I’m all for globalization on a number of fronts, but there’s one effect that’s got me up in arms these days: you can’t pick out French tourists any more.
It used to be that the French had a monopoly on glamour. The Italians looked pretty good but lost on their unfortunate tendency to sport multi-colored backpacks; the Japanese tried hard but were betrayed by their reliance on head-to-toe all one designer; German comfortable shoes placed them firmly out of the running. But the French! The insouciantly-flung sweaters around the neck, the nude nylons and oxford shoes under short pencil skirts, that flawless skin and hair… all gone, as far as I can see. Somebody has convinced the French that it is acceptable to dress like Americans.
While traveling this year I constantly recoiled in horror at apparitions who I had from afar assumed to be British package tourists, but who on closer inspection were heard to speak pure Parisian. How does the French Ministry of Culture allow these people out of the country? Is this Sarko’s fault? Can something not be done?