Negative Adjectives - France on a roll -- depending on charm - CycleBlaze

May 28, 2011

Negative Adjectives

"It's the least I can do, America helped us in the war," said the French woman who walked me 6 blocks to my hostel when I was lost in Paris. I didn't even ask for help. I had come out of the metro station, at night, in winter, after a long ferry/train ride from London; a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed college student ready to take on the world. I was studying my map, trying to get my bearings, when this nice French woman offered to help me find my way.

She was the first French person I had ever met and she could not have been nicer. That was 30 years ago and it made a great impression on me that lasts to this day.

I mention this because the first reaction that many people have when I tell them I'm going to France is something along the lines of, "You are going to France? I hear the French are (insert negative adjective here)." I guess there ARE people in France who are (insert negative adjective here), just as there are people in America who are (insert negative adjective here). But I guess it's like everything else, you have to see people as individuals and can't stereotype.

There were other kind Frenchman on that trip, like the restauranteur in Nice who served some kind of stew that was absolutely delicious. He was so proud to have me and my friend in his restaurant and went out of his way to make sure we had a great time.

So as my trip draws near I'm getting excited about seeing the sights AND meeting the French people. Oh, I'm a little nervous too. Its not like last year when I rolled out of my driveway and started riding east. This time its a little more complicated... Did I pack everything? Do I have my electrical outlet adapters? Will the volcano in Iceland blow its top as my plane is taxiing the runway for takeoff? Did I learn enough French so I don't accidentally order sauteed pig's snout when I think I'm ordering pork chops? Still, I can't wait to see the sights of France, AND meet new French friends. Because the one thing I'm NOT nervous about is that the french are (insert negative adjective here).

I sure wish I knew who that Parisian lady was. It would be nice to find her and tell her that her one act of kindness was all it took to create a positive impression of a whole country and its people.

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