Chances are you've heard someone complain about "that rude French waiter" or state they think the French, as a general population, are a nasty bunch who bring snobbery to whole new levels.
I'm here to set the record straight.
Not every Parisian is a bourgeoise poser trying to keep up with the Sarkozys.
A culture of over 6 million people can't be summed up in one or two ill-contrived sentences, not even a born and bred Parisian. Different strokes, different folks. For the record, Paris does not represent the total spirit of France, only a very tiny potion of it, a blip. Just like any other big city – London, New York, Milan, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago, to name a few.
My experience in France has been quite different to rumored stereotypes. The people I've met have been warm, open, honest, caring, accepting and never judgmental. And some of my new friends come from Paris. Remember, if you're looking for stereotypes; you'll find them...in any BIG city. Loud mouthed New Yorkers. Fat midwesterners who wear Da Bears t-shirts. Blonde LA bimbos in Daisy Dukes, bikinis on top. Pinky pointing, tea drinking Brits. Ugly Americans. And, yes, some very unfriendly French people. I say, let's get them all together and we'll have ourselves one heck of a party.
Okay, maybe not. Kind of sounds like a nightmare. The point: Don't subscribe to stereotypes. Period.
A new friend of mine on Authonomy wrote a beautiful article, that I believe, sums up the true spirit of France, the warmth of its people: it's heart, it's soul. Check out Jake Barton's Fabulous French Feast, but be forewarned; the way he writes tickles the palette, tickles the fancy, and you WILL leave his blog hungry.
SOUND OFF: Have you ever fallen victim to a stereotype? Have you ever felt stupid when a stereotype you thought was true...was proven wrong?
Have a great weekend. And Gros Bisous!