Monday, April 8, 2013

Les Francais Miserables?

Depressed? Paranoid? Suicidal?
Ok, I knew they were whiners,
complainers about EVERYTHING. 
But how is it possible that with such INSPIRATIONAL ARCHITECTURE,

such gastronomic LUSCIOUSNESS,

such BEAUTY, 


MACARONS for heaven's sake,

and LADUREE...

and of course one must also mention the 
short work weeks, universal health care, five+ weeks of vacation,
cheese, red wine, Sauterne and foie gras
and on and on and on...
How is it possible that the French are considered 
the most depressed country
in all of Europe?

A recent study has shown that, even with the best of everything,
the French are the most unhappy, distrustful, depressed people.

Apparently the highest suicide rate in Europe, 
the highest number of anti-depressants eaten like bon bons,
according to a report by Claudia Senik of the Paris School of Economics, 
  is due to a lifetime of training that begins with primary school. 
Harshly critical teachers and heavy competition early on
create an atmosphere of low self-esteem, pessimism and distrust 
that lasts throughout their lives. 
Encouragement, praise and general cheerfulness are frowned upon
leaving an entire culture with a feeling of mediocrity and insignificance.  

And all this time, 
I thought their highly vocalized distaste for every other culture on the planet
was a national feeling of superiority.
But as usual, it's not really about us.
It's about them. 

Next time you see a French person on the street,
give them a warm smile 
(and disregard the scowl.) 
Apparently, they need it. 

To read more on the subject, 
go to Sophie Pilgrim's blog.

(Photos copyright: Kirsten Steen)


  1. Ohhhh....this is sad indeed. I work with many French people, and of all the French I have met, I only met ONE that was obviously very unhappy. But mes autres amis? SUPER. Everyone needs love and a smile and a second chance. Oh what a wonderful picture of what, CHENONCEAU?

    Kirsten my dear! Good to see you! I am so behind on my blog visits, but thank you so much for visiting. Anita

  2. So that's it? Jeez, what a crock. I really thought you could do better than......uh...oh my, I think I've become one of them...yikes, get me outta here!!!

  3. Kirsten,
    I'm so sorry to hear this, I didn't know. They have some of the most amazing buildings, churches, food, etc.

    Nel had the most memorable time there on her honeymoon recently. She will have memories that will last her a life time, and for that, I thank them all.

    You know, I've only tasted macarons at Trader Joes, but I want to try them at a fancy Parisian cafe. These pictures are gorgeous.

    Have a nice week.


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