I do take acception to one glaring innacuracy, however. The French
ARE the spawn of the devil. I spent a week with trapped with a hoard
of them in Eleuthera at Club Med one recent summer. The couldn't
speak a word of English... until they wanted you to pass the wine...
The children were rude and ill-tempered
Any self-respecting French national reading the above would have my
wholehearted support if he/she uttered, or wrote "foutre le camp" in
Is the author of these words truly serious - and if so, is it really
accurate to castigate a whole nation to the last man, woman and child
as "the spawn of the devil" based on one week's experience in a
glorified holiday or summer camp?
Does this person also realise that there could well be some French
enthusiasts owning Triumphs on this list? If so, how would he or she
react if the boot was on the other foot and his / her own nation was
condemned in such an out of hand, dismissive and flagrantly rude
All of us would surely agree that every nationality has its fair share
of 'unpreferables' within a total population and I can think of a
number of Brits and Americans I have met over the years who were
equally entitled to wear this "spawn of the devil" epithet. I'd go a
stage further and categorise such individuals as excresences of
humanity that both nations could well do without in the best interests
of their own national identities.
Having lived twice in France, both in Paris and further south in the
country for a total period of nearly ten years, my memories are of a
people whose culture, language, traditions, fervent patriotism and
*courtesy to others* - especially at an international level - has few
equals. Yes, I met some 'pains' in the process but I saw and
experienced many convincing demonstrations of kindness, generosity,
care, consideration and concern on the part of the French to
Those experiences set standards that others would do well to imitate
and just because a few French people may not have behaved within a
given set of circumstances as another might expect or prefer, does not
mean the whole nation should be damned into eternity.
To further condemn a very small number of a total whole for not
speaking English is both narrow-minded and ludicrous in its arrogance.
Why should they speak your/our language in their country - assuming
the Club Med location was in France?
Why is it that 'x' million odd Brits and 'y' million Americans (both
mainly abroad as tourists?) expect some 300 million people living in
mainland Europe are *obligated* to speak English, merely for the
convenience of others who may be too idle or just too pig-ignorant to
learn another language for themselves?
I can only conclude this person has spent most of his or her life in
such a deeply entrenched and insular Anglophone environment that it is
beyond his or her wit to envisage an alternative - be it 'better' or
Finally, it may come as no surprise (or will it?) for him/her to know
that the regard held by the French as a nation towards 'les rosbifs'
and 'les yankees' as collective but individual nations is not too far
removed from the contents of an overfull and very deep sewer. In their
eyes, we are by no means the best thing that happened to humanity and
having seen many examples of the behaviour of both those *foreign*
nationalities at work and at leisure in France, this is an opinion the
French are more than legitimately and reasonably entitled to hold for
a long time into the future.
By all means luxuriate in the freedom of speech but do not damn a
nation until you have spoken to every single person holding that
nationality. Only then can a realistic opinion "Based_on_Experience"
Rant mode off