Tuesday, September 28, 2010

My Ignorant Thoughts on France

The French have such a reputation for being incredibly rude. And this isn’t a stigma, like my Canada thing. This is absolutely true. Now everyone has their reasons for thinking this, but my reason boils down to my experience in the airport. I can actually boil that down further to one second at the airport that cemented the French’s rudeness in my head forever. Now to preface, I’ve spent eight hours in France, specifically Paris – so don’t get all high and mighty (and French) about this post – I’m not claiming to be an authority.

Anyway, I was in Paris for an eight hour layover. My friend AJ and I decided to stop in Paris and see the sites on our way back from Cairo. We were absolutely exhausted at this point, seeing as we had a jam packed trip through Egypt – overnight trains, early mornings, really big pyramids, etc. We got to Paris at 6am, which meant I got to see the Eiffel Tower with no tourists, it was fantastic! I was starting to like this town. AJ lived in Paris before, so he shuttled me along, making sure I saw everything, until we got to the Notre Dame, where I practically collapsed from the smoke, lack of food and water and general exhaustion. After blaming my fatigue on AJ, chugging some water, using one of those clean outdoor bathrooms that I would love if DC had, we went back to the airport for our flight home. And THAT is when the trouble happened.

I went through security, hit customs, answered questions and got my passport stamped. My passport has 24 pages. Ok, mine is very crowded because I have some visas in there, among many stamps. But, was THIS necessary:

Right in the middle? This French customs officer completely defiled my passport. There are many blank pages in there. I mean Australia clearly understood, Thailand shared a spot, even my Acapulco stamp is neatly on the side. And then, right there in the middle of everything is where you decide to stamp?! There are blank pages! So many blank pages. But oh no, you stamped it directly in the center.

So after a very pleasant, albeit tiring eight hours, I liked France. And that all crumbled in a moment. I now do not like France and have no desire to return. And literally, I don’t know if I will. Now go think about what you’ve done, France.

1 comment:

  1. norman, i'm glad you haven't become any less bitter about this than you were when it happened....