Oh, the French. With their scarves and their stripy T-shirts and their berets and their thin moustaches and their tiny cups of coffee and their “French” fries and their Eiffel tower and their sidewalk cafés and their baguettes hanging out of their shopping bags and their “pardon moi” and their world-famous museums and their croque monsieur, which is just a fancy way of saying grilled cheese. They are so French and so proud and so pompous about their country.
People thought Canadians were bad during Vancouver’s Olympics. They thought we were overly Patriotic and only paid attention to the Canadian athletes and waved our flag incessantly. One American journalist even compared our two-week bout of nationalism with Nazi Germany’s third Reich.
I guess he’s never been to France. If he had he would notice that France’s flag hangs everywhere. The French are all about nationalism.
The French have their own look. You can spot one from a mile away. They simply refuse to adapt to the North American standard. They refuse to let their neck get cold or to wear a solid colour T-shirt (especially one that says, “I love New York”). And no matter how matted or retreating their hairline may be, they refuse to wear a baseball cap. And they must have a moustache, and it must be thin. That is so third Reich.
Canadians on the other hand, are adaptable depending on the seasons. For instance, during the winter season a scarf will be worn and during the play-off season a beard will be grown.
The French will not serve a “decent cup of coffee in a decent-sized cup” as requested by the Virginian lawyer who sat next to us at a sidewalk café. His pinkie dangled in the air like a towel hanging from a clothesline: weak and exhausted. He lamented the French and their Frenchiness while drinking an espresso from a miniature cup.
Canadians usually drink their coffee in a roll-up-the-rim paper cup but when in Rome, or Paris, they will accept any caffeine substitute. Canadians are ever obliging.
The French just have their way. They won’t eat bread in loaves, just in long form. What’s wrong with a loaf? What do they have against the loaf?
Canadians are friendly with the loaf, because the loaf works well for grilled cheese.
And you know what else? The French refuse to speak English, even though we all know they know it. They will pretend like they can’t understand just so you have to dig deep in your purse for your pocket translator. They even expect you to try and speak French when you visit their world-famous museums: “Deux billets pour le musee, si vous plait”. I’m sure with 15,000 visitors per day they hear “two tickets” on a regular basis. Yet they want us to make an effort to speak their language.
That is so French.