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
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 &
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
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.
" Tour Eiffel et homme" Paris, France 1992