i'll say it again - i really hate the french. in fact, where i previously only mildly disliked them, i'm now sick of the bastards. all of the stereotypes are true.
and it's only been 5 hours.
the problem is the whole language thing. and the fact that they patently refuse to speak english. even when you know they can. i met people in rural india who spoke better english that french shopkeepers in paris. and the indians lived in huts. huts made out of mud. but at least they'd make an effort to scam you in your own language.
whereas in paris, even a trip to buy wine turns into an experience frustrating enough to cause you to break out in hives. you politely greet the shopkeeper in french, with a friendly 'bonjour', and then explain that you are south african and don't speak much french. at which point they rattle off more, faster french at you. so you point, smile and use what limited french you have - 'oui, rouge, deux s'il vous plait..' etc. at which point the shopkeeper has a full-on pointing and laughing session with one of the other customers, who descend into a cackling mass that couldn't be more french if they were moustachioed, wearing stripy shirts and berets, smoking gauloises and riding bicycles with front baskets containing baguettes.
so you just smile and nod and know that the fuckers are laughing at you. it's not like you've got any snappy comebacks in french, and you know that the assclown behind the counter knows english well enough to kick you out sans wine if you mouth off at him in a real language like english.
next time, we'll side with the germans. that said, two hours in frankfurt airport was enough to make me side with the russians. the frankfurt airport staff were hilarious, in a bad way - they literally searched *every* black person going through the security checkpoints. and not a single white person. i'm suprised they don't have a separate line. i'd like to see them try that with Chalky White.