A to Z, how to become a true French... for the summer : B for blasé


B for Blasé Blasé, be blasé (be jaded, nonchalant, cool, bored, detached weary).  It is a very noticeable French attitude not to look excited at all when you are happy, in case people take advantage of this surge of enthusiasm or think that you are naïve and hence stupid.

This stone face which you may strategically wear when negociating the price of a flat or of an antique is a kind of marque de fabrique of Frenchness. Should you be overexcited « oh my god », « awsome », you would instantly lose your nationality and be mistaken for an American or « brilliant » for a hypocritical Brit. You should use the following terms à propos everything «  pas mal » ( great) (gorgeous) « pas bête » (very clever) « Ça pourrait marcher » (it is going to work fantastically). Then you need to briser la glace, break the ice with the  French counterpart. Mind you the French art of negativeness should not be mistaken for  British understatement.

In many bi-cultural blogs, the fact that the French do not like the Americans is a recurring complaint. The reality is a bit more subtle.    The French do not hate the Americans;  rather they envy them for their spontaneity, for not having had war on their territory, like a kid in a divorced home looking at a wealthy happy family.

Historians say that this negativeness may be connected to the fact that the French never recovered from Napoleon I's golden age and the fact that for after WWII and de Gaulle, the French were lured in thinking France was a major actor on the world stage and hence this official scepticism. Once your parents lied to you who can you believe ? Now that you know that this disagreable attitude is not directly targeted at you and has deep roots, you can relax and break the ice. 

Maroney and Barack Obama acting like the French

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