Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Honestly, you look .... AWFUL!

There's nothing quite like brutal honesty of the french , except perhaps a slap in the face or a kick in the nether regions!

Arriving in France 8 years ago, to join my sister in her fledgling new property business , I was prepared to perhaps struggle with the language and to find the new job a challenge ..

What I wasn't prepared for was the brutal honesty of the French - My sister Suzanne took me around to all the agencies she worked with and I was introduced to one and all. "Beh, oui, elle est grande , eh? Oh la la, she is like an asparagus!" " Vous avez les memes parents?" were common comments .. Ok, I'm touching on 6 foot and Suzanne closer to 5 foot , but that didn't excuse new colleagues bursting into laughter on entering their premises!!!

When we bought our house and proudly showed our french friends around , they quickly pointed out all the negative aspects .. "Oh lala , you'll have to change the tiles here, they are so passé ma chérie" ... " Well, that bathroom needs to be ripped out for sure" " Surely you will not be keeping the crazy paving on the terrasse?" etc etc... as we grimaced and led them through to the kitchen ( very ugly) for some appertifs ( we must give you some recipes ma petite...) our house was verbally ripped to shreds!

The French are the first to tell you that you've put on weight ( my beautician, just after I'd given birth to second child), that your ears stick out ( dentist), that you haven't a clue how to cook/bake/sew/bring up your children as well as they can, and of course that you cannot speak french properly ...

So when you do get a compliment from the French , lap it up and savour it , turn it around and examine it from every angle .. because a) you may not get another one and b) you can be sure they are not lying!

Honesty , the best policy? Perhaps yes, but a little tactfulness goes a long way. You're looking great by the way, have you lost weight recently?!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

France, the Seductress

France seduced me. More specifically the Pyrenees Orientales pulled out all the stops eight years ago, when I left sodden Ireland to arrive in the sun drenched South of France for a weekend skiing.
It was the clear blue skies in January, dining al fresco in tee shirts with the backdrop of the snow capped Pyrenees, the food, the wine, the beautiful cobblestoned villages ... I lapped up the attentions of my sensual suitor and fell hook, line and sinker.

After an unforgettable weekend, I shoe horned myself out of the department and hurried back to Ireland, gave up my pensionable accountancy job, packed my bags and said au revoir to life as I knew it.

Eight years and two children later, I don't regret a minute of the rollercoaster ride I've experienced since falling for France, life sure has been anything but boring.

But , this isn't another blog about how wonderful life is in France, le vie est belle , tra la la la la .. I'm telling it like it is .. the highs , the lows and the in betweens ..
Time to wake up and Smell the Croissants!

You may also like

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...