Monday, September 27, 2004

French Goods and Services

I must admit, I have traveled through France and found much to like. As the English say, France would be a great country if you removed the French people. France is one of the few countries that possesses great beaches, cities, skiing, history, art, food, etc. All is not lost, though. In this global economy, there are plenty of alternatives to French goods and services.

Planning a ski trip? Many places rival or surpass the French Alps. Val d'Isere is world class, but so is Vail, Colorado and Park City, Utah. Some might argue that Canada is not much better an ally than France, but at least they are not worse. Whistler, British Columbia is hard to ignore. On the continent, I enjoyed St. Anton in Austria. Great village, tough terrain, and lots of off-piste.

Play tennis? There are so many manufacturers that there is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON TO EVEN CONSIDER A FRENCH BRAND. Avoid the frogs' Babolat rackets and Tecnifibre strings.

Need some tools? Skip S-K brand. They used to be an American company but are owned by the French. For similar money, consider Stanley, Proto, Blackhawk, Craftsman, or if you've got the cash, Mac or Snap-on tools. All excellent quality, many made in America, and by American companies.

I shouldn't even have to mention French wine. Given the variety and quality of wine around the world, there is no need to patronize French wine. It is one of their biggest industries, and avoiding French wine truly hits them where it hurts. Australia, Chile, and of course the USA have been producing great wine for years. South Africa and other upstarts likewise produce notable wines.

More ideas to come. Please feel free to add your suggestions.

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