Having monitored this forum for several months, I often see questions or comments about whether the French are friendly or are they rude etc. etc.
I've been here about 10 days and EVERYONE, and I mean everyone I've encountered has been kind, helpful, friendly - all that and more. I do speak some French but whenever I start in French, they usually change immediately over to English. I've stopped on the street to check my map and more than once, someone has stopped as well to ask if I need help or directions.
Yesterday I was at Gare St Lazare to check a train schedule. The clerk who communicated in English and French asked me what I thought of the French because 'most foreigners don't like us, they think we are rude and arrongant'. I told him that was not true in my experience, that the French are helpful and kind. And this is a guy who deals with tourists all day long -- how sad that he thinks he is viewed as rude.
Rude waiters -- not in my experience. Yes, the dining experience is different than in the states but I love that I am not rushed out the door so the table can be used by another customer. I've enjoyed my longer solo dinners. And some waiters have totally endeared themselves to me. The other night I had dinner at la Coupole. My camera was on my table and the waiter came over and asked "May I?" I thought he was offering to take my picture. Well no, he walked around the restaurant taking photos of the painted ceiling and the floor tiles, then returned and took a self-portrait of himself and another waiter. That will be one of my best memories from this trip.
I did go see 'How To Be A Parisian In One Hour' the other night. Olivier Giraud of course proposes that the French are truly arrogant. But he over exaggerates the traits of the French so much, that it just become humorous. And being French, I suppose he can poke fun at himself and his fellow countrymen.
Anyway, my point is that if your overall experience with the French is that they are rude, I suggest you look to yourself and see how you are treating them. Of course, there can be the one or two that are having a bad day. That happens anywhere. But to write off an entire country of people is in my opinion, the rudest act of all.