You know, I finally admitted that I used to be prejudiced!
Yes, idealistic, dreamy, optimistic ozlilly, lillypad me was prejudiced, with the stress on WAS.
Last weekend I went to Paris for a Women’s Federation Conference. I came back completely changed.
My parents actually met in France. They even got married in France on March 3rd 1951 before coming to Australia where I was born.
You know, a lot of people hate the French. Then again a lot of people (especially here in Austria) hate the Americans, with the stress on USA Americans. I hate the word hate. I would rather say they don’t appreciate them. In both cases. Now I must say I have finally learnt to appreciate the French and have decided to give credit where credit is due.I first visited France in 1973 and 1974. And this was my first visit back apart from a brief transit stop at the airport, some time ago.
As we sailed down the Seine on Saturday night, past all those incredible historical, majestic buildings I could finally admit, yes, this is a great nation (at least it must have had a great history to be able to produce and maintain buildings like this!). Why did I try to deny this until now? Why was I preoccupied with French arrogance and totally ignoring personal prejudice? After all, both my parents speak French (and German, and English and Czech!) so why did I have such a problem with the French? Perhaps it was a bit of hurt pride that I can’t communicate here the way that I have managed to in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, USA, New Zealand, Australia and the UN?
Another highlight of this trip to Paris was the incredible conference we staged. Now Elisabeth Riedl wanted me to produce a great booklet of our speakers and actually it really was a great event.
See Paris gallery pictures, link above.