Monday, December 17, 2007
I've never considered myself a patient person - in fact, I'll often declare myself the opposite. But, what's up with the I-refuse-to-wait-for-any-reason attitude of older French folks? I know it's not news, and yes, it's a stereotype, but people here simply refuse to wait their turn! Last weekend, Guillaume and I were waiting to be seated at a small restaurant with nearly no seats available when an elderly (like senior citizen) couple dashed ahead of us with "pardon, pardon" only to jump into a rare available booth, whilst rudely disturbing the neighboring table. Today, while we were waiting our turn in line to see the exhibition, a group of old folks, once again, jutted ahead of the line to get in first. What's up with that? I find myself even more patient than ever here, as I refrain from scolding the elderly, but I'm also becoming ruder myself, I think. After failed attempts to be polite by saying hello, apologizing for a bump, or giving a smile, I've reverted to the French glare and snob-approach. And I don't agree with those people who say, "Well, it's because Americans are all so fake-nice and French are just real," because if that's the case, then I never want to live in a place that makes people's reality equate to rudeness and scowling. Sure, you'll find the fake friendliness in the States, but I'd rather someone's fake smile provoke me to smile than someone's real scowl provoke me to scowl.