Mark Twain on Americans in France

“The people of those foreign countries are very, very ignorant. They looked curiously at the costumes we had brought from the wilds of America. They observed that we talked loudly at the table sometimes. They noticed that we looked out for expenses and got what we conveniently could out of a franc, and wondered where in the mischief we came from. In Paris they just simply opened their eyes and stared when we spoke to them in French! We never did succeed in making those idiots understand their own language.”
–Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad (1869)

Note: Before long, I will be leaving for France, where I will teach the travel-writing portion of a creative writing seminar at the Paris American Academy. I’m an old Asia hand, and I went to Paris for the first time last year, not really expecting to be all that impressed (after having experienced the likes of Angkor, Jerusalem, and Varanasi). In spite of my skepticism, however, I quickly fell in love with Paris, and I anxiously await my return. In anticipation of my Paris sojourn, my daily travel quotes will have a French theme all this week.

Posted by | Comments (1)  | June 30, 2003
Category: Travel Quote of the Day

One Response to “Mark Twain on Americans in France”

  1. Caleb Srsic Says:

    Here’s a funny quote to make you smile ๐Ÿ™‚

    Life is what happens to you when youโ€™re busy making other plans. ๐Ÿ™‚