What’s wrong with the Frenchies???
Our family has been living in France for a year now and (thanks God!) I still can’t fit in. Yes they have great cheeses, awesome wine, but their manners …
We have been living in Asia for last 15 years, in countries where loosing face is simply humiliating. Out of respect, it is sometimes best to let someone be wrong than pointing out they are wrong. Causing someone public embarrassment in any form is an unforgivable no-no.
You never E-VER express your disagreement in a direct way, you respect the hierarchy, you keep the interest of the community in mind in everything you’re doing. Imagine our cultural shock in Paris!
Damned strikers !!!
So you survived the school principal’s speech informing you about the lack of teachers and the parts of programs that your kids will have to cover on their own. You collected all the ingenious ways to save energy so you don’t explose the family budget. You reached this moment you feel you can do with some friendly support from the community… et tatatata:
For the last 2 weeks, the whole country is experiencing fuel shortages sparked by strikes and panic buying that are fraying nerves and testing both the resilience and ingenuity of millions of French workers who depend on their vehicles to do their jobs. After 2 years of Covid, we were thrilled to finally plan a weekend. But we were stuck in.
Do Total employees care that school buses are cancelled because of them? that people can lose their jobs, nurses can not visit the elderly who rely on them ? of course not!
If you are the patient kind who decides to play it pragmatic and go with the train.. sorry but you’re cornered again! Starting tomorrow the buses, trains and subway drivers will not have your back either. Hopefully you managed to save a bit of fuel or else.. you’re stuck too!
The power to harm
What has been striking us since we’ve moved to France, is the attitude of the locals. I honestly don’ know if it is a consequence of Covid or just the French DNA but we find them very critical and aggressive.
Not only does France regularly top the European tables for days of strike action, but French strikes usually aim to be as disruptive as possible.
This is their very unique understanding of sharing. Burning, blocking, bossnapping, and they always seem to get away with that. If you ever had some sympathy for the strikers cause in general, give a read to this article and tell me how you’re feeling ..
If only we were inspired by the Japanese and the Liberian
When the bus drivers in the Japanese city of Okayama were on strike, this was no ordinary industrial dispute. They were still working, driving around picking up passengers. But they did not do a key part of the job – accepting fare. At the end of the day they got the support of the locals as they cleverly targeted their power to harm.
In Liberia, the withholding of sexual favors has often been portrayed as a powerful weapon for women determined to get their way. Wondering if that would work in the City of Love?…
The anti ulceres tips
Play it like a “French désabusé”:
Practice your resilience skills:
France is a paradise for wine lovers. You’ll get incredible bottles for less than 10USD that will definitely help with the relaxing process. Gather your Community (even on zoom) so you can all complain together, share your worries and feel the magical effect of the Red wine on softly erasing some of them. It’s ok if you don’t drink, although hard to understand when you’re among Frenchies (unless you are a former alcoholic and diagnosed with a severe liver condition).
Commit to help someone who is more affected by the strikes than you are; And trust that as usual, strikes are meant to last during the school breaks; they will ruin some holiday plans but hey good news, more money to spend on warming you this winter 🙂
Learn the French sense of humour 🙂