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A little trip through life

Come and take a little trip with me - through my life and with a few other people as well.....You can listen to the music if you don't like the photos....!
Jan/ian (Mr le Marquis - Iwmpop ) Personal Slideshow: Ian’s trip from Le Creusot, Burgundy, France to Nîmes was created by TripAdvisor. See another Nîmes slideshow. Create your own stunning slideshow with our free photo slideshow maker.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Frenchman-just one of many descriptive articles!

This article is about the "Frenchman", but there are "others - on others"!
Jump in at:     and see if YOU are there!

Europe-"The Frenchman"

Gallic flair.
That's what one calls it.
In the past, the most required tool in any French garage was a hammer, or rather a collection of hammers to match the size of the task.
Ridiculously enough, a good hammering often worked (didn't lower the bill) and maybe this very fact was typical of those things which happened to 'non-Gallics' mainly on the paying end, and generally on holiday, which made English people apopleptict, even redder than usual, utterly mad and at a complete loss for words. Germans were seen to go off marching 'goose-step' manner, muttering things that darkly resembled political statements from a while back, Dutch and other northern climate people just didn't understand anything, and preferred to put the 'being pleasant and friendly' smile and attitude on (later-amongst themselves it was different). Italians, being basically the same as the French said nothing, and went off to find a way of revenge, the Spanish spread their hands in desperation, and talked about sending Armadas (although with all the Spanish already installed in France, the chances that his Gallic persecuter probably originated from Spain were high). Arabs and other such-likes beamed an absolute meaningless beam, disappeared - never to be seen again. The origin of all these emotions simply shrugged the shoulders in that Gallic fashion, and said "C'est la vie- hein?"
It had always been like that, always will be like that, and no amount of 'modernising' will change that fact. In days gone bye, when, for British/Dutch/Germans, etc, the country of France was as excitingly unknown and remote as the South Pole, the charming image of the Frenchman on his bike, baguette under a sweaty armpit, Gauloises in the mouth, an endearing odour of Garlic before, during and after his passage, was something that everyone looked for.
He (the Frenchman) knew this, of course, and took immense pleasure in stopping hurriedly at the side of the road, descending from his bicycle, urinating the side of a tree, arranging his bread, and carrying on. He knew people were taking pictures, knew they were going to talk about the dirty habits of the French, but he didn't care, because he knew he had fulfilled the tourists dream, and very cheaply too! He knew these activities would not stop the majority of people taking photos coming into his little 'bistro' and swarming later about 'their discovery' to their friends.
Such is Gallic flair, in it's own way charming enough, but when you live for years with it, you start to do it yourself, and it takes a great deal of discipline and effort NOT to arrive at 3pm for the lunch planned at 12midday. Everybody else does,only the non-gallics are there and have been sitting around for hours waiting for the arrival of the others (often the guy who invited them as well) getting hotter and hotter not only from the sun.
It took me at least 20 years to STOP turning up on time to play in football matches - kick off announced for 3pm- after all it is hot, and Siesta obliges- does it matter if we start at 5pm? It sometimes goes so far that a lunch meal becomes an evening affair, but it always does anyway!
This sort of lazy-let-it-happen way of life is more often associated to the Mexicans or Spanish, but look around France between midday and 5pm- not a lot going on!!
In fact, even although nowadays things are changing, the time of day NOT to be on the French roads, is exactly from 3pm to 5pm. All who are on the road at these times are there under 'protest', or are tourists who don't know better. Protest at their bosses, who want them to drive quicker and further, with no respect for the traditional stop for 'l'apero, lunch, le vin, le cafe and a little cognac' and protest at the Gendarmes who (according to Govt policy) want this traditional stop punished. Actually the Gendarmes tend to be the first to reach the
Restaurants, and the last to leave them, but maybe that's a rumour.
A sort of mixture of provinciality, world citizen, laissez-faire, but ferocious national pride, strictly anti-everybody , but particularly anti- "Bosche" and anti- "Anglais" (the rest of the world isn't worth talking about, not being remotely a danger to French nonchalance), I guess France and the French (and I could go on for hours, but I won't - you all have your own souvenirs) are very well summed up by the words of their own President (the General of a long time ago):

"How do you expect anyone to Govern a country which produces over 3,000 types of cheese, over 15,000 types of wine, each one better than the other!??"

De Gaulle was well named, and knew his Gaulls'

Next one up (sometime or other) - the famous 'nothing disturbs me' Englishman.

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