[LMB] OT: Paris, Frenchfolk, France, was Alaska Political Geography was Place Names ... In Space! (or elsewhere)

Francis Turner francis.turner at gmail.com
Sun Dec 15 06:24:32 GMT 2013

Fun anecdotal fact.

The average builder/gardener/cleaner on the French Riviera appears to
grade potential clients as follows
1) buddies
2) buddies of buddies and/or buddies of family etc.
2a) locals (often falling into the buddies of buddies category but
determined by accent, knowledge of locality etc.)
3) native English speaker
4) other foreigners that don't speak Dutch/flemish
5) Dutch/flemish speakers
6) other French people from outside Paris/Ile de France
7) Parisians

The reasons for the grades 3-7 go like this
3) English speakers pay promptly what was agreed on, in cash
4) other foreigners pay reasonably promptly and can generally (e.g.
russians) be bamboozled into paying a lot
5) the Dutch on the other hand are cheapskates. But they do pay
6) French people often try to get out of paying by delaying payment
for months and then insist on paying by cheque
7) Parisians not only try to not pay they also whine about you asking
for payment and then insist on paying by cheque despite a previous
verbal agreement to pay in ca$h

As someone who has worked as an independent contractor in Europe I
have to agree with quite a bit of the above. There are some others I'd
stick in category 5 (that would get me called a racist or worse) but I
will note that the only time I had to get the lawyers involved was
with a Parisian

On 14 December 2013 04:16, Elizabeth Stowe <estowe427 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Walter wrote: The stories I've heard about French snobbery about people speaking French poorly are IIRC all set in Paris.
> Marc wrote: IME yes- elsewhere in France, they're pleased that you have a go; in
> Paris they are offended that you have the effrontery to try.
> es: I'm sorry you guys have had lousy experiences communicating with the French in Paris and beyond. I've had great experiences, and I prefer to stay in chambres d'hotes (bed & breakfasts) or small hotels. I bone up on the language as much as I can before I visit, just as I do with any foreign language (I'm sadly limited to English myself).
> It must be lousy to meet up with the snobs. Now that I've visited around ten times and haven't encountered those snobs, I hope I never have your bad luck.
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