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Yes, LB, an interesting article.

Perhaps the article highlights why we Brits in this forum are living in France?

DejW
 

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Which does raise the point I've seen mentioned in a few of the other European forums here on Expat Forum: what's going to happen if the referendum in the UK goes for dropping out of the EU?
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It will be terrible if Britain is stupid enough to come out of the EU. Today - as a taster for its folly of having a referendum, it has been threatened with losing its triple A credit rating, which means that borrowing may become more expensive for the UK in the future. Because the Tories haven't had nearly the success story that they have furiously been peddling to the media on the economy, we are still borrowing billions to make ends meet. It really is a terrible state of affairs. The only light at the end of the tunnel is that the Tories keep threatening to implode because of in-fighting on the issue of the EU. But it still leaves us with a referendum probably to be held in 2017. Cameron, I think, sincerely doesn't want us out of the EU, so that has to be worth something, but unfortunately there are some particularly nasty anti-Europeans in his party - and in the country. I don't know what the reporting was like in France - the bits of news I gathered from Le Monde and RFI were a bit negative about Cameron's recent visit to raise issues with European leaders, but it was portrayed as a success here - especially the meeting with Mrs. Merkel.
 

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I suspect that "everyone" is expecting a last minute "pull a rabbit out of a hat" trick - like with the Scottish referendum - and that the UK leaving the EU "would never happen." So, in the event that the referendum goes badly for those who want to remain part of Europe, there will be some serious scrambling to try and figure out just how it's all going to work.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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It's important to be able to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes, because you will be entertaining others a lot of the time!

If you can join in their amusement and see the funny side you wil be less self-conscious about errors - making other people smile is not so bad after all.

And the more amusing the mistake the more you remember it and are sure never to repeat it...

ps Sorry, put this on the wrong thread - please remove!!
 

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There is of course a remote chance that the referendum outcome will be to leave the EU, but it's highly unlikely as it would have a massive negative impact on the UK economy and particularly the UK's financial sector - which is its most important sector. Someone will do some modelling to convince the Tory MPs who want to withdraw, there will be a massive advertising scare campaign and the UK will remain in the EU. In the meantime, Cameron is hoping that he will be able to negotiate some additional exceptional advantages for the UK to remain in the EU - hopefully the EU will not again cave in and has learnt that doing so is very much against whole of EU and individual EU nations' interests. I personally would be happy to see the UK get out, as I really don't believe UK membership serves any overall EU interest, and I would even go as far as to say less than the membership of PIGS. That said, there has always been a significant divergence of views in the UK re membership of the EU, but so far it hasn't prevented them joining and continuing as members - because the powers that be know perfectly well that membership is an advantage and pretty much essential for Britain.

As far as the article goes, it was a surprise and a delight to see some economic commentary that recognised that the British economy is not as good as the media and market spin and that the French economy is not really that bad. As the article indicates, the values of the two societies are very different. It seems to me that the values of Anglophone countries generally are very different to French values (I am, of course, speaking generally - no need to provide reams of examples that I'm wrong :D ).

That said, I don't necessarily agree with everything in the article.
 

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Thank you for this interesting and thought provoking article.

While I agree with some of the writer's points, my overall feeling is that it's far too easy to compare the best of France with the worst of the Uk after having spent a holiday - albeit "cheaply" - in a château in the south of France.

Yes to motorway tolls - if you can afford them week after week,yes the French countryside is lovely but so is a lot of England etc etc.

And I am not convinced that all the French citizens living in London are solely there for financial reasons. There is a vitality and feeling of confidence in London that I haven't found in Paris.

Different? - yes, better? depends what you are looking for.
 

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Thank you for this interesting and thought provoking article. While I agree with some of the writer's points, my overall feeling is that it's far too easy to compare the best of France with the worst of the Uk after having spent a holiday - albeit "cheaply" - in a château in the south of France. Yes to motorway tolls - if you can afford them week after week,yes the French countryside is lovely but so is a lot of England etc etc. And I am not convinced that all the French citizens living in London are solely there for financial reasons. There is a vitality and feeling of confidence in London that I haven't found in Paris. Different? - yes, better? depends what you are looking for.
Read the article through and attached bye lines and have to agree with 95 per cent of the content,sort of justifies me being here. Fletch.
 

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I got so angry reading that article I stopped halfway through. Complete utter nonsense.

He is talking a 'two week' holiday in France and not day to day reality France.

Idiot.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
There are many Frances. Just as there are many Englands. And all other countries. Everyone has a voice with which to relate their experience of the country they have spent time in and no one's opinion is less valid than the others.
 

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There are many Frances. Just as there are many Englands. And all other countries. Everyone has a voice with which to relate their experience of the country they have spent time in and no one's opinion is less valid than the others.
True, but he should not be allowed to voice such a nonsense opinion in a quality newspaper. It is factually incorrect. He is simply talking cr&p. Judging by his other articles he seems to have a habit of it.

If he lived and worked here I very much doubt he would have written that article.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I wasn't actually talking about him but the other voices which approved of his comments - people who live in France too. He was a tourist. However, I thought he had plenty of useful things to say - and he has some insight. One of the things which I really love about France is that it is "old school" - it is *a bit*like the UK thirty years ago - this is my opinion based on my admittedly limited experience of France. It still has unions, it still believes in respect for authority, you have to follow a strict code when writing a formal letter - there are a ton of things about France which are old school. Things which have been lost from the UK and to its detriment to some degree in my opinion. Plus there is no disputing that the food and the weather are much better in France - you can even eat Macdo if you really feel the need. But perhaps it would be useful if you would explain which bits you disagree with and why rather than lambasting the whole piece and therefore casting judgement on people who have enjoyed it.
 

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I wasn't actually talking about him but the other voices which approved of his comments - people who live in France too. He was a tourist. However, I thought he had plenty of useful things to say - and he has some insight. One of the things which I really love about France is that it is "old school" - it is *a bit*like the UK thirty years ago - this is my opinion based on my admittedly limited experience of France. It still has unions, it still believes in respect for authority, you have to follow a strict code when writing a formal letter - there are a ton of things about France which are old school. Things which have been lost from the UK and to its detriment to some degree in my opinion. Plus there is no disputing that the food and the weather are much better in France - you can even eat Macdo if you really feel the need. But perhaps it would be useful if you would explain which bits you disagree with and why rather than lambasting the whole piece and therefore casting judgement on people who have enjoyed it.
Well, first of all the food is certainly not better in France than the UK. Apart from the 'odd restaurant' that is a myth. Uk supermarkets win hands down in in terms of variety, choice, presentation and the quality of meat is soooo much better. I know many French (many of which are kids) who have gone 'gluten' free because they have developed an intolerance to all the wheat based products sold in France. Everything seems to be processed. Not forgetting the fruit and veg (full of pesticides) which are usually past their prime before you get to the checkout. Further to that article, you will not get a 'good meal anywhere' in France. That is partially why Mcdos is HUGE in France. Furthermore, boil in the bag exists everywhere in France like the UK.

In terms of weather, that is relative to where you live. Only in the south of France can you say it is warmer with more sunshine. Elsewhere you are in the hands of the gods like the UK.
Furthermore, who wants to live in a region with no seasons.

Other points, the autoroutes are as congested in France as the UK in peak periods. He fails to point out that the route through Lyon (which he would have taken) is highly congested all the time and the motorway south of Lyon heading towards the South is a nightmare to drive and highly dangerous. Less stress, NO. BTW, you have to be stupid to drive Calais - Provence in one go and you would certainly not arrive 'happier than when you started'. ;)

We were in the UK at Easter (first time in ages) and we all agreed that we would all have a better quality of life if we lived in the UK. Even education for the kids. (Little girl loved the idea of having a uniform). Life is a constant battle in France and it wears you out. In the UK life is simple and everything works. People smile. I suspect that is why thousands of French move to the UK and not for 'money' as that idiot who wrote that article believes. BTW, French wife thinks the countryside in the UK is beautiful and loves Scotland.

Lastly, the idiot wrote "So maybe we get the French who care about money – and they get the Brits who are care about things like culture, food and quality of life". He fails to mention that many if not most UK Brits can't speak French and don't integrate and thousands of Brits order their weekly shopping direct from Tescos in the UK and have it delivered to France. :)
 

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We were in the UK at Easter (first time in ages) and we all agreed that we would all have a better quality of life if we lived in the UK. Even education for the kids. (Little girl loved the idea of having a uniform). Life is a constant battle in France and it wears you out. In the UK life is simple and everything works. People smile. I suspect that is why thousands of French move to the UK and not for 'money' as that idiot who wrote that article believes. BTW, French wife thinks the countryside in the UK is beautiful and loves Scotland.
Aren't you doing exactly what you are accusing the author of doing (judging based on a short trip) - after all, you haven't actually lived in the UK for many years?

He fails to mention that many if not most UK Brits can't speak French and don't integrate and thousands of Brits order their weekly shopping direct from Tescos in the UK and have it delivered to France.
When you make such sweeping statements I'm pretty sure you don't have any data/statistics on which to base them, just your own purely anecdotal experience.

What I'm saying is, you get mad because the article of the author writes what is essentially no more than an opinion peace and believe he shouldn't be allowed to in what you term a 'quality' (?!) newspaper, whereas you yourself have no qualms about publishing your personal opinions on this forum, which is read by people around the world and which many believe is a quality forum. Get my drift?
 

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Aren't you doing exactly what you are accusing the author of doing (judging based on a short trip) - after all, you haven't actually lived in the UK for many years?



When you make such sweeping statements I'm pretty sure you don't have any data/statistics on which to base them, just your own purely anecdotal experience.

What I'm saying is, you get mad because the article of the author writes what is essentially no more than an opinion peace and believe he shouldn't be allowed to in what you term a 'quality' (?!) newspaper, whereas you yourself have no qualms about publishing your personal opinions on this forum, which is read by people around the world and which many believe is a quality forum. Get my drift?
There is a difference between personal opinion and fact EA. I speak from a middle aged two up two down point of view. France is a nightmare to live in with a family. He has never lived in France. When you get two French families together invariably the conversation will turn towards how difficult it is to live in France.

There are 3/4 major UK based companies running multi vans around SW France delivering UK food on a weekly basis to UK expats living in France. It is a massive business. If food was so great in France, why is that happening ? Did these people move to France for the food ? Furthermore, their are thousands of expats desperate to sell their house in France to move back. If life is so great you ask yourself why.

How many posts do you get about, banks, registering a car in France ect ect. It would take me two minutes to register my French car in the UK. ;) and they would do it with a smile :)
 

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Ooh, who peed in your cornflakes?

While I always appreciate input from the "truth" squad looking to burst unrealistic expectations bubbles about life in France, I have to say that I must be living in some other country because my experience here is nothing like yours.

Granted, I went through a rather nasty "I hate France" period early on, thanks to stupid immigration problems and a certain, shall we say "resistance" to some of the peculiarities of Life in France. I get a chuckle out of those who "oversell" some of the virtues of France (like the guy in the article) and can still understand where the dissenters are coming from these days, like your good self.

But any place on earth is kind of what you make of it. I've moved around plenty, and anywhere you go, there are people who are there because they love the place - for whatever weird reasons, or possibly just because it's what they know and are most familiar with.

Plus, you seem to be judging the qualify of life in Britain exactly as we advise people NOT to do for France. A holiday in France/UK/Anywhere Else cannot give you a valid picture of what it would be like to actually live there. Especially given that it was your first trip back there in a long time.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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One further comment that comes to mind after reading your latest post, Smeg.

How many posts do you get about, banks, registering a car in France ect ect. It would take me two minutes to register my French car in the UK. and they would do it with a smile
There is an old saying, "you can't go home again." Never really appreciated it until I lived for barely a full year in the UK and then went back "home" to California. Even in just one year away, things had changed to the extent that I felt like a stranger there. Lived for a couple years in Germany and (other than the work situation) thoroughly enjoyed it. Yet, we're headed for a long weekend in Germany soon, and the place has changed quite a bit since I last lived there.

If you feel you'd have a better life back in the UK, maybe you should head back there. But if you do, please stay in touch. I'm relatively willing to bet the first few months and maybe even years will be a "challenge." Things back there don't work like they did last time you lived there. And you've changed, too, whether you like to admit it or not.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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If you read many of the threads on here, Smeg, you will find a number of Brits and Americans have a certain need for the foods they were familiar with at 'home'. Brits have the advantage of easily being able to obtain their 'goodies' from the UK at a lynot surprising lower cost than here - hence the local deliveries from UK supermarkets. I don't think that necessarily means the food isn't great in France. BTW I wonder where you do your fruit and vege shopping - it sounds like you should be looking to change your shopping habits as your experience is VERY different from mine.
 
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