France

Japanese Invasion of France Repelled…

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…by the shocking rudeness of French waiters and taxi drivers. Apparently a large enough number of innocent Japanese tourists, heads filled with romantic visions, find the grim realities of Paris so devastating to their fragile, polite psyches that a name has been given to the condition–"Paris Syndrome."

The Japanese embassy, a handful of times a year, apparently has to send their mentally strained citizens back to the homeland with doctors and nurses aboard to mind them. As with any "syndrome" that is in fact an understandable, if eccentric, reaction to circumstances, the "cure" is–to get out of Paris and don't come back.

The far more interesting "Jerusalem Syndrome"–religious delusions suddenly overtaking travelers to the Holy Land–discussed here.

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  1. I have no desire whatsoever to visit Paris (or France for that matter) and I never really have.

    Phuk the phrogs.

  2. Now that the warmongers are eating crow, can we go back to mocking the French, together?

    It was always something that unified Americans, and it was a real shame when it was exploited for partisan purposes.

  3. Phuk the phrogs.

    I say the same to Laphroaig. “Peat” is not a flavor meant to be tasted by man.

  4. joe, I thought we were mocking the Japanese, right?

  5. “It was always something that unified Americans, and it was a real shame when it was exploited for partisan purposes.”

    Damn straight. After hearing my liberal democrat father mock the French my whole life, it was very amusing to see him defending them in the run up to the Iraq war. I can’t wait to return to the status quo.

    Then again, I’d like to visit Paris some time. My sister (who doesn’t really like the French that much either; she prefers the Swiss and the Germans) says the best meals she’s ever eaten were served there. I’d best get over there before they completely trade the baguettes for pita.

  6. Why must you folks capitalize ‘france’ and ‘french’ as if they are proper nouns?

    You speak of them as if they were human.

  7. Postmodern Sleaze,

    The only time I wish to visit ‘france’ is to accept their surrender and begin domestication.

    However, if you are visiting before me, please accept a plastic butter knife as the weapon of choice that will produce white flags from the Channel to Germany.

    I trust the whomever arrives first will share power over the beasts and vermin with the other.

  8. No, Guy, I’m sure I read somewhere that, long ago, they were human. They have evolved, of course. They could not be as so-phee-sticated as they are otherwise. We may mock the French, but when push comes to shove, the French will always…..well….be French.

  9. Anyway, they are being bred out by the Arabs. I believe I read that 1 of 6 French citizens are now of Islamic Arabic descent. Ande they’re rapidly outbreeding their hosts.

    One day, not too long from now, people who are allowed in will miss the French. Tant pis pour nous.

  10. “After hearing my liberal democrat father mock the French my whole life, it was very amusing to see him defending them in the run up to the Iraq war.”

    Gee, now why would he do that? Did he bring them up all on his own?

    You just had to go and try to make “cheese-eating surrendur monkey” into some kind of political statement, didn’t you? Oh, well. It’s good to see that era of history go the way communism, the dodo, and taking weriously people who take political taling points from the Weekly Standard.

  11. the warmongers are eating crow

    In your fantasy world, joe. Lost elections don’t change the minds of principled individuals, regardless of the validity of those principles. I honestly think most lefties and oddly most of the readers of this blog are desperately hoping for Coalition defeat, which is pretty sick when you think about it. Not that this has anything to do with rude waiters and rich sauces.

  12. It’s time once again for my obligatory “the French are all right” comment.

    I have visited Paris. I know some French people. In every experience I have had with French people, I have never encountered anyone rude. They are a little stand-offish and reluctant to speak English, but always extremely polite.
    Japanese people, on the other hand…
    At the Louvre, I saw Japanese tourists walking up to ancient Roman or Greek statues (in the same room as the Venus de Milo), grabbing the hands of the statue and pulling on them.

  13. Ah, er, umm…

    This is kind of difficult to say.

    I mean, it’s not illegal or anything.

    But, I’m a F-

    a Fr-

    a F

    a F-r-a-n-c-o-p-h-i-l-e.

  14. Dr. Bar-El: “We have now here a woman, she was picked up by the police after she kicked and beat some persons at the side of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. They asked why and she says: ‘I am the Prophetess of the Olive Tree and I am a very powerful person. I announce the immediate arrival of Jesus Christ.’ This woman is here in a terrible anxiety state. She said that she must be out, under the influence of the sun and the moon and by this influence her branches will grow green. This is the symbol of the immediate arrival of Jesus Christ.

    Sounds like somebody dosed her Manichewitz.

  15. Simon,

    Look maaaaaaaaaaan, stay off the ‘tussin, it ain’t helping you!

    The french are not human, france is not a country (it is the west coast of Germany) and french is not a language.

    Did you think french was a language? HA! It has always been a silly joke pulled on society by graduate students in university Romance Language departments. Yes, the joke has spread, like that ‘global warming’ prank that Al Gore fell for. It is like an Andy Kaufman stunt in a massage parlor or like Jimmy Carter ‘writing’ a book about mideast peace.

    It is like Greenpiece stewarding the environment from their little geeky pleasure ship.

    Actually, the only good act attributible to the so-called french since 1066 was the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior in New Zeland. That act is suspected by some to have actually been committed by Greenpiece as a fund raising prank gone bad, or to the Weatherman Underground members on the boat and another bad example of their sloppy bomb making.

    No, silly person, france is not real, the french are not people and random silly noises do not a language make.

    I suggest sticking to your Klingon language tapes, eating Italian food and driving MOPAR.

  16. Rich sauces? I’ll go to India. Great wine? I’ll go to Italy. Beautiful women? Any Slavic country. But, good music? I’ll go to France.

  17. and the Japanese tourists push their way through crowds.
    and take a lot of pictures.
    and they’re short.
    and they bombed Pearl Harbor.

  18. You know, as much fun as it is to mock the French, they helped us defeat the British and gave us the Statue of Liberty.

  19. french bashing is so damned pathetic. “paris syndrome”? rude waiters? are the people reporting these experiences visiting a cheap caricature?

    i was there at the height of the acrimony of the iraq adventure and found nothing but helpful strangers who gave us directions, helped us navigate the metro, etc.

    yet now that i think about it, at no point did anyone bend over backward to kiss my ass and accomodate my cultural sensitivites. what a bunch of rude ingrates! if it weren’t for us they’d be speaking german blah blah blah!

    “Actually, the only good act attributible to the so-called french since 1066 was the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior in New Zeland.”

    Lafayette who?

  20. Is that Thoreau or someone stealing his handle for parody?

    😉

  21. Actually, the only good act attributible to the so-called french since 1066 was the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior in New Zeland.

    Yeah, I’m pretty sure they’ve been regretting Yorktown for several years now.

  22. downstater and thoreau (if that is your real handle),

    Please, as entertaining as you both are, give up with your fictional rantings.

  23. Rich sauces? I’ll go to India. Great wine? I’ll go to Italy. Beautiful women? Any Slavic country. But, good music? I’ll go to France.

    Two of those judgments do not compute.
    Rich sauces in India? Rich=cream. Cream=milk. Milk=cow (usually). Cow?India.
    Good music?French music. Even the French know that.

  24. highnumber,

    Some judge their music by the smell and the hair growing on the media.

    Not my choices, but to each their own for taste NOT facts.

  25. Highnumber,

    Um, Ghee not rich?? Comes from cow.

    Good music not French?? Django, Saint-Saens, Piaf, Berlioz, Satie, Debussey???

    You crazy!

  26. Son of al: Leave Laphroaig out of this please. It is, after all, the second best single malt Scotch whiskey. 😉

  27. I think the Indians use cocoanut milk. But French music? Yeah, it basically…well…sucks.

  28. Simon,

    Indians do use coconut milk. And a lot of ghee. That’s pure clarified butter. About as rich as it gets.

  29. I agree kohlrabi. But about the music; any examples of good French music LESS than a century ago?…..

  30. …and I don’t agree Edith Piaf counts as “good”.

  31. Simon,

    Don’t fall for that music baiting nonsense. Yes, most of G_ds creatures make sound, humans make music.

    Also, that term ‘frenchmen’ is just a marketing ploy, ripping off of the English “Englishmen” and overlayed onto a species that has not yet been properly classified.

  32. Um, OK, Guy.

  33. “any examples of good French music LESS than a century ago?…..”

    Django Reinhardt, Serge Gainsbourg? I get the point though, so, touch

  34. kohlrabi,

    You win, but I don’t find Indian sauce to be rich like French sauce. Maybe it’s the region that I am familiar with.
    Excuse me for the music comment, as well. My mind went immediately to pop music. French pop is awful. They have to force the radio stations to play it.

  35. hi#,

    French pop? See, I block that out. French pop is kinda like post-1975 Yes or Godfather 3. You just pretend it doesn’t exist.

  36. downstater,

    Guy (french name?)

    NEIN! See last name.

    Also, keep assuming that this is my real name 🙂

  37. “In your fantasy world, joe.”

    Yes, face-thingy-guy, it’s only in my fantasy world that support for the war has collapsed even among its former supporters. BTW, yesterday it was Rich Lowry who admitted he and his side were full of crap.

    “Lost elections don’t change the minds of principled individuals, regardless of the validity of those principles.” Then you’ve got a remarkable number of unprincipled individuals supporting this war, since they’re fleeing from it like rats froma sinking ship.

    “I honestly think most lefties and oddly most of the readers of this blog are desperately hoping for Coalition defeat…” I honestly think this sick accusation marks you as a fool just as effectively as a scarlet F on your forehead. That I could see this disaster coming years before you doesn’t mean I wanted it.

  38. “Also, keep assuming that this is my real name :)”

    well, if it’s not your real name, i am left to assume that you chose a traditionally french moniker out of your own affinity for the french language. i mean, why not “klaus montag”? 😉

    in all seriousness, i often wonder how those who undoubtedly espouse some sort of deep respect for the founding fathers of this country think the founding fathers would react to their complete disrespect to a national hero like lafayette.

  39. I honestly think most lefties and oddly most of the readers of this blog are desperately hoping for Coalition defeat

    No, we are looking at one.

  40. downstater,

    I very much liked the movie and the character, but I did not name him.

  41. downstater,

    Sorry for not noticing that you made the trifecta. Fake name, fake character, fake language.

    QED

  42. ha! okay, very well then.

    joyeaux noel, guy!

  43. I went to France with a school group a number of years ago, and absolutely loved it. The French had a tendency to be assholes, but really only in 2 situations. The first was when it was a giant group of us, clutching fannypacks and cameras, speaking loudly and getting in everyones way. The second was when someone would expect them to speak English and know exactly what they were saying. I spoke very broken French, and all of the shopkeepers, waiters, etc. I met seemed genuinely relieved that I at least spoke enough of their language to communicate, and most were willing to help me if I needed it. I really don’t think that this is all that much different from the way that a lot of Americans feel towards those from other countries. Perhaps Japanese (and other) tourists just need to learn to be slightly less obnoxious.

  44. I spoke very broken French, and all of the shopkeepers, waiters, etc. I met seemed genuinely relieved that I at least spoke enough of their language to communicate, and most were willing to help me if I needed it.

    I had the same experience, although calling what I spoke “very broken French” is being far too kind. Everyone I met would try to keep the conversation French, but once they realized how futile that was, they would switch to their rather good English. Rather than be insulted by their reluctance to speak English, I felt that it was a compliment to me that they overestimated my language skills.

  45. In Paris last year for my honeymoon, my new bride was deathly ill. Most of the locals were gracious and helpful. One night at a restaurant, the wife completely lost her appetite. When I explained that the food was good but the wife was ill, the manager gave us a bag full of croissants and pains au chocolat for a late-night snack, since she was bound to get hungry later.

    Of course, knowing the lingo helps a lot. But try getting around Omaha (or even New York) speaking only French.

  46. In the very brief time I have spent in Paris, everyone was extremly nice and friendly.

  47. All right, all right, this don’t have to turn into no Frenchie loveathon.

    Come on, let’s hate on the Japanese!

  48. Hey, say what you will about the French, but if it hadn’t been for their help in the 18th century, we’d all be speaking, well…English right now… 🙂

    – R

  49. Never had trouble in Paris, but particularly didn’t have trouble in Rennes. Nice University city in the rainy northwest, where you are as likely to find a Breton of Celtic descent who is mildly-to-moderately resentful of denizens of the Ile-de-France.

    Bretons are much less like French persons than most anywhere else in France. Bonus: they have a long history of independence from the French state, in whatever form. The Parliament of Bretagne still stands in Rennes.

  50. “Gee, now why would he do that? Did he bring them up all on his own? You just had to go and try to make “cheese-eating surrendur monkey” into some kind of political statement, didn’t you? Oh, well. It’s good to see that era of history go the way communism, the dodo, and taking weriously people who take political taling points from the Weekly Standard.”

    Oh, come now. I think I used “cheese-eating surrender monkey” once, and merely because I found it amusing. I didn’t necessarily say my father was defending the french in arguments with me; in fact, I opposed the war from the beginning, and attended several protests. Don’t even think about calling me a “neocon”, ’cause I sure as hell ain’t. For one, I’m 25. For two, I’m not Jewish. For three, I’d never be caught dead in a bow tie.

    So please, take it to NRO where it belongs. 😉

  51. The French vs. the Japanese — how do they compare?

    Inspiring cry that should have led to triumph, but did not: “Laissez faire!” or “Banzai!”? Point: France.

    Inspiring cry that should not have led to triumph, but did: “Liberte, equalite, fraternite!” or “To-ra, to-ra, to-ra!”? Point: Japan.

    Fetish-inducing female clothing: French maid or geisha? Point: France.

    Sexual innovation: French kissing or Japanese bondage? Point: France.

    Beverage: Champagne or sake? Point: France.

    Media: French cinema or Japanese anime? Point: Japan.

    Bewilderingly persistent and omnipresent cultural figure: Mime or giant robot? Point: Japan.

    Emblematic towering structure: Eiffel Tower or tori gates? Point: France.

    Emblematic sharp thingy: Guillotine or samurai sword? Point: Japan.

    Miniature miserable misshapen creatures: French poodles or bonzai trees? Point: Japan.

    I have to conclude that it’s a tie.

  52. Stevo,

    Bonsai trees.

  53. We did a week in Paris and a week in Rome for our honeymoon last year.

    Paris was great. Except for one negative experience with a waiter in a sidewalk cafe in the Marais, everyone was pleasant, helpful, and tolerant of my very very bad French. They were all so pleased that I even bothered to try, and were willing to switch over to English when I looked confused, before switching back to French to give me another try.

    Rome was… vile. I’m a Roman historian by training, and it’s a good thing I was completely enthralled by the city itself, and its history, because the Romans were wretched. Again, one exception — a great little neighborhood restaurant with a very enthusiastic chef who took our menus away, because he’d gotten some fresh fish in and wanted us to try it.

    Huh. It’s almost like… you can’t really make generalized judgements about people based on their nationality. Who would have thought?

  54. Oh my GAWD! I am now surrounded by Liberl Arts, er, Arts and Sciences slackers from Rafters at the University of Tennessee!

    JFC, the next thing I will be reading is how that so-called ‘metric’ system is superior to straight just because literature majors don’t like fractions.

  55. Huh. It’s almost like… you can’t really make generalized judgements about people based on their nationality.

    Except the Japanese.
    and the Canadians.
    and Puerto Ricans (who aren’t actually a nationality, they’re Americans, sort of, but some of them want to be their own nationality, but that ain’t going to happen, unless they threaten us with knives, because those Puerto Ricans are really good in a knife fight.)

  56. highnumber,

    You can’t make statements about individuals based on tendendcies of groups. That’s just racism.

    Take Puerto Ricans and knife fighting – sure, Puerto Ricans like to fight in groups, but that doesn’t mean any individual Puerto Rican is going to be good at knife fighting.

    Jeez, stop being such a racist.

  57. let us not conflate “french” with “parisian.” the french are the kindest, warmest, most generous people on earth. paris, otoh, is the dogshit and grafitti capitol of europe; the people live like rats and have the corrsponding attitude. the best food is in lyon for sure. the most beautiful scenery is in alsace. the best beaches… well, just about anywhere in the south.

    paris? feh.

    disclaimer: i’ve visited france about 50 or 60 times, worked there on and off, and speak french (not superbly, but well enough that they did not subtitle me when i was interviewed on tv).

    gm: love the bradbury ref.

  58. and another thing- i’ve spent a fair amount of time in japan. what a horrible place and the food is worse.

  59. Hey! I’m sitting here in Japan at this very moment.

    There was a report about this “syndrome” a couple of months ago, but no one I talked to had ever heard of it, including people who have been to France. It’s purely a foreign invention.

    And Japanese food doesn’t suck, though it’s a bit soft sometimes. So fuck you Edna.

  60. I’ve pretty much enjoyed myself everywhere I’ve gone, which entails five continents. People like Bailey who have their scotch rankings inverted, however, really, really piss me off.

  61. Will Allen,

    The last foreign country I visited was Washington, DC for the Reason gathering a few weeks ago. Everybody was quite nice and they all spoke human.

    I hope they move the next gathering to VA so we can be free to smoke if the establishment allows and the patrons wish to.

    The only other foreign soil I have been on is Alabama (Army Aviation related, mostly) and California (other Defense related).

    I prefer Tennessee, the greenest State in the land of the free.

    Even when traveling from here in Arlington County, VA there are signs on I-95 south and I-66 west that say “You are now entering the American sector”.

  62. The French are lovely, wonderful people.

    Parisians are assholes.

    It’s like judging all Americans based on New Yorkers. (I’m a New Yorker and proud of it, but I’ll be the first to admit we’re far brusquer than everyone else in this country).

  63. I once saw a bit of fluff on TV news about a school for Japanese businessmen preparing to visit the U.S. It desensitizes them to all of the forms of American behavior that the Japanese find most objectionable. Among the things they’re exposed to are excessively casual forms of address, loud talking, and being touched without permission.

    Also on the American/East Asian culture shock front: One reason Wal-Mart is doing so badly in China is the whole greeter thing. Not only are they overly intrusive from the Chinese standpoint, but anyone who smiles for no good reason is viewed as an idiot.

  64. “Not only are they overly intrusive from the Chinese standpoint, but anyone who smiles for no good reason is viewed as an idiot.”

    When it comes to North American politicians, I gotta admit they’re bang on.

  65. When it comes to North American politicians, I gotta admit they’re bang on.

    So, the South American politians a brilliant when they smile?

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