Saturday, 22 September 2012

I'm pretty sure the Erasmus programme was made just so that natives can laugh at foreign people getting lost or making twats out of themselves.

Since i've been here i've made quite a few gaffes. Most of them are down to the good old combination of alcohol/social ignorance/my bad humour........ and although it's alright with friends from home who probably already know that when you've had a few too many you end up talking utter shit (and that's fine), it's so much different in a foreign country with a foreign language holding you back too.

I very frequently make a twat out of myself in social situations and so far I think i've insulted almost every nationality that i've come across so far in some manner or way:
  • I was describing the Marianne [national emblem of France] and her flowing hair that I saw on a coin here, but I apparently I made her sound like a total diva and that annoyed some people. 
  • Compared some American girls to guidettes from Jersey Shore because of duckfaces. That didn't go down so well
  • Made a joke (which to be fair was taken hilariously) about the Troubles as well as the wars between England and Ireland as being 'back in the good old days'. Obviously sarcastically. In context it was funny....
  • Talked about Swedish people looking like mannequins with perfect skin and perfect hair.
  • OBVIOUSLY there were jokes about the Germans a bit. I'm British after all.
  • And finally jokes about French guys being so relatively skeezy French guys.
I think the problem is that i'm overly confident just going up to people and talking to them normally (especially in English) and -obviously- friend humour is different to random stranger humour.

I realised that after sitting in the park with a few friends from uni and others a few times, making lewd jokes or having a bit of a laugh with each other to the point of calling each other names and making comments about things you really wouldn't normally: The faces of the people who weren't in our 'uni friends group' were just priceless. So shocked! Is that because we're generally vulgar though?

Personally i'd like to find out more about 'typically French humour'. We have really deadpan/black humour in England and we know it, but i've not really encountered much obvious humor here to be honest. Stand-up on TV really isn't any good an the bare bones of humor in conversations that I can actually understand between French people here just often doesn't make too much sense to me.

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On the other hand, laughing at tourists is the universal language of comedy I think. Why are tourists so obviously touristy allll the time? And why do they always wear hiking boots everywhere....even in 50 degree Provence? I would like to think of myself as never being 'touristy' to the point of this. I still get lost, look lost and go to museums, and I went to the Eiffel Tower to take photos. But I did all that without wearing ridiculous caps and hiking boots.

For anyone coming to Aix, you will eventually realise that there are a lot of tourists. And for the right reasons too, it's a glorious city, very Provençal with a modern touch. This unfortunately drives up prices in some places around the city centre, but after a while it's easy to learn which places aren't catered for people with hiking boots. I promise.

If anyone doesn't know the Marianne, she's the one holding the flag (and leading the fight): Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix.

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