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The Rude American


They say there are two sides to every story, and I found an example of that today. I'm realizing that when the French are rude to Americans, they often have a reason.

This afternoon I walked into a tiny ring shop in the Latin Quarter and was simply appreciating the old-timey feel of the little store. The owner asked several times if he could help, and told me that if I saw something special, he'd be happy to show it to me. The place smelled of dust and cigarette smoke, in addition to leather from the shopkeeper's smock.

The placid seen was quickly disrupted, however. A blond woman wearing resort gear barged in with her children. She pushed her right hand into the shopkeeper's face. "Tell me how much it's worth," she said in English.

The store owner continued to slowly move a row of rings from the case. The woman pushed down the tray he was holding, and said "I don't want any of that. Just tell me how much my ring is worth."

After speaking with me only minutes earlier in perfect English, this man acted like he had no idea what she was blurting. The woman looked at him like he was a statue. "Let's get out of here. He can't understand a word I'm saying," she said. Her kids cackled, and they spun around and left.

There should be stricter requirements for getting a passport. Human decency should play into the mix.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 10, 2007 4:41 PM.

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