After more than 30 years living in France, I still regularly hear Britons ask: “How do you get on with the French?” Well, I sleep with one of them, so that’s OK. “And the other 66,899,998?” In the main, fruitfully. In a bout of goodwill to all men, here’s how:
Cry “Bonjour monsieur-dame” on entering smaller retail premises. If you did this in Britain at the mini-market – “Good day, ladies and gentlemen!” – they’d think you were introducing elephants or some other circus act. But it oils wheels in France.
三级成人视频Outside major cities, keep vegetarianism secret.
三级成人视频Go easy with irony. The French generally take things at face value. You chirp, “What-ho, you four-eyed fascist so and so”, and it will end badly. Especially if the four-eyed fellow in question is sticking up Marine Le Pen posters.
Think twice before binge-drinking. The French don’t throw up in the street, collapse on pavements with skirts around their necks or chuck beer bottles at the war memorial. Not even on Saturday nights. No, really.
If you want to talk about Rimbaud or Proust, go right ahead. The French have no equivalent of “too clever by half”. In Britain, you mention Keats or George Eliot, you’d better follow up damned quickly with a reference to the QPR back four. In France, they have philosophers on television.
U三级成人视频nderstand that the gap between what’s said and what’s done is bigger than in Great Britain. To hear them speak, French people never enter fast-food joints or supermarkets, and are entertained only by ballet, opera or Molière. So you have to ask who are the hundreds before you in the queue at McDonald’s, the Carrefour checkout or the ticket-office for the Abba tribute show.
No French person ever says “sacré bleu” or “zut alors”.
三级成人视频Note that we agonise about different things. The French haven’t yet sorted out whether it’s OK to delve into the private lives of public people. They are, though, pretty cool about sex. They do not, as we do, react as if it’s rediscovered weekly, perhaps because they lack a tabloid press to raise the alarm.
Make the most of being British. Politics aside, the French admire us – and with the Beatles, Stones and Mott the Hoople (stacked against Johnny Hallyday), Manchester United (vs FC Sochaux) and HM The Queen, you can see we’ve serious cards. Play them ruthlessly. The average French person wants to believe that you’re a chum of David Beckham, Keith Richards and Prince Philip. You’ll be fighting off invitations.