Okay, so who stole the snoot from the French? I have tried everything to find an arrogant Frenchman – even waiters who traditionally had the role of professional snoot cockers – I have tried speaking French in the worst accent (Australian) and used my best schoolboy french to upset the natives, but no, they politely respond… in English.
Arrogant? I have tried asking directions to the toilette of guards in Versailles and all they have done is smiled and pointed me in the right direction. What am I doing wrong here?
I have tried wearing the wrong shoes (long story) and I even tried ordering a coffee ‘tres legere’ but to no avail – not a sniff among them, just polite courteous service. Nary a Gallic shrug to be found.
Note: the Gallic shrug is something to be cultivated – a combination of ‘I choose not to understand your anglicised attempts at French’, and an ‘I don’t care even if you are lost/busting to find a toilette/desperate for a decent coffee or (d) all of the above.
Somewhere in the last few years all this has gone the way of globalisation and perhaps the global economic crisis, but now I would have to say that the French reputation for snootiness or arrogance is grossly misplaced. Just sayin’.