Thursday, May 21, 2015

Money and friends don't mix

A friend told me recently about a 50€ story.

She was at work and everyone was going to go for lunch.
One coworker couldn't go because she needed to go to a shopping center to pawn her glasses.
This coworker needed 50€ badly, as she would have a bounced check if she didn't bank in 50€ immediately to her bank account.
Hearing her reason, the coworkers around just nodded in understanding and went to mind their own business.

When everyone was gone, my friend turned to this coworker and noticed that she was desperate, tired and sad. She immediately proposed that she could lend her 50€.
This coworker was shocked, and touched. She didn't expect anyone would lend her money.

Indeed, French in general believe that money and friends don't mix. This could also apply to family members. In my case, if I so badly needed 50€, I would have asked to borrow from a friend, or a family member. This friend who told the story is also an Asian, so we share the same culture. For both of us, it is no brainer, someone needs help, as a friend we help. Come on, we are taking about 50€, it is really not that much if we could help a friend.

But, we live in a different world. I talked to hubby about this, his immediate response was like the general French, money and friends don't mix.


  1. Anonymous3:46 AM

    I generally think lending money is a bad idea. If a friend needs help and if I'm financially able to help, I give money. I don't expect it back, so that there is no hard feeling and if the friend does pay it back or help me in some way, it's a nice surprise. With close family, I simply don't keep track. My money is yours. We are all on the same page (and I'm talking relatively small amounts here, not thousands!)

    I think French feel poor and stressed out with "la crise" so there are less generous, more individualistic. It wasn't always like this. Now it's very much "chacun pour soi".

  2. Once, with Dublin-Paris flight re-routed and delayed, the student next to me was upset because she would have missed her train to get to her host family plus she didn't have money for an extra night of hotel. I gave her €50 (half the cash I had in hand) to help tide her through (and didn't ask for repayment), but she actually posted it back to me within a week. She also told me that the couple seated across the aisle took her out for dinner. The world is a much better place when people chip in together.

    Ps: luckily F is not very French in this matter. I've seen him being generous with his time and money with others.

  3. So sad to have to pawn the glasses to get 50 euro. Your friend is so kind to lend the money.

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