than racism. A lot of people do not know much about other nationalities/countries and they will look at you as if you were coming from Mars. Or at worst, they will look at you as if you were coming to steal their jobs, their land…etc. It has a lot to do with the fact that a lot of people (in the south of France for example) have never been away, never lived in other countries, do not meet foreigners and have little or no mixed couples in their families at all. They might not be too open-minded and they may look a bit “racist” or at least not very welcoming. A lot of them will change their mind and behaviour after just sometime. I myself have been an example to such things and used to get annoyed so much when people will ask me why we moved to France and if allocation familliales in France was better than in UK, and if we were planning to claim any help from the government and…and… Like these were the only reasons people can come to France for. I always hated the way they can judge, but I understood it was more a way of thinking than a kind of racism.


(Linda Shepherd) #11

Yes Suzy, we have experienced racism here in our village, but only by one family which is generally disliked by the other locals too!So I deal with it by passing the time of day sweetly! Similarly, Sandy, Parisiens do not seem to be well liked. It is partly to do with deep-seated class memories so I have been told - the difference between the Bourgeois and the peasants! Unhelpful shopping habits an contribute too of course. Having said that, it is not just the parisiens who bring everything with them. One or two other nationalities are known to do the same! Overall people are friendly and welcoming. Once one is accepted, friendship is deep and warm. It all takes time and patience.


(Gill Harvey) #12

Here in Limousin the locals are SO friendly, welcoming and helpful. We say hello (or bonjour…) to so many more people than we did when we lived in England, and know lots of people in the village.
I agree that negativity can be both taxing and draining. :slight_smile:


(Sandy Whitehead) #13

From Paris.


(Sandy Whitehead) #14

We’ve found that in our little bit of ‘campagne’ its fine to be another nationality but the local residents have no time for people form Paris!!


(Clementine ESVELIN) #15

I would just say good food and nice weather are 2 things u wouldnt get in the UK and that s why we all live for to enjoy…I’m French but don’t worry it has always been like this even French living abroad complain about their life!


(ANNE MARIE HUET) #16

oooppsss loked at my comment and the mistakes are terrible, forgive please, I was writing in a very dark place at the time lol


(Patsie Fear) #17

I like this website because the comments are by and large of the positive and helpful variety and this can also be said of the people I have met here also, even the “functonaires” no my spelling is not great but you know what I mean.


(ANNE MARIE HUET) #18

Hi David I may be a little late joining this debate :slight_smile: Thats because I have nothing to moan about, my hubby is french, we have been married for ??? years lol, I was accepted into his family and made to feel very welocome, our 2 eldest biys are british born in Britain, our third son was born in France, therefore French
My ONLY moan is that for the 2 eldest to get french naionality is nigh impossible, unless of course I take out a month from work to fill in the papers lol, the third son, well easy sooooo easy I applied for our passports included the little french laddy and got a passport for him lol, many thanks to the consulate in Parsi by the way
I HAVE NO MOANS about the french except the paperwork, but it must be said even the french moan about this lollol Great to read the discussions though and dont leave, we are not all moaners :-)))) Some of us can be quite nice really lol :slight_smile: Hae a nice evening


(Linda Shepherd) #19

Like you, I hate the moaners! France is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination; But this country saved my life. I am now a naturalised French citizen and proud of it. Vive la France!


(Graham Dooley) #20

And that is precisely why I took a break from it for a few months - however compared to other forums in France there are not as many “moaners” I have always been known as “grumpy bastard” which is probaly why I have been married twice !!!