Rather fun

Last couple of days there’ve been a couple of pieces about being a student doing languages with a gap year abroad. You know, go to Italy so you actually learn how to speak Italian.

One for France, another for Italy. Both marvel at and complain bitterly about the bureaucracy.

Hmm. So, Italy and France are places with lovely weather, nice people, good food and lousy, lousy, governance.

Great, the solution being to share the weather, food, booze, people and not the governance then, right?

Be part of Europe and not the European Union…..

12 thoughts on “Rather fun”

  1. It’s being driven by that poisonous little shit Malema; and it’s all about the ANC getting votes for next year’s elections. Facts and logic and fairness don’t come into it. There is also, amazingly, a close correlation between the areas being stolen and mineral deposits.

  2. Daughter did her year abroad in Northern France teaching little kids…. being in the North the weather was lousy, the people surly and the food mostly served with Chips ‘n’ Beer….. much like the North of the UK really, apart from the fact that our Northerners are the ‘salt of the earth’, obviously.

    And the governance, as she would attest most vociferously…. bloody awful.

    Her take on France ‘OK place to visit’ (she used to go Lille for entertainment) ‘shit place to live’.

  3. We have had, for a couple of years, young Swiss people coming across – late school age, so only for a couple of weeks or a month. To practice English.

    We do warn the parents about the difference between RP, American, and the tepid version of Glaswegian that is the lingo around here.

  4. @Surreptitious Evil – my (Swiss) assistant at work did exactly that in the 80’s. Put on 20kg in the months she was in Blighty, which must have been impressive on her 5’2″ frame!

  5. Oi Shiney! Stop dissin’ my adopted home town. But your daughter’s correct in one regard. Les Flamandes are to all intents English who speak forrin’. Except the English of half a century or more ago. Sure of & comfortable with who they are. Invariably polite. But they’re not particularly French.
    Teaching French kids must have been a revelation. I used to walk the dog on the village football field they cross on the way to the junior school. Always got a “Bon jour, Monsieur” as they passed, right from the first day I started. And the village is notable for zero graffiti or vandalism
    True Lille’s not known for its fleshpots. On the other hand, it’s probably the safest big city I’ve ever lived in. Les Flamandes get pissed in a good natured jovial way. Doesn’t run to the drunken brawling yobs infest so many English town centres weekend nights.

  6. And so British bureaucracy is so fucking fantastic?

    It might be marginally less shit, and for entrepreneurs and business owners a little less punitive, but the direction of travel is the same and that is due to the British civil service and government happily adopting and gold plating all the authoritarian boilerplate that comes from bruscles and everywhere else.

    And, yes gold plated boiler plate is fucking costly.

    Also the police and tax fascists in the UK are some way ahead in abandoning the wonderful british values handed down to them compared to the carabineri at least who although nominally military, are in fact decent human beings and an upholder of italian values, the proper decent ones that is (at least in my, fortunately limited, experience).

    Not for nothing is the British copper called PC plod.

    So yes on balance I’ll settle for great weather beautiful scenery, hot well dressed totty, glorious food and a generally laid back interface with the goverance.

  7. I’m with bloke in Italy. I lived in italy for 3 years. The best approach to the governance is not to do it.

  8. BiS: Les Flamandes get pissed in a good natured jovial way. Do they come up to strangers and say “Are you looking for company, dearie?” or do they go home to their men?

  9. Yep. Superfluous e, TMB. I’m hopeless at writing French. Not the way I learned it.

    But they do seem to be a decent bunch. Walking through the local town when they were having the town fair, got accosted by a character in a bear suit.(The animal’s on the town flag.) Leader of a gang of serious drinkers. Was required to quaff a large mug of the local brew. Tagged along with them for a while. But it was a bit like being in Germany. They managed to be both enthusiastically drunk while still being polite & considerate. England, you’d give a crew like that a wide berth knowing it’s as likely as not to turn nasty at some point.

  10. @BIS

    Oh don’t get me wrong…. she liked Lille. Just not the place where she was stationed.

    And true – the bureaucratic direction of travel here is more ‘Roman code’ than us Brits would like – sooner we Brexit, the better.

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