Wednesday, 15 August 2012

An Englishman in France

After the recent success of the British Olympics raising our global profile and dispelling some of the old myths that we were a nation of competitors rather than winners, my holiday in France has gone some way to diminishing those gains as I merrily live up to my national stereotypes. Whilst the French are tanned, thin and sophisticated, I am anything but. In less than two days I have spilled ketchup on my shorts, tripped up some steps, dripped ice cream on my chest, sunburned in some areas, stayed pasty white in others, drunk some very large beers and caused widespread confusion as I insist on speaking bad French to locals who have already indicated they are more than happy to speak English (which at least is more impressive than my Australian girlfriend’s helpful contributions in primary school German). 

Perhaps in the next week I can become somewhat cooler as I immerse myself wholeheartedly in French culture:

1. Wine. Can definitely drink plenty of wine. Seems important.
2. Tanning. Unlikely through factor 30, but I will do my best.
3. Smoking. Not very good at this one. Might get some fake cigarettes.
4. Nudity. What? This goes against my English upbringing. There seems to be plenty of casual nudity on the beach. I might briefly expose my thighs.
5. Gesticulating. Looks easy. Will attempt this while ordering dinner.
6. Garlic. Saw a woman eating a bag of pickled garlic last night. An excellent way to gain more personal space in lifts.
7. Baguettes.
8. Thin. Probably not. See above.

Not an exhaustive list by any means, but I intend to be far cooler and more continental by the end of the week. Here goes.


  1. What a wonderful country France is. Embrace the culture Phil (especially the wine drinking) and enjoy. It's so good being European.

  2. Hilarious Phil, thanks! You've helped extend the Olympic experience for this American. ;)

    Nice to connect with you on Twitter.

  3. I "second" Kathryn's comment! Having never been to France, I shall live vicariously through your visit there. So make it special and give us all the details!

  4. Riotous! Had to skip my coffee this morning but this woke me up with a laugh and a smile. Thanks!