I cannot tell you how many times people ask this question, “Are the French people friendly, are they nice, do they like Americans?” I am always reminded of a poem that I was forced to memorize when I was in the sixth grade. I cannot remember the title or the author, but the jest of the poem is that a stranger asks a man “What are the people like in your city?” The wise man replies, “What are the people like where you come from?” After the stranger replies, the wise man states that “you’ll find the same type of people here.”
So with that said (and very poorly memorized), you’ll find the same type of people in France as where you come from.
Sharon and I love the French people. Here are some of our favorites!
Jean-Pierre and Sharon
So many of the warm people we met bring back great memories, but alas, I cannot remember all of their names.
Loved this lady, she was so helpful and extremely nice.
Here is one of the great characters in Paris. Sharon wanted his scarf, but settled for his very old ironstone plates with birds.
Marie and Luc are fabulous helpers are the hotel where we stay. They are NOT a couple, but probably should be!
We rarely get a picture of just the two of us. Here we are standing in front of one of beautiful garden parks in Paris.
At Domaine de Rhodes, our hosts were Francoise and Paco. What can you say, but SWEETHEARTS!
We ate at this man’s patisserie twice! He was so nice and his breads and pastries divine.
Julia and Sharon at the brocante. Turns out that Julia has a friend in the United States and Sharon knows the friend too! What a small world!
This is Anita and her son, Marc Antoine. Anita is perhaps the friendliest person in all of Paris. Once, when it was raining extremely hard, Anita went to her brocante neighbors and found an umbrella that we could borrow for the day! Talk about NICE. Anita remembers us each and every time we go to Paris. I asked her how she could possibly remember us after seven years. Her response was that I was the only person who asked if I could take her picture in 25 years of selling at this brocante. Sharon liked teasing Marc Antoine, especially when she asked where was his Cleopatra? Marc Antoine = Mark Anthony or did you already figure that out?
This is Corina. She lives in France, but comes from Italy. She has the best and most amazing Ex Votos available, they are pricey but worth every Euro, because her quality of items is so outstanding.
I cannot remember this gal’s name. She thought we were very entertaining as we went crazy in the candy and biscuit shop where she worked.
We met up with our friends, Bob and Marlene after we arrived in Paris. Same candy shop, but they talked endlessly with the other employee…sorry, I cannot remember his name either.
This is Omar. My friend, Bob and Omar hit it off big time, as both are into martial arts!
This lovely lady owns a shop in Provence, where she sews beautiful children’s dresses and so much more. We bought our little granddaughter one of her handmade dresses. I must say that our little one looks so French and darling as can be in that dress. I am teaching her to say MERCI.
I know that this is not a very good photo of the charming couple. I snapped it in the chocolate shop where they work. They were as sweet as the candy that they sell. They were so good to us, giving us samples after samples. YES, we did buy a nice selection of their candy…but NO I did not bring any home…as it was so good, I had to eat it immediately.
There are so many pretty parks in France. It is fun to watch and listen to the men as they play bolle.
Sharon loved this lady named Sylvia. Sharon went back and bought from her three times. Three times was not enough! She bought wonderful items from this gracious woman from Avignon.
Jean Paul is a really friendly guy! Sharon bought several items from him and his pretty wife (no picture of her unfortunately). He was so nice that he gave Sharon a gift, a brass egg from the Napoleon III time period. The original use of the egg would be to hold a gift of candy. You know for those “fancy pants” kids.
How great is this? Walking down the street in this town, two men starting playing their accordions. France just doesn’t get any better than this!
We sat next to this mime at a great little restaurant in Paris. He was having a galette, just like Sharon. The restaurant owner’s little daughter was mesmerized by this gent and so were we! Before he left, of course, never saying a word, he tipped his hat to us and away he went. He forgot his coat however. My friend, Bob, called out to him and the mime was so grateful that he gave us a short performance! Only in Paris, right?
This father and son did not have much luck in fishing on that rainy day in Isle-Sur-la-Sorgue, but they did have a great time together….talking and just being buddies on a very wet day. They were very happy to have their picture taken.
We had great table service in every restaurant and bistro. None were better than the service we received from this extremely friendly and helpful young lady. We ate in this bistro 3 times and twice, we had her as our server.
We met some very friendly Americans too! Here we are with our friends, Bob and Marlene. We met the other couple, Howard and Carol, at our B&B, Domaine de Rhodes in Avignon. Howard and Carol were just as wonderful as all of the French people we met. If you get to the “Getty” in Los Angeles, please say HI to Carol, who is a docent there.
My final picture is of this darling little girl in Cassis. The French children are very well behaved. I wish I had photos of all of the children we saw in France, but this is the only one.
In addition, there were so many more people that made our trip to France so special. I have no photo of the two great young families that we met at Pont du Gard. They had just returned from a trip to California and had stayed in the SF Bay Area only a few miles from us. It was a joy to hear of their experiences in the USA and how they thought that the Americans were so friendly and nice.
So what type of people do you expect to find in France? I hope that your travels will take you to the many happy and friendly faces of France that we found in all of our times there.
PS….if you know the name of the poem and the author of that poem, please let me know. It might be something like the Stranger at the City Gate, but I’m only guessing now!