Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Life through a lens

This story about those crazy snap-happy Japanese tourists is also doing the blog rounds…

"Paris Syndrome" leaves Japanese tourists in shock

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.

"A third of patients get better immediately, a third suffer relapses and the rest have psychoses," Yousef Mahmoudia, a psychologist at the Hotel-Dieu hospital, next to Notre Dame cathedral, told the newspaper Journal du Dimanche...

"Fragile travellers can lose their bearings. When the idea they have of the country meets the reality of what they discover it can provoke a crisis," psychologist Herve Benhamou told the paper.

The phenomenon, which the newspaper dubbed "Paris Syndrome", was first detailed in the psychiatric journal Nervure in 2004.

Bernard Delage of Jeunes Japon, an association that helps Japanese families settle in France, said: "In Japanese shops, the customer is king, whereas here assistants hardly look at them ... People using public transport all look stern, and handbag snatchers increase the ill feeling."

A Japanese woman, Aimi, told the paper: "For us, Paris is a dream city. All the French are beautiful and elegant ... And then, when they arrive, the Japanese find the French character is the complete opposite of their own."

True, the streets of Paris are paved with dog turds, but since English expectations of the French are so rock-bottom low in the first place, the biggest shock for us is how bloody lovely it all is.


martpol said...

Let's hope those same tourists don't make London their next destination. I'd hate to think of them wending their way to romantic pigoen paradise Trafalgar Square, only to find them being ripped apart by hawks.

Brit said...

Or being swallowed by pelicans.

Susan's Husband said...

But, as Brit pointed out, no one thinks well of London so there wouldn't be any shock.

Hey Skipper said...

Pigeons are proof of parallel evolution.

They are rats with wings.

Which puts them a rung up the ladder on the gits who get the vapors over them.

Brit said...

I find that London is the best place on earth - for about two days, after which it becomes unbearable.