View Full Version : Foreigners in France?

10-26-2017, 06:00 PM
Several months back I was accused, by what I assume was, a French person of being a foreigner in France that was here to knock everything French.

13 years back we moved here to be a part of our new envoirement and to be as French as we could be, being foreigners. I personaly have found it difficult to learn another language, but I persevered and more often than not only opened my mouth to change feet! Much to my friends amusement. We tried to intergrate into the comunity as much as we could and were welcomed into our village and the life in it. We joined in with the vilage life and have really enjoyed it. It has been a wonderful experience!

We are now moving back to the U.K.. It has nothing to do with Brexit, just the right time and time for a return to our native country. This evening we were invited to an aperitif with our walking group in one of the village halls. We were told not to bring anything with us as the eve was in our honour. Normally everyone brings something either to eat or drink. When we arrived we were greeted by everyone and realised that the village Maire and madam deputy were also there. We were greeted as old friends, complete with 'bisous' (kisses on the cheeks). There was a short speech from the walking group president, followed by the Maire and a presentation of a lovely, large medalion of the village. Then followed by several wonderful presents from the walking group and a show of sadness that we are to leave. I was very close to tears as was SWMBO, my lovely wife/better 1/2.

What I an trying to say is that I want the person who commented a while back to know that they were jumping to the wrong conclusion in thinking that every English person in their country is here to knock it. A number are, but please don't paint everyone with the same brush (if you don't understand that expression then look it up), some are here to enjoy the wonderful life here and not trying to import their so called home comforts, 'a little bit of England in the sun'

In a 3 weeks time we will finish our adventure in our special bit of France and return to England. But this adventure will stay with us and be enjoyed over and over in our minds. This evening will have a very special part in it!

Our walking group are quite excited and have asked if it would be possible to visit our new home in England and see where we will be living? Our answer was "pourquoi pas?"

10-26-2017, 06:10 PM
Do not be concerned about folks like that John.

We live in a world that is sadly dominated by hate ~ hate for those with a different coloured skin, hate for those who are not of our Christian based life style, hate for those who do not follow the Koran, hate for those who move into our country and in particular hate for refugees. And as for English migrants here in Australia 'knocking everything' that only applies to those of we Aussies who knock everything and proliferate their negative thoughts by email in particular. And they never let the fact interfere with a good story.

Enjoy your new friends and life back in England and look back on your time in France, and your friends there, with affection. And indeed, why, as you answered?

10-26-2017, 06:25 PM
And John.... when you're tired of being back in the UK, you're always welcome here in Texas! Hey... keep in touch. I know that moving is always hard on the body, mind, and wallet. A little bit of that good red stuff from France will certainly help ease the pain. :)

10-27-2017, 08:43 AM
Sounds like it was one great sendoff party John! Good luck with the move...hope all goes well...and nothing gets damaged!:)

- Nick

10-27-2017, 09:53 AM
Ta for all of your good wishes folks. We are getting there!

One of the goodies about the bungalow we are renting is that there is a footpath that runs alongside the garden and we love walking. The Badminton estate is only a mile or two away across the fields, so when the horse trials are on we will have a short cut to it instead of all the traffic!

:Confused::Confused: I have often wondered what happens if they find any of the horses guilty :o :o ?

One of the things I'm looking forward to is some GOOD beer. 6X is my favorite, none of this beer with 2 Xs missing ;)

10-27-2017, 01:00 PM
One of the things I'm looking forward to is some GOOD beer. 6X is my favorite, none of this beer with 2 Xs missing ;)

Since you've been away the real ale movement has accelerated and micro breweries/pubs have popped up everywhere. Cuisine too, if you avoid the chains. Enjoy - and welcome back.

10-27-2017, 04:29 PM
One of the things I'm looking forward to is some GOOD beer. 6X is my favorite, none of this beer with 2 Xs missing ;)

Ah, but try to find a good Bordeaux... ;)

10-27-2017, 04:49 PM
We have been back several times this year to try to sort out somewhere to live and kept going back towards Malmesbury and the surrounds. Good beer, lovely countryside and friendly people. Food's good too, so what more coukd we wish for?

10-27-2017, 07:19 PM
Sunshine my boy, sunshine

Rod Sprague
10-27-2017, 07:37 PM
DearJonzjob, this was an interesting Post for me as I am an Australian living in Bali, Indonesia. This is a popular holiday destination for many Australians as is France for you northerners. My wife and I came to Bali for our Honeymoon nearly 40 years ago. It was my first time anywhere overseas. I immediately fell in love with the place. The climate, food, friendly people, beaches and terraced Rice fields. Over 35 years we returned regularily, making close friends and ties to the place we know call home in Mas, Ubud. Its interesting that despite living in a number of different places and states in Australia we have never experienced the sense of community that we have here.
It is impossible to go anywhere without meeting people who just want to pass the time of day. How are you, how is your wife, what's she doing, where are you going what are you doing today ect. At first I found this curiosity somewhat invasive but as I mastered more of the language I realised I works both ways. Its almost rude not to ask, where are you going, whenever you meet someone you know. Yesterday was my wife's birthday, we were having coffee on the porch upstairs when our three permanent staff came up the stairs with a small decorated cake complete with lit candles, a posy of flowers cut from a home garden and a hand carved bust of my wife carved by the father of our youngest. All singing Happy Birthday in Balinese. We are invited to every family event of our extended family here, weddings christenings, funerals and everything in between. The Balinese are beautiful people, there us no angst here, no aggression, no vandalism and no road rage. Despite the caotic traffic here I find it less stressful driving here than in Australia. You just have to forget everything you ever learned about road rules. Here there is only one road rule, if you can see it you are obliged to avoid it. Its surprising how well this works if you are tolerant and patient as the rest of the population is. There may come a time when we have to return to Australia but in the meantime we will enjoy this wonderful little community that we have become a part of.

10-27-2017, 07:39 PM
Ah, but try to find a good Bordeaux... ;)

Easy. UK is teaming with good French wine.

10-28-2017, 03:12 AM
A good Bordeaux? That reminds me of an incident a few years back when the Languadoc wine producers were totally throwing all of their toys out of their cots, because there was a VERY strong possibility that the afore mentioned region were turning out a lot more of the red stuff than they had grapes for? The extra was being shipped from here and relabled, or so I was told ;);) Not the first time either. Not that this is fact you understand, nod nod, wink wink? :Smirk:

Sue, within about a 10 mile radius there are something like 1600 wine producers and there's some very good stuff in that lot too. I have tried very hard to taste them all, but???

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4456/37272976164_abee243c46_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/YMFKf5)Screen Shot 2017-10-28 at 08.59.58 (https://flic.kr/p/YMFKf5) by John (https://www.flickr.com/photos/45489029@N07/), on Flickr

Rod, that sounds like a lovely place to live. I have always said that the French are amongst the loveliest people you could meet, until they get behind a steering wheel! Then, it would seem, the main difference between there and here is that the "if you can see it you are obliged to avoid it" rule has a slight difference to "if you can see it then it must avoid you" and that can be interesting? The main thing that I will NOT miss is the 'PrioritÚ Ó droite' where you must give way to anything coming out of an unmarked side road to the right. Some of them are so idiotic and you get a few feet of warning that anything is coming out from behind the wall hiding the road! I won't go into tailgating!

Harry, sunshine is great and as soon as the temprature get above about 18║C I'm in shorts browning me legs. we have had little or no rain here for the past couple of months. Mainly wall to wall sunshine, but there is sunshine in Wiltshire too, just not as much :'(:'(

Oh yes. Justa s a slight detour (well, it is my thread :Smirk: This is something I made just before I shut my lathe down and packed it away. It ain't arf heavy, the lathe that is!

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4503/37272970504_1b91746491_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/YMFHyu)IMG_1475 (https://flic.kr/p/YMFHyu) by John (https://www.flickr.com/photos/45489029@N07/), on Flickr

All one lump of spalted cherry and just over 3" cube.. When ever I pick it up I just play with it, it has to be one of the most tactile things I have ever turned.

10-28-2017, 03:59 PM
John, I think ALL countries have that attitude in some of the residents. I lived in England, near Bury St. Edmunds, for 2 1/2 years, but was always viewed as "The Yank" despite living in and amongst the local population. My local pub did sort of accept me, eventually, as one of the regulars, but if I went to any other pub, the accent worked to make me "alien."

That reaction of the locals didn't put me off, though! I have great friends all over UK, visit regularly and have plans to visit in a couple of weeks.

I will tell you one story from early on. BSE is a market town, so on Saturday my wife and I would go to the market. She particularly liked an antique (junk) dealer named Robert Smith, who's space was always on the end of a row. One Saturday I was standing on the pavement with a couple of locals, watching the market, when she entered Mr. Smith's area. She found something and started haggling with him over price. One of the guys standing near me said, "Look at that yank, giving old Bobby a real go!" I turned to him and said, "That yank will, in about five minutes, turn and beckon to me to come carry away her loot, assuming she wins the tussle with old Bobby." They all laughed and then laughed again when she did, in fact, turn and beckon to me. From then on, I was one of the "locals" whenever we went to market. So strangers can become locals if you are willing to work with it.

10-28-2017, 05:10 PM
Odd that you should mention Bury St E Jake. The last time we were there was the beginning of last month!! It is one of our favorites and we stayed at the Old Cannon Brewery!! Me staying in a very good brewery! That's my idea of heaven :Evil::Evil:

We were there to watch the Tour of GB go racing through the centre of town. Dozens of racing bikes all with one thought, speed. Not quite as impressive as Le Tour de France, but very impressive anyway!

I have found that it isn't your nationality that gets you accepted or shunned, it is your attitude. If you go into anywhere with the attitude of 'mightier than thou' you will get short shift and you deserve it, but if you go in open minded then people will warm to you. It ain't rocket science after all. A good friend of ours has a 30 metre barge on the Canal du Midi. He bought it as a 40 metre barge in Belguim, had 10 metres cut out of the middle, all of the locks on the MIdi are 30 metres, and bought it down and totally fitted out the bare hull. He did so with the attitude of ' would I pay to holiday on it?'. It is very popular, very comfortable and as I have spent a week on board I can say that his attitude works. It is normally moored just a few km from here and is hired out as a gite. A few years back he and I took it down to just the other side of Narbonne for him to 'dry dock' it to repaint and get it inspected for further use. 3 days down and 4 back. That trip will live with me for a very long time. This is the peniche, barge to you lot !!


My take on life is to treat as I wish to be treated. So far it works.