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Your pet peeves about living in France

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eve
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MessagePosté le: 01 Mai 2005 23:46    Sujet du message: Your pet peeves about living in France

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I hear a good deal of people complaining about French people being supposedly dirty/rude/never willing to speak English even when they can, but I'd like to hear what kind of pet peeves that people who've been living in France on a long term have developed. What are the things that irritate you particularly? What would you like to see change, if possible?

Although I really like it living here, one thing that irks me is how I keep getting weirdos who start talking to me on the street. It seems I'm attracting them. Embarassed
Happens at least once a week, and it's definitely something I'm happy to not see happen when in other countries.

Another thing would be slow administrations. Papers never getting somewhere on time, people just being lazy and uncaring even when they're dealing with paperwork very important for you. Or just in general people being on a bad mood and showing it (eg salespeople). Well, of course there are more, but this is what I had on the top of my mind.

What are yours?


Citation:
* pet peeve : Something about which one frequently complains; a particular personal vexation.
(source)


Dernière édition par eve le 02 Mai 2005 19:32; édité 1 fois
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Gillou
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MessagePosté le: 02 Mai 2005 06:14    Sujet du message:

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Even tho i am a French person, i think i can take my part on this topic Wink

I personnally felt very happy in France. The things who bothered me were:

-The multiple strikes for sometimes very questionable reasons (I think it's in France where the concept of "preventive strikes" has been invented! you're doing a strike just to warn a newly elected governement or parliament to don't mess with your sector....brilliant indeed! Laughing ). That can be very disturbing when you live in a big city such as Paris. To have a car doesn't help since the traffic will be terrible and it will take ages for you to arrive till the point you want to go. I luckily didn't experience that, but i heard some people being fired from their job since they couldn't go there because of the strikes. I am not questioning the right to do strikes, but in France that often happens instead of negociation, because we have the confrontation culture rather than negociation. And the strikers sometimes have very little respect for the public (i.e the ones annonced at the very last minute). So a little more negociation culture and skills could only help our country, I think.

- The fact that the French public services are not as good as France usually says. For example, i used to take the RER A very often in the Paris suburb, and it very regularly stopped for 15- 20 minutes without any explanation and of course even less apologizes. The trains were often quite dirty and stinky (this is not really the train company's fault but more due to the people often careless about the public spaces), and sometimes dangerous (again, not really the RATP or SNCF's fault but the safety policy could be improved, and apparently some efforts were made on this point recently). Before coming to Japan I thought our transportation system was very good, but since then i changed my mind indeed! and this is not only about transportation; for the taxes we still have to fill a sheet, send it back to the tax office, and go to pay by yourself by the due date, while in many countries taxes are now directly withdrawed from your income. That tends to change also (you can now fill your tax sheet on the internet and ask your amount to be withdrawed from you account), but too slowly. So i feel a bit amused when i hear some people saying they do strike because they want to "preserve the quality of French public services". In my opinion they rather need to be improved! (and please understand that I don't despise the public sector, they are definetely worth it and necessary, but they shouldn't become an idelogy or a convenient excuse to block any evolution).

- The socialization way. In France , when you arrive in a new city, it can be difficult to make friends at first. Because it is really not well viewed to talk to the people we don't know, in the street, in the cafes, in the restaurants, the shops......and even in universities! of course on ladies case i understand they are often bothered by weirdos for particular purposes (although i feel that in Paris, ladies are often more open-minded and that's easier talking to them, they sometimes talked to me directly while i didn't ask anything Wink ), but the general reaction when you talk to somebody you don't know is "what does this guy wants? doesn't he have friends?" so the paradox is you basically can make friends only if you already have some! Wink it's really the "my group isn't yours" spirit.... in the Anglo-Saxon countries it's often much more easy to talk to other people and they don't feel offended or scary. It can be more hypocrite of course, but the first contact is easier. It took me 2 years to be happy in Paris because of that; but after that i was really in love with the city and with parisian people as well! because even tho it takes a lot of time, when they give you their friendship, they do it for real. So once you're integrated things are suddenly becoming so bright. At least that's what happened with me. And as they never feel obligated to be smily and cheerful when they don't want, i used to love that "spontaneous" spirit; they don't try to f*** with you and never hide what they feel Twisted Evil. I really like it that way, that just would be good if newbies could more easily get some contacts when they arrive.

-Also, the lack of respect for common goods and spaces. Dirty streets and so on, French people are sometimes too selfish.

One thing about rude salesmen: of course that happens, but in their defense, i would say that it's sometimes people's fault. Last Christmas when i went back to France for holidays, i was buying the Christmas gifts in FNAC and it was of course fully crowded. The shop was so busy and many people who asked some info to the salesmen were doing in a very rude way. Sometimes almost shouting at them at the first phrase, without even saying hello nor please nor thank you. So of course with such a treatment, they tend to become rude as well. When i went at them to ask something , i could see on their face "Jesus, what will i get with this one", but when they saw i was quiet and polite, they relaxed and became nice as well. I worked in the customer relationships field in the past, and i fully sympathize with salesmen who are treated rudly on a daily basis. It's actually even worse on the phone because people regularly feel the right to insult you because they are not talking in your face...they just take off their frustrations on you. So if we sometimes have angry salesmen, that's partly because some customers have bad manners as well. It's not a one-side problem.

So here are my points! beside all that i had a very happy life and i often miss and Paris and my rural Normandy Twisted Evil
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Pmm
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MessagePosté le: 02 Mai 2005 12:34    Sujet du message:

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Citation:
So i feel a bit amused when i hear some people saying they do strike because they want to "preserve the quality of French public services".


Generally, they use the "preserve our public services" message to hide their "save our social advantages" wish. It gathers more people to make as if you were interested by their expectations.
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AMATERASU Yadénana
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MessagePosté le: 02 Mai 2005 16:26    Sujet du message: Je craque (lol)

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what does peeve mean?? Rolling Eyes

<ça veut dire koa peeves ?? >
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MessagePosté le: 02 Mai 2005 16:38    Sujet du message: Re: Je craque (lol)

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AMATERASU Yadénana a écrit:
ça veut dire koa peeves ?? Rolling Eyes


Citation:
Quick definitions (peeve)
verb: cause to be annoyed, irritated, or resentful
http://www.onelook.com/

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MessagePosté le: 02 Mai 2005 16:43    Sujet du message:

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I use wordreference.com for my translations.
"peeve pet" stands for "bête noire"
"to peeve" means "irriter", "mettre en rogne",...
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alucard
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MessagePosté le: 02 Mai 2005 19:27    Sujet du message:

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Ama wrote:
Citation:
koa


What's that?! The author of the charter who write so?!
Very Happy

Aren't you upset by chauvinism of French people?
That is a characteristic of French state of mind, I think, and sometimes it could irritate. What about?
Do you think it is normal to think so, to think your country is the best country of the world or do you think it is uncomprehensible.
What links or differences do you do between chauvinism, patriotism, love of the country and nationalism?
Do you think there are similar? close? totaly different?
I would read your minds about that.
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AMATERASU Yadénana
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MessagePosté le: 03 Mai 2005 12:42    Sujet du message: u tookin' too me ??

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gaboriau a écrit:
Quick definitions (peeve)
verb: cause to be annoyed, irritated, or resentful

Malicious, cheating Mad Wink
I said i don't understand english men ! Wink

onizuka a écrit:
"peeve pet" stands for "bête noire"
"to peeve" means "irriter", "mettre en rogne",...

Thanks onizuka Very Happy


alucard a écrit:
What's that?! The author of the charter who write so?!

Yessss Twisted Evil !

Oooww Ooooww I didn't wanted upset you, alucard.
My post was just a joke. In this english forum, everyone must write in english. As my english is very weak, i won't to transale each word, it's too long. I prefer tranlate japanese Wink .
All you wrote is wrong, i not see to it.
the differences between chauvinism, patriotism, love of the country and nationalism is in dictionnary Razz !

I DEEPLY APOLOGIZE FOR POSTING HERE Sad



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Just for fun, a translation of my sign Wink :

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When she look at me, i suntan

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MessagePosté le: 03 Mai 2005 18:24    Sujet du message:

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Take it easy, it was a joke, Ama.

I imagine people could have point of view different of what is written in the dictionnary.
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eve
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MessagePosté le: 03 Mai 2005 23:15    Sujet du message:

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So, to get back on-topic,

Strikes - I think in France people go on strike way too much... Which is weakening the impact of each new strike. Sad Also, things can go really bad when the most 'vital' sectors go on strike... remember the strikes in '95 when there were no subways or buses for like a month ? Shocked I remember there was also a huge Post strike in Corsica around that time, and some people didn't get pay checks for over a month... Shocked Shocked Though the "positive" aspect is that people are pretty forgiving when there's a strike, if you're late for class or anything.
I still think it's something pretty amazing.

As for salespeople, yes, I know what you mean Gillou, still, some people can be so rude even when you're being polite and nice. Maybe they had lots of rude customers before, but still, it's part of their job as a salesperson is to be nice to the customers, while the customers being nice is not "their job" (more like common politeness maybe...). People tend to be nicer and less stressed on the phone, though.
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