Monday, 7 April 2014

Racism

Being white, blonde haired and blue eyed, I've never expected to be on the receiving end of racism. I've sometimes heard mutterings and sighs behind me along the lines off: 'them English' but this week I had a lady very coldly asking me whether only foreigners worked here. I was dumbstruck as my Moroccan colleague and I had bend over backwards to help her with her purchases. If I feel racism, I can only imagine how bad things are for my friends and colleagues who are not white.

This leads me back to my previous blog I did on voting. I did only get to vote once and will have to wait for that free pizza a few years longer as the sitting Mayor got re-elected in the first round with 52%. I nearly bumped into Marine le Pen at Nice airport a few days before the election. Visiting the area to rally her Front National party must have paid off as they did alarmingly well in the south, polling 25% in our village.

The Côte d'Azur is a very overcrowded stretch of land; every one wants to come and live in this beautiful area that benefits from one of the best climates in Europe. With the foreign tourists come the workers that can deal with them. French is not an easy language to master and the passengers I meet on a daily basis are just relieved when I speak to them in their mother tongue and a happy passenger is one that spends; pumping lots of Euro's back into the economy. I find living and working amongst these many nationalities and cultures hugely inspiring, but sadly not every one is of this opinion.

So how do I deal with Mrs I don't like foreigners? Well I got myself registered to vote. Meanwhile I try and lead by example, treating every one with respect and courteousness. I gave her my 'I don't get what you just said there' smile and wished her a 'Bon voyage madame!'