Wednesday, August 18, 2010

You didn’t just do that, did you?

Erin mentioned the August tourists have a tendency to bring some uncouth behavior with them. But for all the politesse in this country, I have to say, the French participate in some really loutish behavior.

I’ve never seen a nation of people pick their noses so openly and shamelessly. Whether they’re walking down the street, sitting at a café or driving their cars, they just dig in! So blithe and unbothered! C’est incroyable!

Double-dipping central! I’ve been shocked at evening soirées, work meetings, intimate picnics, when people just stick their crudities or chips or whatever, back in the hummus or dip. Foul, people, foul!

And nobody is chagrined to leave a mess behind them. I notice this most at work: everyone buys their shot of coffee from the vending machine (don’t even get me going on the environmental aspect of their predilection for bottled water and taking two sips of something from a paper or plastic cup and tossing it away…), brings it to a meeting in a conference room and then just leaves the cup on the table for the next people to clean up.

I know we all have our own little rules and can’t expect the rest of the world to abide by them. But these few things never fail to astound me. What else am I missing??


  1. Has the tendency to Not pick up after their dogs gotten any better?

    We have a lot of what you speak of here. I always put the blame on a population who was / is so used to having someone else pick up after them. Spoiled and unthinking.
    There are maids, there are Other people who do the dirty work and they just float through their days with no regard to their own dirty/slobbishness.
    Never picking up after their dogs, dropping cigarettes( still burning) on the ground, dropping garbage/trash as they go, always leaving something for someone else to clean up.
    Lazy/Spoiled/and a certain contempt for others is what I call it.

  2. Thanks for the "inside" view of living in such a mythologized city -- love it all: your good and negative comments, and your photos!

  3. Heh heh heh heh! These are good (and true).

    Another blogger, and I honestly cannot remember who it was, but remember reading a post about it, commented about French people leaving crumbs on the table. Granted, bread is placed on the table next to one's plate at lunch or dinner -- no such thing as the tiny bread plates here (that I know of...). So it's hard to be crumb-free when doing that. I seem to remember this blogger had French children (so maybe The Bold Soul?) who left copious amounts of crumbs behind on the kitchen table after eating bread. Or maybe that was me, commenting about Paul's kids, lol. Anyway, I remember the person writing something about, "Have the French never heard about eating bread on plates so that fewer/no crumbs are left behind to clean up?"

  4. Ok, I know that this is completely gross - but the worst habit I've discovered in our last month in Paris has been the tendency for men to pee wherever they like! The summer perfume seems to be the stench of pee....?