Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The French

As a Meeter and Greeter for Plumstead's largest employer, I am used to dealing with the diverse and colourful local community, but I must admit one recent phenomenon I do have trouble with is the French, of whom there appear to be increasing numbers locally.

What I don’t understand is why their first words to you are invariable “I am French……” It throws me every time, am I supposed to be in awe of such a revelation. I know that I always have to resist the temptation to offer my condolences.

Do they expect me to speak to them in French? A tough ask of an Englishman who got unclassified in his O level in 1978.

Does anybody speak French outside of France, and a bit of Switzerland and Belgium, the poor part of Canada and French Ex-Colonies?

Why are so many French people coming to Plumstead?

Would love to know the answer to these questions


At 2:16 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe they are all coming to open up a Boulangerie and introduce cafe culture to the Plumstead upon Thames high street? I am seeing flea markets, and french street markets and a world full of berets! do you work for some secret service employer? i wasnt aware plumstead had such a large employer

At 7:03 pm, Blogger sibonetic said...

Well if that's why they are here then I am all for it, but I fear its because they can't get a job in their stagnating economy. Not sure about the Berets, don't think I have ever seen anyone who looks good in a Beret.

Didn't say my employer was large, just the largest in Plumstead. Nothing secret about it, in fact my Job title is Information Officer, so you couldn't really get any less secret than that.

At 10:36 am, Blogger Nigel said...

So hand over the information then!

At 10:41 am, Blogger sibonetic said...

Not council, though we do have a big contract with them, which may or may not be renewed, if it isn't that will upset a lot of residents, especially the middle classes, but that's a whole different issue.........

At 12:58 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you sure the French aren't Somalians? They are an ex-French Colony (I think)

At 1:34 pm, Blogger sibonetic said...

No, not Somalians, but French people born in France, who always announce 'I am French........' as their opening sentence.

French speakers from other nations don't do it, they are quite normal, only people born in France!!

found this on the internet about Somalia's colonial past:-

'The French, British and Italians came to Somalia in the late 19th century.

The British claimed British Somaliland as a protectorate in 1886 after the withdrawal of Egypt and the treaty with Warsangeli clan. Egypt sought to prevent European colonial expansion in Northeast Africa. The southern area, claimed by Italy in 1889, became known as Italian Somaliland. The northernmost stretch became part of the French Territory of Afars and Issas, also known as French Somaliland, until it later achieved independence as Djibouti.'


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