Thursday, 26 January 2017

Travelogue of a frenchxit

Antoine Le Bras, French intern who has joined Market Dojo for 8 weeks shares his feelings and his analysis of his first days in our beautiful country.

It only took an hour to discover the grey sky of the United Kingdom. When I arrived, I was shocked by the gentlemanly spirit. In France, people don’t care about people, we are very independent and in my opinion, mostly selfish. In my experience in the UK, when people have issues, others try to understand your difficulties and try to help you. In France, we see but often we don’t even bother to try to understand.

After taking a small train on tracks in Birmingham and another train to New Street, I had to fight against the British train station. Why? Because there are lots of trains with lots of different tracks and on one track you have differents numbers for the different train stops! So much, almost too much to factor in when you're waiting for your train.


It is after this adventure, that I arrived in the good city. Since arrived I was disturbed by a few things. Firstly, you drive left on the road! Your steering wheel is on the right! And when you want to cross the street you need to check your right first. It is hard to do the opposite. Please, drive on the same side like all the European Union’s countries… Oh, I probably shouldn’t say that!

My journey lasts 8 weeks, 8 weeks of eating hundreds of different types of crisps  (I have already tried mature cheddar with red onion but it is an acquired taste).

I would like during the trip to go to London for a weekend, discovering the capital. To see landmarks of London like the London Eye, the Tower Bridge, Westminster palace and of course Big Ben…

My ambition is also to watch a football match in a Stadium. To feel the passion, the strength, to hear football songs and thrill with fifty-thousand people.

I have found that when I talk about my beautiful country and our traditional food, it is often perceived with a lot of stereotypes. Firstly, we don’t eat snails and frogs everyday or have a baguette in the kitchen  or have mouldy cheese in the fridge. We don’t wear a berets but yes, you are right. We are grumpy people and we become grumpy for no reason! But… we have a strong history and as we like to think, one of the best cuisines in the world. I do now and always will miss eating a traditional baguette with salted butter caramel from Guérande (if you haven't tried it, you must it!), crepe, and all the other wonderful things of France.

One of the things that I have noticed since the beginning of my trip, was that your British houses all look the same, I find it very disturbing. But set apart from all of the crazy cultural differences, what stands out is  the music, your music. Before my trip, I was thinking that we have the same music with the same artists, everthing similar. However I was totally wrong. The first thing I heard when walking into a supermarket was the music, a different sound then you would hear in France.

If I have to conclude now, I would say you have a beautiful country, with so careful, outgoing and drunky people, I will never forget this trip, this adventure. But please, let me see the sunshine sometime!  

Stay tuned for to hear more about my adventures!
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  1. Quite funny. The houses all look the same? Yes, they do in places. Drive on the right? No, no. Driving on the left makes more sense because most people are right handed so holding the steering wheel with the right hand makes sense. Yes, very little sunshine during the winter months. Pronouncing English words can be difficult for foreigners because they are often spelt differently to how they sound. For example, pronounce "Lieutenant", the army officer rank. No, it is not Loo-tenant, though the Americans pronounce it like that. In the UK, "Lieutenant" is pronounced Leff-tenant. Strange isn't it.

  2. Hello Stephen.

    Thanks for reading the blog. Drive on the right? Yes, your idea makes sense although it is still unusual for me.

    In France, we also learn there are different words for the same thing in the English language. That American and British pronunciation is very different, I've already been told off for saying words likes hallway, vacation and sidewalk. Seems strange that the English have lost control of their own language...