Sunday, 16th May 2021

How to accept you'll never leave France

YOU thought you were fancy. You thought you could manage a little jaunt to France. Now you’ll spend the rest of your life there. Here’s how to face up to it: 

The language

Struggling to learn French? Just remember that a little effort goes a long way. Ten minutes of Duolingo a day every day, and you’ll be able to have a generic two-minute conversation with a contemptuous waiter in a bistro within five to ten years.

The people

A lot of people hate the French, and to be honest that’s your best hope. Make an effort to find fellow stranded Brits so you can form a comfortable circle of friends also too lazy to assimilate and spend every night bonding over your loathing.

The landscape

Try to be grateful for the majestic Alps, the beautiful chateaus and the Mediterranean beaches, ignoring the 90 per cent of the country which is stupefyingly flat and dull with one farmer every six miles. Try to forget you’d rather get pissed in Basingstoke instead.

The food

Enjoy the boeuf bourguignon and the patê while hoping that one day this f**king country will open a bloody Pizza Express. Try not to wince every time you’re hit by the stench of one of their cheese-stinking supermarkets.

The culture

French films, French rap music, French remakes of Swedish crime dramas; the heavily subsidised and enforced-by-law French arts industry means there’s always a new Asterix film starring Gerard Depardieu to scowl through.

The booze

The French genuinely drink wine as an accompaniment to meals. They don’t believe drinking is just to get pissed. Get out of this Gallic hellhole however you can.