You often hear people refer to French as assholes. But they are not. They are just not big fans of one of our core and most unattractive quality – sense of entitlement. And the French are not afraid to show how much this obnoxious signature US trait bothers them.
We are used to thinking that just because we pay someone for something, they have to dance around us to please and cater to our every little need in person or on the phone. That’s not how it’s done in France or many other places.
The customer is not always right. In fact the customer is often wrong, too demanding, inconsiderate and plain rude. The American customer has been spoiled for decades, so it’s not wonder he acts like a little baby when he opens his wallet.
The same applies to pedestrians. I have bashed road rage before, linking it to our herd mentality, but in drivers’ defense, I have to say that I often can’t blame them for being pushy. SF pedestrian are just too damn slow and casual when they cross the street. They know that others around them are in a hurry to get somewhere but they don’t care. Like their shopping, their walking is also governed by sense of entitlement. Because the rules say that cars have to yield to pedestrians, they take advantage of it, strolling slowly across a road and in so many words telling the drivers “Fuck you, you will wait as long as I want you to wait.” When you need to get somewhere as soon as possible, it’s only natural that you will get angry.