The French Resistance

I wrote a rather withering post about my trip to Paris recently. One might almost think I have a dislike for the French, or at least a mild degree of contempt. Not true. I like French people, and generally speaking, I would (and have) chose to travel with a Frenchie over a Brit any day. Sure, I enjoy playing up to stereotypes sometimes. I don’t see why any conversation with a Frenchie shouldn’t begin with Waterloo or Trafalgar. 🙂  We’ve waged a thousand years worth of war against each other, which generally resulted in the English/British Fleet sinking the French fleet.

Although the truth is, for all the rivalry and insults, when we join together we can produce the most incredible results – Concorde and the Channel Tunnel spring straight to mind.  Unless we join together to wage war against a third party, in which case the British fleet still sinks the French fleet as a warm up, before rescuing our European cousins later on in the proceedings. But I digress and should return to my point.

There’s lots about the French to admire. Plenty of which we Brits would do well to learn from. Their culture, passion, lifestyle and sophistication. The ladies go for the elegant look, rather than the British slutty look. Which I find preferable. The French do chic and trendy rather than brash and flash.  And whilst you can find modern stuff just as you would in any major city, their culture is far less disposable, and much more inclined to favour something traditional or hand crafted.

The French aren’t quite into ‘mend and make do’ as Mexicans are, but there are plenty of little shops where you can get clothes mended. In the UK, perfectly good clothing would just get dumped and replaced. There are still some great food markets around as well, although I would give the Marche des Enfants Rouge a miss. It might be the oldest one, but it was frankly rubbish. There are plenty of antique and hand crafted furniture shops too, which we again seem to have lost in England. Here we make do with Ikea, although I did recently stumble across a pretty nice range of French furniture at the Furniture Market that I found online.

The French do quirky too, and I like quirky. I often berate French cars for their blandness and lack of reliability. That is criticism that is largely justified. But it wasn’t always so. At least, as far as blandness it wasn’t. Citroen was once a magnificent marque – we had a giant Familiale to carry the family about when I was a kid. They were innovative and sleek. Ahead of their time. Terribly unreliable too, but still….they had that little bit of je ne sais pas quoi. I was delighted to find a multi floor Citroen ‘museum’ near the Arc de Triomphe, which housed some concourse quality classics, including the Presidential limousine. It was one of my Paris highlights. Click here for the photos on Flickr.



13 thoughts on “The French Resistance

    • In Paris, you can sniff out the men a block away. I blame the pisseries. 🙂

      Wait…this post was in defence of the French. I’ve slipped into old habits. French girls in Oxford….that sounds like an excellent combination. Mrs P and I will be paying the city a visit shortly.


  1. Andean says:

    Parisian woman have a great sense of fashion, and an air of grace.
    The men, a little more eccentric, which blends in with NYC style. My experience has been they are a warm bunch, as the English are, which sometimes I hear contradictions of.


    • They do indeed. And as I have mentioned previously, I do really like French people. If I didn;t have a Mexican wife, I’d have liked a French one. Or a Spanish. Russians have their plus points too. I’m not too sure about a German wife. Their language is just too masculine. Italians are a bit of a non no for me though. But still ahead of an English bride.


  2. “My experience has been they are a warm bunch, as the English are, which sometimes I hear contradictions of.” -Andean

    “This is the sort of English up with which I will not put.” -Winston Churchill (maybe)


    • My surname is a French origin. But I gained it without any blood line from it. On the other hand, my maternal surname is Mombrun. Which tells the tale of a small, but ever present, trace of French blood in my system.


  3. Just surrender, Gary. Surrender to the sweet sensuality of Paris and the c’est la vie and the savoir faire and the bon mots and all that stuff. C’mon, you know you want to. 😀


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.