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Paris syndrome


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Japanese people have a totally distorted image of Paris. They think it's a perfect, magic place where everybody is nice and elegant...Every year, reality comes as a shock for a handful of Japanese people in Paris. A rude remark from a waiter can trigger what is called the "Paris syndrome", a traumatic shock that can even lead to repatriation with psychological support on board the plane for the most serious cases.

The Paris syndrom was first mentioned in the 80s. A dozen (or a hundred, according to another source) are concerned every year, which is ridiculously low compared to the amount of tourists, nevertheless it has become popular in the last couple years. There are many articles about it on the net, for instance:

I think it's really hilarious!

The culture shock seems to be the cause of the syndrome. And also the fact that most Japanese people probably imagine the world as a huge Disneyland-like amusement park (this one's a personal opinion, of course I am exaggerating)...

In Japan, it's totally unconceivable that a customer might be treated in a rude way. I don't even see how it could happen unless an employee suddenly loses his mind. Here, the customer is almost considered as a god. If you have a problem, they'll do anything to fix it, even if it's entirely your fault! They apologize for making you wait for 3 seconds, they apologize if YOU make an article fall, they apologize if they're not able to answer your question, etc etc. Don't even think about leaving a tip, it's almost insulting. Indeed in Japan, the customer is grateful for the client come to his shop.

Can the opposite syndrome happen? I reckon that I love the Japanese service, but sometimes it just gets on my nerves to hear thoses excuses all the time. But I'm not going to get traumatized either...well who knows, some day I might appear on the national French news with an "Okazaki syndrome" title!

Category: Society

2 comment(s)

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By Romain on 01/29/2007 at 11:26:22

Juste pour rebondir sur les articles, J'ai remarqué que ce qui choque vraiment les Japonais(es) lors de nos soirées bien Françaises,
c'est effectivement notre humour second degré... Ils ne vont simplement pas piger pourquoi on passe notre temps à se vanner les un les autres... C'est surtout vrai pour les filles... Et gare à celui qui se moquera de votre copine, il aura droit à une réaction purement premier degré pouvant occasionner une belle engueulade au retour de la soirée...
Hé hé hé, il va falloir retenir tes vannes hervé...

By Tarto on 01/29/2007 at 13:22:45

Je n'ai pas encore fauté mais je me souviendrai de tes sages paroles, il est vrai qu'un impair est si vite arrivé et je ne tiens pas à être qualifié de ちょっと失礼な人だね...
Mais dis-moi, tu parles par expérience personnelle ?...;-)

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