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To cringe at an English family abroad?

24 replies

Quattrocento · 16/07/2007 20:27

By way of background ....

At the table next to us at lunch today there was an English family. I knew they were English because they were talking VERY LOUDLY and VERY SLOWLY at the lovely waitress whom we have got to know quite well. They were treating her as though she were some form of educationally subnormal person for not knowing English. Without making any sort of effort at all.

They were also wearing Crocs. All of them. I hasten to add I am (or was) agnostic on the subject of crocs. Until today.

OP posts:

hatrickjacqueline · 16/07/2007 20:29

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Quattrocento · 16/07/2007 20:33

You think the Crocs were not relevant? Good, was thinking they would be very useful tbh.

Do you not think that only English people don't even try just a little bit in the foreign language? Or am I being a bit unpatriotic and unfair?

OP posts:

Kathyis6incheshigh · 16/07/2007 20:34

Which country?
I don't know about unpatriotic, but you're making quite a sweeping statement


LeafTurner · 16/07/2007 20:35

Crocs utterly irrelevant. We all wear Crocs - but WE are not rude.

The rudeness is the issue - not the footwear !


Quattrocento · 16/07/2007 20:36

France, only France. Surely everyone can manage a s'il vous plait?

OP posts:

lapsedrunner · 16/07/2007 20:37

Crocs is a bit of a sweeping statement me thinks. They are also popular amongst the natives here Austria


kittywits · 16/07/2007 20:38

I wish there wasn't so much "English bashing" going on. They were obvious to you because you were tuned into the language.

I have have been near some pretty offensively loud foreigners before who were not in the slightest bit aware of of how intrusive their general 'shouting' was.


CristinaTheAstonishing · 16/07/2007 20:39

I read a family wearing crocs being compared with a family all clad in shellsuits. (I won't say where I read that but I had a good reason to buy it )


SSSandy2 · 16/07/2007 20:39

They do try sometimes. I'm overseas and I can spot a Brit a mile off because I've got a practised eye for diff nationalities these days. I find the ones I see here are generally quiet, very quiet, unobtrusive and tentative. (I'm not around when they're getting pissed mind you). Sometimes I want to go up and tell them "it's ok you're here, you needn't look so apologetic about it". They don't shout at anyone when I'm around.

What I find a bit hard to take can be the Russian tourists. Not all of course but some can seem spectacularly rude to service staff. I've been grabbed quite often when I've just been out shopping minding my own business and told they want this or that and they expect you to potter off and organise it for them - which I generally do. No comparison.


hatrickjacqueline · 16/07/2007 20:40

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mytwopenceworth · 16/07/2007 20:42

Oh I LOVE that.

you don't speak English so I'll SHOUT.

Cos the extra decibels act as a translation device. Obviously.



Quattrocento · 16/07/2007 20:52

My2p - yes that was the scenario - was seriously considering pretending to be australian or something - except DH has very white legs and very red face - a combination that is so obviously english ... That and we had already fessed up.

OP posts:

chocolatedot · 16/07/2007 20:54

Perhaps the family had previously had the same experience that we and hundreds of other English families have had holidaying in France i.e. attempting to converse in good but not perfect French and being met with very patronising English.


StripeyBroomstickSpottyWand · 16/07/2007 20:54

Agree that they should try and at least say merci. But its better that they speak slowly rather than fast if they're not sure how well the waitress speaks English. Although I'm sure she was probably fluent, most French people have excellent English.

I always speak French when in France, but quite often the French person will say "its ok, I speak English". I can manage ok and be understood but I'm sure its a bit painful for the poor French person.

My spansh on the other hand is non exsistent. But when I went to Spai nwe had a phrasebook and I attempted to order every meal in Spanish. Didn't always got what I ordered which made for some interesting meals!


IsabelWatchingItRainInMacondo · 16/07/2007 20:55

FWIW I feel ashamed of many people when they are are away of their country.

TBH most tourists don't do their homework or at least try to respect the local culture, for many, a trip abroad is not to apreciate unusual marvellous things but to think the rest of the world is stupid for not doing things the way they do.


IsabelWatchingItRainInMacondo · 16/07/2007 20:56

And I'm not talking only of the English. I feel like hiding under a table in shame for things I have heard my co nationals say


mytwopenceworth · 16/07/2007 20:59

I particularly like it when someone is abroad and refers to the locals as The Forrinerrrs.

Yes, erm, love. That would actually be you.


ChudleyMintonCanons · 16/07/2007 21:07

christinatheastonishing - enjoy your prince CD ? DH did the same


CristinaTheAstonishing · 16/07/2007 22:07

That's how far my "principles" go


redtoenails · 16/07/2007 22:15

crocs are laminate flooring for the feet!


StarryStarryNight · 16/07/2007 22:16

Cristina, get yourself back to the meetup thread! LOL - We are discussing when and where!


Quattrocento · 16/07/2007 22:17

Oh gosh, so not like jelly sandals and good to protect small feet (and big feet too) from the pebbles on the beach?

A style faux-pas? They do seem very practical to me. On the beach obviously. You wouldn't want to wear your solid oak flooring on the beach now would you?

OP posts:

MadEyeMisdee · 16/07/2007 22:23

currently wearing crocs, and have laminate flooring [walks off]


helenhismadwife · 17/07/2007 13:17

crocs are irrelevant rudeness is inexcuseable please and thank you are essential and surely everyone knows those.

mind you I talk slowly when I am ordering stuff not because I am being patronising or rude just trying to get my french right.

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