Is speaking French Posh? [PART 2]

In 2008, I wrote a post about the perception people in England have about speaking French and what, for some of them,  it means in term of standard, status or just "class".

At the time, I was working for IBM UK as an analyst in a busy work place surrender by managers, consultants, software and hardware sales people, who on average were making roughly over £85K a year. One of the think I learned during my time at IGF (IBM Global Finance) was that people who know that they earn way more money than you are, drive an expensive car and own a bigger house than you, look at themselves as superior as you and more educated that you will never be (how could they know that...), and can be really offended (or shocked) when they found out that you have a skill they don't have, specially when the skill I'm talking about (speaking French fluently) is about knowledge and culture...
Believe me I had some funny time, some of the conversation I had were just surreal...

Anyway, 3 years later and I now work for a different company, in a different place. Much smaller, less people around me, a better view from my wide windows (view on the parking lot) and a kitchen fully equipped in the corner.
The big difference, other than the fact that nobody earn a salary close to £85K, is that the perception of people about speaking French or France is still the same.

Nothing make me laugh more than the typical english "dude" trying to tell me "in French" (I mean something they call French...) the name of his favourite cheese or the bottle of red wine he or she has share with his or her partner the night before, then start to explain me how knowledgeable she or he is in French...
Sometime someone will attempt to teach me something about French culture or say to me something like :

" Oh I have been in France before, Oh no, I go in France every weekend to enjoy the food and the forecast and my French is getting better..." ok cool, happy for you but....
" No no wait, you're not the only one to know about France, or French, I do too, I do my shopping at Waitrose..." Ok wait a minute... I don't care where you do you shopping Lol...
"Hey listen I can speak French too, you're not the only one...I know too..." Lol this is not a contest ok, calm down please, we're cool...
"No who do you think you are...speaking French doesn't make you better than me ok.... me too I..." STOP...PLEASE

Then sometime you will have the awkward moment of someone laughing during a conversation I have on the phone with a French client, pretending that "I do understand too" but asking me a few day later to translate something or call for help to deal with French documents....
Then you have the "Google effect", which for some people is like speaking or understanding French or even a good way to learn French and obviously making sure that I know that "now" you too speak the "Chosen Language"

"I can do your job...why are you earning more than me....I know French too..." .....

Pathetic but highly funny... Welcome to my world

Hope you enjoy it.

My Sneakers Collection

A few months ago I received an email from the Careers in Fashion website, to let me know that my Blog (The Peace Blogger) was part of their Top 80 Sneakers Aficionado websites List, and that some of my excellent post about my sneakers collection earned me a place on this list.

I was quite happy about it and still are, I just forgot, at the time, to share that with all of you.

Anyway, for those of you who love Sneakers, Fashion and Life, just have a look at the list itself and take the time to surf on their website...

Careers in Fashion

Something to READ : Joann's Story []

I am a cancer survivor.
My story is about Attitude.

To me, live strong means not living weakly. In order to thrive I must be my own best ally. I can't do that if I'm living weakly, so I must live strong.
I've worn the yellow wristband because It represents victory and the ability to restore happiness in my life after the effects of a disease that has often covered it with clouds of sadness

There have been many moments along this journey where all I can do to soothe my spirit is to retreat into the comfort of my own arms. At times like this, I lay down on my bed with my arms clutched firmly around a pillow and shed tears I don't want others to see, meanwhile my heart aches for the confidence I once had in life. 

I allow myself to experience these moments of weakness, but I don't allow them to consume me. I always wipe away the tears, subdue the weakness, and remind myself that breast cancer has not obliterated the essence of who I am. I derive strength from my own experience as a three-time survivor.

My initial diagnosis in 1998 was surprising. I found the lump myself at age 32. My second diagnosis in 2004 was disappointing. My doctor had told me for two years that the lump I could feel was scar tissue. My third diagnosis in 2005 was inspirational. My plastic surgeon noticed a suspicious lymph node during reconstructive surgery and removed it. He had found another malignancy.

Over the years, I've endured all the requisite treatments and their interesting side effects. I am still learning to accept the scars that trace my history with this disease. I realize I wouldn't be here without them. Like many others, I believe cancer has given me a new life. My priorities have changed. I feel as though my heart beats with more meaning. 

Now, I try not to squander away my heart beats on frustration and anger, but instead to spend them on happiness and laughter.


What caused these riots and why did the police lose control? Some commentators think the disorder was understandable and justified; some say the police “had it coming”; others that the violence was only to be expected given the unemployment and poverty in the area.
Some local people told journalists of their resentment towards the police. One student said: “The police never talk to us, they ignore us, they don’t think we’re human in this area.” A youth worker claimed: “The way the police treat black people is like we’re nothing.” And a retired accountant who has lived locally for 30 years reported that some of the police “behave in an arrogant manner that puts people’s backs up”.
Other residents who witnessed people carrying off carpets, trainers and watches noticed that they included individuals of all “colours and creeds”, suggesting an outburst of sheer lawlessness rather than righteous retaliation for past racial slights.
Senior officers were accused of failing to respond to the family and friends of Mark Duggan when they marched to Tottenham police station on Saturday evening. And they were also accused of standing back and allowing rioters to cause havoc in the hours after.
 Police had questions to answer about how the chaos could have spread, said Tottenham MP David Lammy.

Mr Lammy raised concerns after Mr Duggan’s death that tensions were rising between residents and the police. As he spoke in the High Road yesterday, some in the crowd shouted: ‘The police want to see the place burn.’
Scott, one of the demonstrators on Saturday, said trouble flared only after four hours of waiting for a senior police officer to discuss Mr Duggan’s death. He added: ‘The reason I believe this happened is because police have paid disregard to the family. Had they dealt with us earlier in the day, we would have removed ourselves.’ 

He described the violence as an ‘explosion’ of anger over widespread unemployment, frequent stop-and-search checks by police and expulsions from schools.

Metropolitan Police commander Adrian Hanstock insisted there had been ‘no indication’ that trouble would flare as it did. 
He said: ‘Saturday’s peaceful demonstration was hijacked by a small number of criminal elements, who used that for their own gain. 
‘The looting, the damage, the concern that has been caused to businesses and people who have lost their homes and their livelihoods is absolutely unacceptable.’


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