That is already a different country than Germany. Poland would probably fit better as a neighboring country to France. Or maybe it is too emotional. And we Germans? Too objectively? Such difficult generalizations. Let's better a little more stick to the facts.
The British like to drive our cars, but they do prefer holidays in France or Italy. To this France has all the options. No country in Europe offers so much coast. French find enough possibilities at home. This will also be easier for them linguistically.
They are considered a little bit as not interested in learning foreign languages. At best, one speaks their language not at all. If you only speak a little French, one thinks immediately, the language is well understood and henceforth receive such quick answers that you understand anything at all. Perhaps there is too little understanding for French learners.
A certain individuality can not be denied to the country. Although Napoleon has not only traveled throughout Europe but also almost conquered. It is probably still the border location. In the north, west and south sea. But by the North-south expansion contact with different neighbours to the south of us, the Swiss and Italians.
After all, France does not have so much destruction by the wars. Culturally, this is a huge plus, economically maybe a slight disadvantage. In general country and its people appear relatively liberal at the first and quite conservative at second glance. Or is it due to the strong urban-rural gap?
However, the country is to classify not so easily to the political right-left pattern. Too distinctive, the government provisions for families. And centralization is rather right or more left? And many prejudices about France probably agree no longer. Even beyond Paris is invested, for example in Toulouse, the center of the aviation industry.
Unfortunately one misses meanwhile also the bistro on the corner. One has the feeling, the British have overtaken the French in terms of cosiness in the quarter. Now, if even the Germans pass with its street café mentality. Even the DIY stores have captured France, unthinkable really previously.
Some of savoir vivre, however, remained. Too high is the debt per inhabitant and the urge too unbroken, maintaining comforts. This affects the relative early retirement age and the collective holidays in August. The 750 km traffic jam this year (2012) thereby, will still be considered as not so bad. 07/12