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I had some allergy to France. To me who came across American culture first, the negative image to France might be similar to the one that most American people had.

The people who come into the store saying "Hi!", called "Next!" by shop assistant, pay for it and go away quickly saying "Bye!" would be irritated by the excessively polite attitude in French way. It's something like this. "Bonjour Monsieur" "Bonjour Madame" "Ceci et cela, SVP" "Et avec ca?" "Non. C'est tout, merci" "Ca fait combien, Madame?" "Merci, Monsieur" "Merci, Madame" "Au revoir"
For the people thinking it's a virtue saying "Thanks a lot. Bye!" quickly, the bluntness in Spanish way must be their taste. Actually me myself prefer Spanish taste to the French in those days.

My first visit to France was in 1992. At the very end of the year, I flew to London from New York and then I got to Roissy Airport. I had planed to cross the Dover by ferry. But unfortunately, I had a bad cold. So I gave it up.
For me, Paris was really monotonous city compare to NYC. The price was high. I didn't speak French at all. So I couldn't make communication with the people. As a result, my first impression to France was quite negative. Even Eiffel tower was not so impressive to me. To tell the truth, I always thought of Spain which would be my next destination as walking down the street of Paris.

However after visiting France several times, the fascination of France effected me gradually like a body blow of boxing.
What's the reason for the change of mind? I thought about it. "Separation to US" It must be the one. "Increasing opportunities visiting Paris" Of course, it was. "Improving in my language ability" Yes, definitely. And one more, I saw the French movie which titled "Slogan". It's a love story whch was made in 1969 by P. Grimblat. Maybe it's easier to understand with describing it's the movie of Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin.

The story was not so complicated. The world of "just you and me" which was completely apart from the messy real world was described with French taste humor and psychedelic image in vivid color. The season I imaged from the movie was Spring. The two, Gainsbourg & Birkin, got together also in private. Therefore the time of Slogan must be Spring in their life.
Until then, my impression to France had been a monotonous one. So pastel color image and full of wit in this movie completely changed my impression to France. At the same time, I loved J. Birkin (she was English but ... ) , S. Gainsbourg and France itself. I was quite simple person.

I come across the scenery of the Slogan even now when I walk in Paris. The parking where the hero "Serge" pulled his Bugatti, gas station, and of course L'ave. des Champs-Ellysees where the couple drove .... the scenery of Paris is well conserved. If the season is early Spring, the situation must be perfect. I could be attracted into the would of Slogan so easily.

When I was passing a play guide in Paris, I found the poster of J. Birkin's concert. I booked it and went to Theatre Champ-Ellysees. I was interested in age-group of the audience. They looked higher than my age. Shortly after, the concert began and matured J.Birkin was shown on the stage with almost same voice as her youth.
For me in 1992, I would never imagined visiting the concert of J.Birkin in Paris. The good impression and bad impression to Paris or French culture, all my whimsical stereotypes reflecting on the mirror. The city or the people have never accused me at anytime. And Eiffel Tower has just stood there for more than 100 years.

Dec. 2006

Today's piece
" Tour Eiffel et homme" Paris, France 1992

fumikatz osada photographie