Jack’s probably right.
On the one hand, I’ve had a really great time while in France. The place is beautiful, the food’s good (not just in restaurants, but also in delis, supermarkets, etc., where it’s a lot less expensive — things are expensive in France), and the people plesant when hearing my heavily-Spanish-accented French. When I mean the place is beautiful, I mean the whole place, and even the uglier industrial cities like Lyon have their own blighted beauty of sorts. Generally speaking, the architecture is interesting, the gardening nice, the landscape lovely, the countryside picturesque. The country is relatively small and the trains are fast so you can see a lot in a few days.
On the other hand, French foreign policy is noxious, poisonous, and destructive. French culture is impossibly narcissistic and considers itself THE culture. French politics is predicated on this mirage of superiority and tries to assert itself through bureaucracy (the EU), and negotiation-bribery-and-appeasement (the UN, foreign trade, Oil-For-Food), since it has given up on military superiority. Right now the President (Chirac) is one of the most corrupt politicians in the world, to the detriment of the country. Unfortunately (it’s unfortunate because of the current circumstances), France holds a great deal of influence in Europe, too.
All of which feeds my interest in France. I like the place, but despise the politics. Great material to blog about!