Monday, August 23, 2010

French Diplomacy

Last weekend I met a French diplomat at a friend's house. He introduced himself as Jean Yves, diplomate, as if it were his last name. That seemed a little odd to me, also because I find 'French' and 'Diplomatic' a bit of a contradiction in terms, like a romantic Dutchman, a funny German or a soft-spoken American

Anyway, we were chatting about our children and I tell him that our daughter will go to the American school. He immediately says: - as if I'd asked him for his opinion - 'Well, that is a big mistake'. Politely I ask him to clarify himself, and he goes on: 'The Americans have absolutely no future here in Madagascar'.

I think he is referring to the fact that the Americans have pulled out much of their support to this country, and that the American ambassador has left without being replaced. This is kind of a punishment until the interim government will get their act together.

"I am not putting here there because of the American future in Madagascar", I explain him, "I am sending her there because English is the number one language in the world, and that's the future". I also want to tell him that French isn't , and that France is not the center of the universe, even in Madagascar. I want to remind him that the French did not even make it through the first round of world cup football, while the Americans did, and WE the DUTCH we're in the final!! I want to say all that, but I don't. I try not to be stereotype Dutch; straight-to-the-point-not-to-say-blunt.

I want to be the Africans


  1. Susanne, vandaag probeerde ik je mailadres te verkrijgen. We willen met 2 biologen de natuurreservaten te bezoeken van Madagaskar. We zijn tussen 12 september en 4 oktober op het grote eiland en komende in de hoofdstad vanuit Parijs aan. We zoeken contact via je partner mogelijkheden om een tocht te maken, wellicht met steun van een reisbureau om zo de tientallen lemuren te kunnen waarnemen en van de cultuur te genieten. Ons mailadres is en ik woon in Frankrijk.

  2. Ouch, remind me never to get into a shouting match with anyone from the Netherlands.


    I a l w a y s s e e t h e m a s q u i e t and r e s e r v e d w i t h a n a t u r u l n e s s t h a t r e f l e c t s o u r i n n e r l i g h t and s i l e n c e....

    smiles beyond stereo's... and what we actually do with our owning our own vision.

    I hope whatever choices you make for you re daughter , that she grows up appreciating Nature and not the silliness of being human.

  4. Oei oei, de kiezen op elkaar houden is ook niet mijn sterkste kant...