Every culture has something about them that others use to stereotype them. The Irish drink, the Italians have hot tempers, etc. For some reason, the French have been given given the label that they are rude. I don’t know where this stereotype has come from, but whenever I’ve been to France, I’ve never found them to be rude. In fact, I’d have to say that my experience has been quite the opposite. I found the French to be very hospitable. Being from Louisiana, with it’s rich French influenced history, I used to say that I found France to be the birthplace of Southern Hospitality. However there was one notable exception and I used to like to tell this story from time to time, well that is until I became the punch line of my own story.
My first time travelling in France was back in 1990. I had just graduated from LSU and a buddy of mine and I decided to take our bikes and ride through Europe. We started in Ireland and made our way through Wales, England, Scotland and Belgium and after two months we were in Paris. Both of us were new to bicycle touring and extended travel and as a result we were together most of the time. Spend two months with someone 24 hours a day you really get to know them, wether you like it or not. 😛 So by the time we hit Paris, I had had about enough of my companion and I was ready to go solo. Well, I can’t say that I was ready to go solo, but I was ready to get away from my cycling partner to say the least.