K. We're done with the French! For the most part we've been positive and optimistic, after all we're visitors to France but we're ready to move on.
Tonight we went off the beaten track - away, again, from the restaurants with menus that are both french/english and laminated with pictures of the food they serve. Yes, once again, we moved away from the tourist trap restaurants and ordered in french - after all we are guests of the country so the most we could do was show some respect and order in their language. But you know, you just can't win with the french. If you don't speak french at all they say "I speak english in your country" (we witnessed this first hand with a poor british couple) and if you do speak french they know you're not "native" and reply in english - a bit of a slap in the face if you ask me. In any event, we've been patient and have done our best to assimmilate, at least compared to some tourist types who don't even say a respectful "bonjour" when they enter into a store.
This evening we again order in french BUT John's salad comes way after the french couple's salad beside us (who ordered after us) AND my main arrives with his salad! so......John has to eat his main course alone while I sit there and demurely (more like furiously! drink my wine). The catch-22 was that had we complained in english, the waiter would have "pretended" he didn't understand while our handicap of non-bilingual french couldn't convey our "issue" so we had to sit back and deal. Needless to say, the french couple beside us ate all their courses together!
We're a tad disenchanted tonight and are convinced the french attitude still pervades (at least in this area - Paris wasn't a problem). The guidebooks say it's dissipated but it hasn't. The french in this region are still pretentious and quite hypocritical. To illustrate - there was a singer at the restaurant this evening. He stunk but every french person clapped after each song. The irony was that he was singing in english (but remember, they don't like english!) and it sounded so flat b/c he had no idea what the meaning was behind the words he was saying. He was doing a rendition of Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side" and it was laughable. He sounded like a vacuum. Now Bob Dylan sounds like a vacuum but he was high all the time. This guy just didn't have a clue what he was singing.
Our conclusion is that some french people are nice but for the most part they have left a bad taste in our mouth - at least where waiters are concerned. The worst part is that the "service" gratuity is included in the bill so you can't even leave a bad tip for ignorant service!
Overall France was good but Bella Italia here we come!
Miss you all!!
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