The Crankiest Man in Paris (Away)

Still in India and am finally able to get online. We were in a little village without even an Internet cafe. Here is another saved posting.

In a complete generalisation, I think I have to say that the French can be very negative. Americans are known for their optimism and their “can do” spirit, I think. I don’t find Maurice negative though, although he does have a streak of meloncholy. We’ve had French visitors to our home in Provence before, and when they left I was thinking they didn’t like our place and one man was even pointing out things that he thought was wrong with it. It wasn’t until some Americans came to visit and told us how much they liked it that I thought that maybe it wasn’t so bad.

There are, of course, exceptions to this. I do know positive French people. But I was reminded again of my generalisation today when I needed to get my medical prescription filled. My usual pharmacy right across the street from us was closed but, being totally out of my meds, I decided to try another pharmacy that Maurice sometimes uses but which I’ve never been to. It took the pharmacist a while to get me into his system my being new there and he looked at my prescription which is stamped by the pharmacy each time the prescription if filled and he said, “Why are you using my pharmacy when you have used this one, one, two, three times to get your medication?” I guess he was a little irritated that it took a few minutes to get my information. I told him that my usual pharmacy was closed. He said that he hoped I would use his pharmacy from now on and I assured him I would-I’m not sure if this is true but I, being an American, wanted him happy.

He then asked me where I was from and when hearing I was an American asked how long I have lived in France. In the past when I have told someone, usually a man, how long I have been here they tell me that my French should be much better. To avoid this I told him that I lived in both France and the States. He then said, “You should stay in the States. France is a horrible place to live!” And then told me that France was taxing him so much that there was nothing left but air. I told him that I loved France but I couldn’t get him to agree with me. He even asked me where my husband payed taxes.
I left the pharmacy thinking what an unhappy person he was. I do know that taxes are high in France but I think the quality of life more than makes up for that fact. This isn’t the first time I have heard negative statements like this although I’ve heard positive comments from others, usually young people.

5 thoughts to “The Crankiest Man in Paris (Away)”

  1. How can you be unhappy in Paris? It seems impossible!
    I think that’s why we Americans are assumed to be not so bright by the French because we are trying to find the good rather than face the truth!

  2. It’s because they have any optimism and “can-do” spirit beaten out of them by their teachers!
    Sigh…can you tell we’re having some struggles with the school system? But there’s some truth to this too.
    Enjoy your vacation!

  3. Is the old “grass is always greener” syndrome. A lot of Europeans think America is THE place to be. A lot of North Americans dream of living in Europe. C’est la Vie

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