Do ya remember Andy Rooney?  From 60 Minutes?  Andy Rooney from Wikipedia

I thought him funny at first, but as he aged, I found him to be quite curmudgeonly.

I wonder some days here in Paris if I am not going down that same path…

Sometimes I can take the French with great humor.  Other times, I roll my eyes.  And other times I want to scream…  Well, not really.  But I want to do an Andy Rooney segment – “Do you ever wonder why…. Insert any of the odd things that French do particularly in regard to bureaucracy.”

I was reading posts on one of my Facebook groups for expats (there are several and very useful indeed.) Someone asked about the visa renewal process – everyone commented on the different requirements depending upon location and person helping you.  And then there was the one person who said the requirements changed three different times – no, not because of three different people!  She saw the same clerk each time.  Arrgh.

I roll my eyes at a French friend who to me appears overly paranoid.  But then I find a study done by the OECD (yup, same place I visited for Heritage Days– great site for information) on World Values – the Well-Being of Nations… From a study done in 1995-96 (can’t find more recent data but I have no reason to think there is a drastic difference) it shows the Measure of Trust – the percentage of people who say that most people can be trusted.  The Scandinavian countries are at the top, Norway with 65.3.  US is 35.6 (although that might be different now…) and France down at the bottom with 22.8%.   I roll my eyes and think about the amount of energy it takes to be paranoid.  France.

One of my favorite groups is Grumpy Expats.   A place to rant a bit and get frustrations out.  Often with humor.  What’s interesting is to read about how difficult it is to make friends with the German people.  I had always heard that about the French, but my friends are proving that wrong.  Maybe I am glad to be here, not in Berlin.


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