Tuesday, 5 October 2010

paris, france

i've always had a bit of a chip on my shoulder about americans. there are an absurd amount of them in paris. when i arrived last summer i think the ratio of americans per square metre (that's right, i'm metric) was higher than that of the parisians. i'm not going to go off on some xenophobic rant because i'm not that way inclined, i have some very good friends who happen to be american and i assume that what with writing a blog in english, the majority of the anglophone blog reading population are most likely to be american.

my bias is limited to the not thinking before speaking arrogant americans. i was privy to a conversation with a girl from new jersey the other day which started "i like paris because..." and went on "...it's like washington d.c".

now i've never been to washington d.c. and no doubt some comparisons can be drawn although certainly not architectural, cultural or historical. i was intrigued to hear how she was going to follow on from this statement. to my disappointment she proceeded with a goldilocks theory to back up her arguement "it's not too big, it's not too small".

i can be very polite when needs be, as i was with a nice, exceptionally un-patronizing (all things considered) smile. but on the very same evening i found myself talking to a different group of americans. i should point out i was not at the american embassy or wearing a big smile and an i  NY t-shirt under the eiffel tower. anyway, this group thought themselves very well versed in the world of sociolinguistics and after a brief discussion i was on my way to agreeing when this happened:

american guy to me: "you speak very good english".
me to american guy: "i'm sorry?"
american guy to me: "i said you speak very good english".
me to american guy: "... i am english".
american guy: "oh."

no gentle laughing it off from him, i found it quite funny. it explained why he kept cutting me off in the conversation, it wasn't that he disagreed, he just wasn't listening. douche.

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