Don’t Ever Go To France!

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The Louvre

Don’t Go To France

Okay, you might have some of those delusional ideas tucked away in the far reaches of your brain up there that France is this romantic, charming and beautiful place. That Paris is for lovers and some other Woody Allen inspired mush… But just give me one second to explain why this assault on your senses just ain’t worth it.

The Sights

Don't Go to France

Look, now you’ve seen the Eiffel Tower at night… Cross that one off the list

Oh sure, you can think of the Eiffel Tower, or the riviera or all those darn castles on the Loire, but have you stopped to think of what visiting them would actually be like?! I mean the country is pretty dam big, believe it or not! Climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower, and hope it doesn’t collapse (after all it was only supposed to stand for one year many decades ago), and even on the sunniest of days (which there aren’t many) you won’t be able to see the French Riviera or even One of all those castles on the Loire… Not one French vineyard or Mont St Michel or that cave where those cavemen invented art and became the first snooty French people… None of it! Oh sure, you might be able to spot the Louvre, The Sacre Cœur, Notre Dame and maybe even Moulin Rouge… But come on! It’s Europe, you should be able to see it all from one high vantage point!

The Sounds

The thing that you might not realize is that France is full of the French! Oh sure, you might find it romantic when there’s one in a movie with a charming accent… but have you thought of what happens in a country where they all speak French? Suddenly that English thing you’re speaking becomes out of place, and your ‘accent’ might even be the one considered ‘charming’! Can you imagine?! Accent?! Charming?! How utterly patronizing. You know that they know that you know that they can speak English… You just know it. Some of them admit it, but others… Even when they’re drunk, they ‘pretend’ to be practicing English in this infantile manner… Stand your ground, you make sure that they know that you know that they know that you know!!! Don’t you give up! If people call you arrogant and close minded, it only means that you’re getting closer to making them admit what everyone knows… or something like that.

Don't Go To France

Stinky Cheeses!

The Smell

The stinky French! That’s right! You didn’t think I was going to forget about this did you?! Oh, heavens no! I mean it might not be as bas as pepe le peu from the old Disney classics that first started exposing our young minds do this well known stereotype… If you need proof, than just go to the local cheese vendor and stick your nose into some of those cheeses (don’t worry, it’s totally customary out here, people won’t find it strange at all… if anything they’ll think that you’re embracing the culture)… Yeah, those smelly cheese… they eat those! Some of them don’t even shower every day, something about caring about the planet. Now picture yourself in this ‘romantic’ country straight out of a Woody Allen movie, with your nose overwhelmed by smelly cheeses, waffle stands and roasted chestnuts and people who haven’t showered that day, ears assaulted by French accents that somehow don’t sound as pompous as you had expected while you walk down the Champs Élysées without the slightest  … Still unconvinced… Well it gets worse!

The Taste

French gourmet food. Doesn’t sound that bad does it? Well it is! The food isn’t the bad part… in fact, the food is so delicious that you are going to find yourself lacking great food after your little vacation…. THAT, my friend, is the problem. Sure, the decadent sauces and long dining culture may be just fine while you’re there. The wine may be delicious, local and cheap, the cheese may be smelly and tasty, the desserts may be mouth watering… but what about when you return? Did they think of that… I think not! The rest of your life, as you gobble down burgers handed to you through fast food windows, and as those burgers drip their greasy sauce on to your new tie, you’ll be condemned to always remember the incredible French food culture…you’ll lose your right to be blissfully ignorant… That’s right, I said it… They’re going to take away your opportunity at bliss!!! Those bastards!

Don't Go To France

You might even have fun with the art… Ugh!

The Feel

The worst part of all… is that it might not even feel like you’re having a bad experience. That’s how they get you… They’ve mastered the art of the cultural labotamy; the artsy brainwash; the remorseless eye-opener. There’s a certain je ne sais croix that you won’t even be able to explain to your friends when you return home. Ya, somehow you’ll end up looking at architecture differently, noticing art through a new lens, and even think about going to the theatre… Stay long enough, and they might just change the whole way that you feel about your own culture… Do you know how hard it is to live with that? Knowing that your culture isn’t perfect?!

So please, it may be too late for me… but save yourself. Sit back with your juicy steak, in front of your T.V. and feel free to gush over the romantic notion of France and the charming accent… But don’t ever, ever go to France.

 

 

 

 

Jonny Jenkins

Jonny Jenkins

My name is Jonny, my friends call me Stef. I'm Canadian born, but don't find my identity based upon some borders that man drew hundreds of years ago. I have begun to make my way through the world, travelling and living in many different countries and cultures. I believe whole heartedly in staying longer and going deeper to get the best understanding possible of many different perspectives of life. In order to do so, you have to speak the language. I am no polyglot, but have started to put more emphasis on learning languages in the last few years. I have learned Spanish, relearned French, and started in on Portuguese, German, Indonesian and Malagasy. When it comes to the third world, I am willing to help where they (and not I) decide they need it... in the first world, I am hoping to inspire and motivate people to live more engaging lives.

18 Replies to “Don’t Ever Go To France!”

  1. It’s too late for me…I’m already too far into the addiction to ever hope for recovery.
    I wish I had found your blog before I booked that damned flight! 🙁

    1. Andrea, it’s heart-breaking tales like yours that I hope I can help others avoid. For others out there, it’s not too late to snub your nose at the intriguing culture, mouth-watering cuisine and entrancing history!

  2. Haha sounds like I will never, EVER go to France then…oh, except I’m already thinking about booking the next flight there, even if I have to put up with gourmet French food. 🙂

    1. Stop, stop, stop!!! If you’re only thinking about it you’re not yet committed! Stay in your Gaudi town, and don’t ever expose yourself to that culture just to your north… The food’ll get you!!!

  3. Craig says:

    I studied abroad in France about 9 years ago, I really enjoyed my time there. I did not, however, enjoy Paris. I lived in Rouen, a much smaller city, and got to avoid all the horrible tales people have of France. Whenever I took a day trip into Paris though, I would almost instantly regret it. Your post reminds me of those trips haha

    1. Paris certainly has a pretty bad reputation, really I would say that most non-Parisien French are the ones who really hold it in the dimmest light (at least in my experience). And, although it can be a little difficult at times, I would say that the city is absolutely incredible if you spend enough time there… My post wasn’t exactly supposed to be taken seriously, it was supposed to be more of a light mocking of both myself and other lovely N. Americans who have a somewhat mislead view of Europe.

  4. Brianna says:

    Good job trying to keep France uncrowded for me 😉

    1. I’m doing my best!!! Though, the tourist numbers don’t seem to be dropping too quickly though… maybe if you convince more people to read my page 😉

  5. Don’t ever go to Paris. France is awesome! Love the smelling cheese! haha 😛

    1. Not a fan of Paris, eh?? Although it’s certainly not my favourite place in France, it’s pretty damn decent as a city… And quite friendly if you speak a bit of French… Oh yeah, the post wasn’t entirely serious… And ya, the cheese is incredible!

  6. It’s too late for us. Hopefully you can save others from a lifetime of intermittent France withdrawal.

  7. Revati says:

    Hilarious. – A die hard francophile.

    1. Thanks… Glad you enjoyed it

  8. Corinne says:

    France! Oo la la! I love the vineyards, chocolate, cheese, and all of it! Love it.

    1. Not to entirely contradict my entire article… But ya, it’s an incredible country indeed!!!

  9. girjaa says:

    So good to hear your writing… I am laughing out loud…

    1. Thanks Girjaa, it’s great to be back. And ever so grateful that you’re still checking up on me 😉

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