There are endless reasons why I like France like no other country in which I have lived and worked. My wife is certainly high on the list. But in truth it is a spirit a love an emotion. Let me simply recount an incident that I will never forget and which encapsulates a lot about the country.
I was in a meeting on economic development of the Loiret. Many top people were there. The prefet, the mayor, senior offices from the army base, senior business people etc. etc.
A woman stood up and completely off subject she ranted about the way her boss had treated her and how she had received no redress from the employment tribunal. She was quite upset. She was a simple person who used very simple French. She went on for quite a long while. I expected somebody to ask her to be quiet, nobody did. She completed what she had to say. She sat down. She received a polite round of applause. The Prefet who was presiding the meeting said he thanked the lady for her contribution and asked his assistant to contact the lady for her name and address so he could assist her. The meeting moved on.
Call it savoir vivre, tolerance, sympathy, human decency or what you will.