July 4, 2008

Just Bitchin'

Over the last couple of weeks I've read a few posts from foreign bloggers living in France who have been bitching about other foreign bloggers living in France. The main bitch is that some foreign bloggers in France think that other foreign bloggers in France shouldn't be bitching about any aspect of life in France.
They should accept that they're living in a foreign country and that things are different here.

Fair enough.

I agree that here are a lot of silly things that foreigners living in France bitch about and that one should adapt.
But I had to comment on all this bitching because French bureaucracy, in my opinion, is always fair game.

And after a bit of research I realized that most of the foreign bloggers in France who are bitching about the foreign bloggers in France that bitch about France (you're following me, aren't you?) are all married to or living with French people.
i.e. They have no idea what it is like to come here alone or with a lover/spouse who isn't French and try to deal with French bureaucracy without that buffer.

Which is exactly what I've had to do.
And I just have to say, sometimes it ain't easy.

French bureaucracy keeps beating me up and knocking me to the ground. But I get up, dust myself off and go back for more. Because I absolutely love living here.

And sometimes I bitch about bureaucracy. I feel I have that right. Pin It


Pumpkin Pie said...

What is funny is that if you digg deep enough you will find that at least one of these same bloggers HAVE bitched about France. On top of that they are they never said one little word to their friends who bitched post after post about France or the French.

So, why are they now attacking particularly this one blogger who is a sweet person from what I have read on her blog. She is just not happy in France and stays because of her husband?

Are they jealous?

I think it is unfair and very highschool. But, I am not surprised given who they are.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

French bureaucracy would certainly knock me down, I can;t speak a word of French..sorry maybe 20 :-)

I haven't a clue who Pumpkin Pie is talking about..and unfortunately we women do go where are husbands go even if we are not happy...

Yes bitching is NOT GOOD...

Loulou said...

Of course they have complained! :)
It is normal.

When we lived in New Orleans we used to shake our heads in amazement and complain about the way things are run there.

And I have no idea who this one person is. There were other posts that I read, one of which may have been directed at me and my bitching as I try to apply for citizenship.
Doesn't really matter.
I just was feeling like getting some things off my chest, so what better place to get it out than here!

Loulou said...

Oh, bitching can be very cathartic! :)

Anonymous said...

Amen! Dealing with the French bureaucracy is much harder when neither of you is a native French speaker. And if you can't vent a ittle on your own blog, where can you do it?

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Your sooooo right ..we do need to get things off our chests..and as far as I am concerned, if I don;t like what some people have written, I leave their blog..its like TV, if you don;t like what you see, turn over or OFF :-)

Scintilla said...

I never bitch no no (Nose grows longer...).

Love the header photo!

Loulou said...


So true. Though I usually continue to read, just don't comment. :) Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

me neither... (nose growing)

I took that photo in Mougins last year. Glad you like it!

Kalyn said...


Go ahead and complain (I agree you have that right!)

Kirstin said...

I like hearing thoughts about the way countries run (negative or positive). It's how we learn about other cultures, governments, and in turn, how we learn about our own. Keep sharing, thanks.

Anonymous said...

WOW, what a great. Ron (NO)

wcs said...

Bitching is fun. Excessive public bitching is boring.

I've seen none of the latter on this blog! :)

Anonymous said...

The post you're talking about I thought was just way too harsh. The author has been here for eight years so...of course life is pretty normal after eight years y'know? I don't know who they were directing their post at, but I know I'm guilty of bitching, and at the very least calling 'rape' canola. I'm sure they changed the word for good reason..

Loulou said...

Thanks for agreeing with me! :)

This is a great place to vent my frustration with bureaucracy. And sometimes I get help/hints from other foreigners who have been through the same thing.
It has been and continues to be a learning experience!
Thanks for reading.

glad you commented darlin'!

Merci! I don't think I bitch excessively either. I have my moments though....

le tigre
It was pretty insensitive. If they didn't want to read this person's complaints about France, then why did they continue to read her blog?

I was also responding to what I think was a bitchy post partially directed at me.

L Vanel said...

Now that I've had a chance to go and see the post you were talking about... Let me get this straight. Someone wants to complain about people who are naturally reaching out for some support because they have had some difficulties? I don't get it. With the problems you've had, you have every right to let off some steam, my dear. I don't think anyone has any right to tell other people how to process their experience. You karma is clean.

So this particular expat never had a problem! I wish back when I was struggling I had the network of friends who have been through or are going through some of the hurdles I have faced. I am happy to lend a hand and help when someone needs some support or help. Don't worry, there's no need to worry about anyone who cares about you ever taking offense.

Loulou said...

merci mon amie!

I think it is so great that a network like this exists for newcomers to France or those struggling with bureaucracy, etc. I've had some fabulous help from people who read this blog and have been generous with both their time and advice. And I've tried to help out others in return.

When I have frustrations and need to bitch, I will continue to do it here!

Walter said...

So, how do you say bitchin in French?

Nice pictures.


Dragonlife said...

Robert-Gilles from Shizuoka City, Japan!
I wouldn't worry too much if I were you!
There are so many other things to write and read about than some bloggers' misdirected gripes. As a frenchman in Japan (32 years) I may have become wiser as the Japanese bureaucracy does lose to the French one!
Oh well,... (Fleetwood Mac, 1967)you are positive, pragamatic and down to earth and live with it or you may never enjoy that short life of yours!
In Great Britain they have real ale, in Bourgogne (my home), they have wine, in Japan they have sake. Just point them to theirnext glass and they will thank you!
Incidentally, very beautiful pictures!

Loulou said...

I have no idea! Anyone else know?
Glad you like the photos. Thanks for stopping by to say hi. :)

Thank you for your kind comment.
So, the next time someone wants to be bitchy I'll just have another glass of wine (and ignore them!).
I'm happy to get such great comments about the photos.

katiez said...

Apparently I have missed out on all the fun....
All I have to add is: if my French neighbors bitch, why can't I?
Isn't is all part of being 'French'?

spacedlaw said...

You have my full understanding. Although I must say they are a peach compared to Italian administration...

Anonymous said...

This post makes me want to say this...

You go girl! *snaps in a Z-fomation*

Loulou said...

Yes, you have! Such bitchy fun! :)
Our neighbors bitch too. One favorite expression is, "C'est catastrophe!"
I love that.

i cannot image what Italian bureaucracy is like but you must need some good bitching sessions too!

Merci! It's my party and I can bitch if I want to. (or something like that...)

Alison said...

I don't know what I would have done without my ex-husband to help me with all the bureaucracy -- and that was even in the earlyish 90s, when things were easier (back then, we only complained about the loi Pasqua and the loi Toubon).

Even when I was fully integrated in France, I'd still have a bitch session every once in a while with my best American friend over there. We just needed to vent. It's normal.

Anyway, there's a fine line, I guess.

Linda said...

I couldn't have made it here without my French husband to be, as you put it so well, my buffer. It's a great country but like any other has its difficult things to deal with.

Loulou said...

Yes, there is a fine line. :)
I would have loved to have had a French husband to help me wade through all the paperwork.
Since I don't I have moments where I let off steam!

Yes, a buffer is exactly what a French spouse would be. Someone who understands the subtlety of the language and knows how to work the system here.
We've learned some after five years but there have been many difficult lessons!