Just before I went to Sweden I figured out a quick trip back to Lyon, France to see some old friends. (I lived there in 05-06).Can’t wait to go back and see the great “Marches de Noel” and walk through Vieux Lyon, eat at some bouchons with old friends and reminisce about old times. However, after reading the news this week, I guess little has changed. I was in Paris the day the riots started in 2005 and left to go back to Lyon, where the riots continued. There was tear gas used in the city’s main square, a molotov cocktail thrown on the metro I took everyday (which thankfully didn’t go off) and thousands of cars burned.
Funny thing though, I read more about the events from the International papers than the French ones. Everyone back home was worried about me being in France at that time, and the general opinion I got from friends and workmates were “bon, c’est dans les banlieues quoi… pas de soucis”. (well, it’s in the suburbs, don’t worry).
Honestly, this was the general opinion from most French natives (not immigrants) I got. They were disheartened by it, but they didn’t really care (most of them at least). I was shocked. 8000 CARS BURNED AND YOU HAVE NOTHING TO SAY!!!
In terms of getting jobs, it also doesn’t help that you need your photograph attached to your resume (very common in Europe). This would perhaps weed out some of the racism happening when finding jobs.