The Frogmarch

"I've got to pull up my stakes and roll, man." --Jean-Jacques Libris de Kerouac

Sunday, June 13, 2010

What They Think of Us, Part 479


The question is inevitable, whenever I talk to people back home about living in France: "What do they think of us over there, anyway?" Do the French people, as a whole, separate American people from American policy, and American culture from clueless American tourists (unlike we Americans do with respect to the French)? This occasional series will highlight observations that attempt to illuminate that question.

Data point: Last night I watched the USA-England match in the World Cup. The US went down a goal early, and it looked like things were only going to get worse against the more-talented and heavily-favored English. Then just before halftime the English goalkeeper badly flubbed a routine shot and spilled it across the goal line, gifting the USA the tying score. When I stopped screaming and jumping around (as the cat cowered under the couch, terrified) I realized something: There was just as much cheering coming from outside the apartment as inside-- from the pizza place on the corner, the cafe down the street, and from the open windows of the neighboring apartments.

Now, given the enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend principle, that's not too surprising. But we can conclude that if it were true that the French do dislike Americans, they dislike the English even more.

[photo: Renault Clio delivery vehicle for Manhattan Sandwich, "Partout [everywhere] For You."]

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