October 22, 2006

Paris Syndrome

The most perfect thing I've read all month: "Around a dozen Japanese tourists a year need psychological treatment after visiting Paris as the reality of unfriendly locals and scruffy streets clashes with their expectations, a newspaper reported on Sunday."

Posted by Sterling at 05:14 PM GMT

hmmm, a dozen out of a population of over 12 million. Whats your point? Oh wait, you don't have a point, you're just a raving lunatic.

On more serious matters, do you think things in Iraq are still going really really well?

Posted by: Sam G on October 22, 2006 07:22 PM

My point is that France sucks. I thought that much would be obvious, even to the likes of you.

Posted by: Sterling on October 22, 2006 09:34 PM

You've never been I take it. Funny you should assert that so brazenly, given that France is the #1 tourism destination in the world, year after year. But I guess everyone else is crazy except for you right? ;)

So, how 'bout them "insurgents"?

Posted by: Sam G on October 22, 2006 11:10 PM

You didn't address the fact that this "syndrome" only affects 0.0001% of the Japanese population per year. I'd like to see some numbers on similar "syndromes" affecting tourists who visit the U.S.

You are also inconsistent (read: hypocritical) in that you always bash Reuters, calling them "Al-Reuters", so now all of a sudden they are a reliable source of news to you?

Besides, the conclusion that any SANE person would come to from reading this article is that the Japanese are weirdos.

Posted by: Sam G on October 22, 2006 11:17 PM

Feh, it's a shame you can't appreciate French cuisine. But on a different note, hows the eats in Charlotte? What's the big draw there?

Posted by: Gherm on October 23, 2006 02:15 AM

clashes with their expectations

I wonder how much therapy Rummy is going to need after we leave Iraq?

Posted by: 99 on October 23, 2006 03:07 AM

"#1 tourism destination in the world, year after year."

That stastic is incorrect. Mecca has more tourists in a single month than France gets in a year. And that only includes foreign tourists, because Allahabad has close to 100mn Hindu pilgrims come each year for Kumbh Mela, and in general utter pradesh receives some 150 mn tourists a year.

Posted by: Andrew on October 23, 2006 11:37 PM

You didn't address the fact that this "syndrome" only affects 0.0001% of the Japanese population per year.

I, um, QUOTED that it affects "around a dozen" people per year. I don't need to ADDRESS something I mentioned myself.

So, how 'bout them "insurgents"?

I'm not surprised you're delighted and gloating over bad news from Iraq - it's the kind of thing that would only please traitors. However, I take comfort in the knowledge that the "insurgents" are beefing up their attacks in the run-up to U.S. elections. Clearly Al Qaeda wants a Democrat victory - which is testament to the strength and competence of the Bush Administration.

Posted by: Sterling on October 24, 2006 12:02 AM

So is the prospect that most Americans vote Democrat this November even though they don't actually like the party.

Posted by: Jame on October 24, 2006 12:40 AM

We'll see, won't we? The Barron's analysis seem spurious to me, and I don't claim to know very much about more than handful of House districts, but I think the Senate is safe and if I were a betting man I'd say the House will stay GOP, too.

Also worth noting that a lot of Republicans are pissed off about things not specifically related to the Iraq. A lot are like me - angry that the Bush Administration has not been aggressive enough in dealing with terrorism and nuclear profileration by Muslims states. Of course, I'll still vote GOP because I understand how repulsive the modern left is.

Posted by: Sterling on October 24, 2006 02:03 AM

Sterling, I'll bet you a thousand dollars that the GOP fails to hold both houses. Felix can escrow the bet. He'll have the money at his convenience if you are a betting man.

Posted by: 99 on October 24, 2006 04:46 AM


A word of warning re Sterling and his bets - he doesn't keep them. He owes me, big time, for the "Gorgeous" George Galloway bet which he lost good and proper, but prefers to ignore any refs to it. Anyway, cunning snake that he is, he's already made it impossible to lose on this one - as he says, a Dem win would simply be evidence of "how strong the GOP is".

Posted by: claude on October 24, 2006 10:15 AM

I find that proclamations from the right or left of such things are typically from welchers. I was just planning on transferring the debt to a liberal friend who bet me, upon hearing I planned to support Nader in 2000, that Roe v Wade would be overturned within 4 years of Bush being elected.

Posted by: 99 on October 24, 2006 12:52 PM

Gherm, Sterling can't appreciate French food (especially stinky cheese and "red cabernet") as he prefers the finer American dining: microwaved HOT POCKETS.

Posted by: michelle on October 24, 2006 02:49 PM

Hot Pockets are actually a Swiss food product, and in case you hadn't noticed a lot of people in Switzerland speak French. Therefore your point is moot. Pffft.

Posted by: Sterling on October 24, 2006 05:04 PM

Andrew, you must be drinking from the same Kool-Aid well as Sterling does. Mecca only gets at most 2 million visitors PER YEAR for the Hajj, and another 2.6 million for Umrah.

The Kumbh Melah happens on a large scale once every twelve years, and the attendance is in the tens of millions, not hundreds, and these are almost all people from inside the country, not international tourists.

Here are the numbers on international tourism: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0198352.html

Now go to bed, you're tired.


"I, um, QUOTED that it affects "around a dozen" people per year. I don't need to ADDRESS something I mentioned myself."

Good boy. Thank you for acknowledging that the entire premise for the definition of a "paris syndrome" and consequently the point of your post, is at best quackery.

"you're delighted and gloating over bad news from Iraq"

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
Albert Einstein

Actually no, I'm not. Nice try yet again to subvert reality, but as usual, it's a transparent and weak ploy. I wonder why you keep trying it (see Einstein quote above).

I'm terribly ashamed of my country's leadership, or lack thereof, I'm saddened by the waste of our servicemen's lives, efforts, credibility and resources by our deliquent, corrupt and incompetant administration, I'm worried about the consequences that Americans and others around the world will suffer for decades to come from this disaster.

The only delight and gloating for me, if only a small pleasure, is that day after day you and your kind are proven both wrong and idiotic, dishonest and untrustworthy. If you were a man, you'd be able to admit to these facts, if you were a patriot you'd be trying to make amends and support policy to right the ship, but you are neither. You are partisan boot licking butt boy for the GOP, only motivated by attaining and preserving power, not in actually governing justly and intelligently for the benefit of the American people.

Posted by: Sam G on October 24, 2006 06:33 PM

Oh, and Hot Pockets were created by two men from Colorado in the '80s and later sold the product and brand to Nestlé, you imbecile. Sadly, Europeans previously known for having good taste and hygenic eating habits are now poisonning themselves with this crap too, and liking it.

Posted by: Sam G on October 24, 2006 06:49 PM

Rest easy Sam G. Actually we don't have much in the way of hot pocket dining over here in French-speaking Switzerland. I don't know whether the German, Italian and Romansch parts live off hot pockets.

Certainly, Nestle has moved on from being a purely European business providing Euro wieners to Euro weenies, and now provides a lot of local food to locals across the globe. Probably they are #1 Kimchee suppliers in Korea. Hell, British people own (or used to) Burger King.

Posted by: eurof on October 24, 2006 08:34 PM

I think we need to either get smarter readers or start doing the </sarcasm>, </irony>, "lol" and ";-)" things.

Posted by: Sterling on October 24, 2006 11:40 PM

Never heard of Hot Pockets. But Krispy Kreme has just landed in Hong Kong. Doughnut, m'goi!

Posted by: Jame on October 25, 2006 02:11 AM

I have been to over 30 countries in the world and France and Russia are the only two where I consistenly meet rude people. This does not mean all are rude, but I certainly did meet a LOT. Clearly this is all the proof you need to see that the sterotype is true. Normally people in countries are extremely open, even poor ones at civil wars like Sri Lanka, Georgia, and more. In France even if you're a costumer, or at a restaurant you're treated like you're not wanted. In most countries people will volunteer to help you just because they are nice. You can argue against it all you want and bring up other countries but it just makes you look like an idiot.

Posted by: Shahid on October 25, 2006 05:19 AM

I give you Hot Pockets, Jaimito. They're basically a fusion of the concepts of "panini", "egg roll" and "McMuffin".

Posted by: Sterling on October 25, 2006 01:55 PM

Yeah, Sterling. It's amazing that after all this time, people still think you really are an incoherent, rabid wingnut.

Posted by: 99 on October 25, 2006 04:37 PM

Shahid, no one ever said the French were not rude. Yet despite this, people travel there more than anywhere else. Wonder why? It's because they are beautiful, intelligent, creative people, who appreciate art and philosophy, and enjoy a gorgeous country replete with the best foods and wines. The rudeness is, much like in New York, a necessary filter. Once you get beyond that, they are warm and inviting and generous. This attitude is much needed in keeping people like Sterling away. Can you blame them? A few Japanese tourist seem to be the casualties, but they were probably already fucked in the head to begin with.

Posted by: Sam G on October 25, 2006 05:29 PM

Personally I only go to France to get high. Though I can do that here in the Rockies, there's nothing like having a gondola to get you halfway there! And some of the best wine and cheese is waiting for you if you can still stomach it after being stuck in a lift with a bunch of smelly frenchies. That's of course if American jet pilots have steered clear (yes, I know that was in Italy).

Hot Pockets are nasty - 11g of fat, of which 5g of saturated. And the sodium and cholesterol! And we wonder why Americans are so fat! I have no idea how Sterling stays so skinny. Maybe it's cause he stays away from stinky cheese and 'red cabernet'.

Posted by: michelle on October 25, 2006 08:08 PM

Mm. Hot Pockets.

Shahid, I've been to Paris a number of times. I think it's changing. I've found a lot more people cool about speaking English. In fact if you try to use your French (tres crap in my case), more French people just switch into English. The old snobbery probably still exists but the realities of an English-speaking globalised economy are seeping through.

Another surprise: in Paris, the portions are huge. I've been there three times in the past 12 months, dining out with friends at a variety of places on each occasion. The quality of the food is higher than in most American restaurants - it's not the all-you-can-eat special at Bob's Big Boy - but I still had to be rolled out of there, I was so full. Has it always been thus, and people stay slim by walking/bicycling/smoking/etc, or will I return in 10 years to find a city of les fatties?

Posted by: Jame on October 26, 2006 03:31 AM

If you're coming back to the States for Christmas, Jame, I imagine a Hot Pockets sampler can be arranged.

Posted by: Sterling on October 26, 2006 12:04 PM

I'm not. Probably won't return Stateside till May, when I visit NY and Boston for work, and then catch a Phillies game with my folks. My spring tradition.

Posted by: Jame on October 27, 2006 02:17 AM

Well, you're going to have to get your own Hot Pockets, then.

Posted by: Sterling on October 27, 2006 02:10 PM

I have no idea how Sterling stays so skinny. Maybe it's cause he stays away from stinky cheese and 'red cabernet'.


Posted by: Sterling on October 29, 2006 02:51 AM

I encountered "Paris Syndrome" sufferer right there in Paris. A Japanese girl who was around early 20'who was studying in England (accroding to her explanation) came to me sobbing at St.Lazare station. She was treated so badly there by Paris custom officer and so on she could not bear being alone amidst of mean Parisien(am I spelling correctly?) and begged me to stay with her. I had a hotel room booked there so I let her stay there with me that night. Poor girl.
As you may know by now, I'm Japanese girl too.
Lucky I had stronger nerves than these fragile folks. But I know Paris is a bith ( not Ms. Hilton, I mean.) and I don' care if Paris is burned down tomorrow.

Posted by: Pipi on December 21, 2006 11:05 AM