A year and a half ago, while in Paris, a Norwegian reporter approached my buddies and me and propositioned us for an interview. She was doing a story on something related to the decline of American tourism in Europe. This was at the height of conservative America labeling France as traitorous and government cafeterias renaming replacing "French Fries" with "Freedom Fries" on their menus.
We were all happy to chat with her (though "Patrick Hox" chose to use a pseudonym after accidentally letting his company name slip). As my friends know, I tend to lean left politically, though I try to keep a pretty open mind. Keith leans right. "Patrick Hox".. well.. is probably too busy playing video games to think about leaning either way. I'd say we were pretty well-fit to represent our country, eh?
Anyhow, the reporter left us with the name of her publication. We searched for an article shortly after our trip, but weren't able to find one. Today, a year and a half later, I was cleaning out my bookmarks and came across the publication's web site. For the hell of it, I proceeded to search on my name, and found an article!
Amerikanerne svikter Paris
Interestingly, according to the site, it wasn't published until January 2005.
Anyhow, I thought it pretty cool, photo and all. My Swedish friend Dan translated a bit for us (Norwegian is somewhat similar to Swedish). Here were some highlights:
Down from the (eiffel) tower come three young men who were making fun of French fries being named freedom fries in the US last fall.
"Difference between the land and the people: these three American tourists (names) think France is a nice country, but they're not sure about the people" (Undoubtedly derived from Keith's "I like France, I just don't like the people" comment. He also enjoys shouting "George Bush Rules!" at Parisian bars. Go Keith.)
"I boycotted French products in the US, but I chose to come here anyways" says 22-year old engineering student Kieth Moller from Michigan.
"It's a nice country but people aren't as nice", he said. But his friend Patrick Hox from San Francisco disagrees. "It's no worse here than in Amsterdam" he says. But the third man Adam Herscher thinks the French are good at knowing the difference between Americans and American politics.
Here's a funny attempt at computer generated translation.
What a trip...