Thursday, November 03, 2005

Germany Vs. France

Before I start, let me say some good things about France. First of all, there are some really beautiful sites to see in France. Also, there are many great foods, such as a large selection of cheeses, yogurt and bread. Finally, public transportation is almost always prompt. That being said, I will now explain why I like Germany better.

Most importantly, in German the people are friendly and, if they do hate Americans, do not feel it necessary to tell visiting Americans their feelings. Next, Germany is so very, very clean. In addition to having beautiful scenery, it has to be one of the cleanest countries in the world. They recycle everything! Third, the people are not small; they are comparable to Americans in size and, for the first time in 2 months, I did not feel like I towered over everyone. Most importantly (for traveling Americans), just about everybody speaks some English. I know, English speakers are lazy and think everyone should speak English, but honestly, if somebody just wants to go on vacation, they obviously cannot become bilingual before the trip. Germany is the one country I have visited where the people do not make you feel like a moron for not speaking their language. There are so many more reasons to love Germany, so many in fact that I cannot list them all, but these are the highest on my list.

My welcome back to France was less friendly. I traveled by train, the Thalys, and it is a 4 hour trip from Cologne to Paris. I was quite loaded with stuff because I bought a few essentials in Germany such as lotion, shampoo, peanut butter, etc., so I got out of my seat about 20 minutes early to gather everything and to get out of the way. I was standing with my very heavy backpack and suitcase at the door of the train for about 15 minutes when this lovely FRENCH man pushed me out of the way, stepping all over my feet in the process, just so he could stand by the door. Traveling makes me cranky anyway and this just sent me over the edge. I started thinking about how much I hated France and most French people and how much I already missed Germany. I tried to just blow it off, but it was really eating at me, the rudeness, the smelliness, the dirtiness, etc. When the train finally stopped at Gare du Nord (not the safest place in Paris), I was really fuming. I was trying to get off the train, when another nice FRENCH man decided I was not moving fast enough so he shoved me so hard I fell down/off the platform with my suitcase and very heavy backpack. Yes, Angela, France welcomes you back with open arms........


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Sebastien Blache said...

Hello Angela!
As a Frenchman I have to participate / react to your blog...
God: what can I say about my fellow countrymen when they travel: yes, they are quite annoying! The great thing is the TGV: it is quite superb, or neat as some would say.
As for dirt: it really depends on the area: the posh parts of Paris are quite clean. Le Marais, the Latin Quarter, the South West (16e) and my own 12e isn't too bad!
Granted that some old spinsters should clean up their dogs' dejections...
Great to hear from you: good blog!
By the way, I've opened mine on blogspot:
Tell me what you think!
See you soon,

Angela in Europe said...

I should say, in response to Sebastien, is that is that I have met some superb French people!