My visit to France

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Hello, I thought I might give an update to my trip in France and my thoughts on joining the Legion. If you have aspirations of becoming a legionnaire and sacrificing your life for France first see the country. I traveled through many small towns and the people were not very welcoming and were not impressed at the slightest by my French. It seems they really dislike when a foreigner tries to assimilate to the culture. This were small towns that depended on tourism and they were so remorseful in working. Just imagined if I was fighting a war for this people. Of course I met some people that were nice and curious about why I bothered learning French but they were a minority.

Paris. What a nightmare. The youth is completely done for. The streets were dirty it smelled like piss everywhere you went. I barely saw any French people. At times it felt like I was in some other country. Did not feel save when walking the streets. People drinking and cursing in the streets with little disregard. Spend a week living in Paris and I think you won’t want to be in the Legion risking your life.

I also thought the Legion was almost this exclusive club. That very few people dare to make the trip. Like I previously said France has a lot of people seeking asylum and immigrants. They view the Legion as a quick way for some money and citizenship. Ironically enough the FFL might be more French than the actual French.

I might be making an excuse for myself for not joining but once your there reality hits you hard. I feel like a lot of wannabes such as me romanticize the Legion so much and try to make it into something is not.

Respect to a lot of the older members who were able to do this. I do feel like the Legion you guys talk about no longer exist, however I only saw from the surface maybe I’m completely wrong.

Takeaway from this is to visit France first as a tourist and then decide.
 
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I think if you’re joining the Legion it should be for YOU and not for France. Honor and Fidelity of course but if you’re not joining for yourself you’re already making a mistake.
 

dusaboss

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(...) I traveled through many small towns and the people were not very welcoming and were not impressed at the slightest by my French. (...)
What you mean by "people were not very welcoming". How did they show that? Also what you mean by "not impressed at the slightest by my French"? What did you expect? Applause for the few words you learned (maybe some French pussy? :)). How much time did you spend in France? How many towns you visited? What was concrete interaction you had with people?
I don't know... They say for French that they are arrogant. Probably there is some truth in that. But arrogant doesn't necessarily mean someone is bad man. They also say for Americans that they are too kind, but that's just fake face that put on and people from other cultures could easily confuse that for true friendship or affiliation. (also don't know how much this is true :))
(...) I also thought the Legion was almost this exclusive club. That very few people dare to make the trip. Like I previously said France has a lot of people seeking asylum and immigrants. They view the Legion as a quick way for some money and citizenship. Ironically enough the FFL might be more French than the actual French. (...)
Hmm, if they see FFL as "quick way for some money and citizenship" they are in deep misapprehension.
(...) Just imagined if I was fighting a war for this people. (...)
They didn't ask you for it. And they paying you for that. And that is discutable would you fight for those arrogant people you met or for Legion or for some values France standing for?
(...) I might be making an excuse for myself for not joining but once your there reality hits you hard. I feel like a lot of wannabes such as me romanticize the Legion so much and try to make it into something is not. (...)
Looks like you were one of those people who had ideal picture of FFL and France in your head and then quickly get disappointed when reality kicks. What did you expect? You would say to French people that you want to join FFL and they would all be thrilled with that. :) ? "Thank you very much you brave young American, thank you for coming here to risk your life for us and defend us from evil terrorists." :). All that in heavy French accent. Please be realistic. Have in mind that many people in France (also in other countries ) don't have great opinion on FFL and legionnaires often misleading but some of it true.
Add rising anti-immigrant feelings all over Europe. Add that some people just don't like army no matter what (hippies, etc :).) summa summarum I think you are more likely that you would meet French who would dislike you because you joining FFL than one who would like you. But hey that's name of the game. Deal with it.
Maybe it is a good idea to travel to France. Live there some time and see if you can assimilate in culture before you join. Unfortunately not many of us can afford that.
 

Crawdad

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Probably gonna get banned for this, but here it goes.... Not every culture in the world gets excited when you feebly attempt to speak their language. Koreans (perhaps especially) do, as do Kurds, Filipinos, native Hawaiians and Arabs. The Japanese are a mixed bag; they either get really happy or pretend not to understand you. The Navajo are sort of similar; they encourage you early on but their patience wears thin rather quickly.

The French, generally speaking, do not. If you visit France and don't speak a word of French, many will despise you. If you speak French poorly and with a bad accent, they hate you even more for defiling their language. If your accent is perfect but your grammar isn't, they might even think you're French, but just stupid. Even the Québécois get mocked for their weird accent and anachronistic grammar. The only case in which I've seen some French give anyone a pass is that of we Louisianais (*).

You must understand that these are a people who are fiercely proud of their language. Who have assembled an organization dedicated to standardizing and preserving that language. Who have passed laws prohibiting domestic radio stations from playing less than 40% of music in that language.

Don't believe me? Then watch the French interact with each other. I've seen a French exchange student-- une jolie fleur out of Nantes, name of Diane de Lestrange; hotter than a $2 pistol, but a true Steel Magnolia-- reduce one of her classmates to tears for screwing up the margins on an essay. Sure, the French have universal state-sponsored higher education--- but it ain't "No Child Left Behind", it's Sink or Swim. Them people don't play.

Speaking of which, your command of English don't exactly blow my jupe up, either.

Recognize that these are a pitiless, merciless people. They sacked Rome before it was cool. They invented the bayonet, FFS. And you thought you'd, what? Saunter on over, say Bonjour and get a parade and a pipe? Join your own army for the former and go to Pigalle for the latter.
___
(*) We were prohibited, under threat of fines and the lash, to speak French by the US Government. But being of French stock and thus récalcitrants,we did it any fecking way. This has earned us some grace among the few French that remain aware of our existence.
 
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I have only ever passed through France on many occasions but i think in the Legion it's another World from the 'civ Pop'... Also I doubt most of the civ Pop even know much about or care for the Legion. Same in the UK, too many now shouting the army are murderers. The Liberal agenda... Me thinks.
 

Nickfury

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Did you go just for a visit or to try to join the Legion then changed your mind? France is great, you just have to go to the right places. Hell I met lots of great guys from the "slums" as well, everyone is different, if you wanted to be judged as an individual, you would do well to judge other the same way and not make generalizations.
 

Joseph Cosgrove

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I've banned Crawdad for 3 days, and forced 1987 for a day. Guys watch your attitudes and comments please.

Tommycan,
You're obviously loaded and was hoping that the French people would be throwing themselves at your feet. I'm not sure how you managed to judge today's legionnaires or how you managed to compare them with elder legionnaires. No one is asking you or anyone for that matter to give your life for them. Wise up mate. Stay at home and tell your mates why you went to join the Legion and why you decided not to in the end. But spare them from us.
Are you a troll?
 

voltigeur

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I have twice gone to France for vacation, 1973 and 2007 and spend 5 days in Paris each time and a few days in Aubagne, never did I feel any animosity towards me, whether they knew I was a former legionnaire or not.

* BTW, my French language skill had greatly deteriorated. :cry:
 

Surfguy

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Joining the Legion to fight for France is pretty dumb as a foreigner. Does any foreigner join for that reason? Joining for an adventure, learning to be a soldier, personal security and the possibility of an EU passport seem to be the main reasons why men join.
 

jonny

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Joining the Legion to fight for France is pretty dumb as a foreigner ,does any foreigner join for that reason? joining for an adventure , learning to be a soldier , personal security and the possibility of an EU passport seem to be the main reasons men join.
Joining for an adventure and ‘because it’s there’, i.e an irrestible challenge, I think were my main reasons.
 
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Rapace

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(...) I might be making an excuse for myself for not joining but once your there reality hits you hard. I feel like a lot of wannabes such as me romanticize the Legion so much and try to make it into something is not.
(...) Takeaway from this is to visit France first as a tourist and then decide.
Not a bad advice... For those who can.
Joining the Legion to fight for France is pretty dumb as a foreigner. Does any foreigner join for that reason? Joining for an adventure, learning to be a soldier, personal security and the possibility of an EU passport seem to be the main reasons why men join.
Code d'Honneur du légionnaire. Article 1 : “légionnaire, tu es un volontaire, servant la France, avec honneur et fidélité”. As as member of the French military, a legionnaire, like any other serviceman, is a tool in the hands of the French government and will be used to serve France's interests. Not saying that serving France would be the first motivation to join the Legion (so good if it is), but as I've said in the past many times, if serving France's interests poses any kind of problem to someone, which I may understand, just don't join the Legion. Not giving a sh*t and just doing one's job, without looking any further, is fine.
 

dusaboss

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Joining the Legion to fight for France is pretty dumb as a foreigner. Does any foreigner join for that reason? Joining for an adventure, learning to be a soldier, personal security and the possibility of an EU passport seem to be the main reasons why men join.
I think joining army to fight for any nation ( your own included) is pretty dumb. In this post internet time and all we know ... it's really hard for someone to convince me that I would die for right thing if I weigh for "my" "national" interest.
Especially because my country has one (or 2-3 :)) wars during my life time. And I saw people dying for that cause and other getting rich from that cause. Almost always those are not same groups of people.
 

mm66

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I will say that is entirely different from my experience. I walked through many small towns and was offered hospitality, food and shelter. When I informed a few, a very select few, of these kind people that I was going to join the Legion they would not take a cent for lodging and food and were very welcoming. May I suggest that the vibe you give out is usually the vibe you receive?
 

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My misses and I went to visit our Johnny a few years ago for Camerone Day. We never met any rude Frenchman on our 2 week holiday. We are now planning another holiday for the 2020 Camerone Day.
 

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My theory is act like a cnut and you'll get treated like one. I've travelled around the world a lot and find people are much the same everywhere with regards to being friendly, you will always get awkward / difficult types and weapons grade wankers but the ratio is much the same in every country.
 
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My theory is act like a cnut and you'll get treated like one. I've travelled around the world a lot and find people are much the same everywhere with regards to being friendly, you will always get awkward / difficult types and weapons grade wankers but the ratio is much the same in every country.
Fixed 😂
 

Le petit caporal

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When you are cold wet and hungry, who cares about conditions? Of course if you come from some kind of privileged background life... Villages, Towns and Cities are full of bureaucrats and foreigners. We even have English fuds and Glasgow Rangers fans occupying precious terroir. Was probably them giving you a hard time. Half way trip = what a waste of time, money and space.
 
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