“In the United States there are no Peugeot or Renault cars!”

Here’s how a Peace Corp veteran tries to illustrate the presence and effects of French colonialism.

I shall never forget a Comorian friend’s reaction to his first trip to the United States. Arriving back in Moroni, rather than enthusiastically describing skyscrapers, fast food, and cable TV, his singular observation was that in the United States there are no Peugeot or Renault cars! This piece of technology, essential to Comorian life, had always been French, and this Comorian was shocked to learn that there were alternatives.

Why would anyone ever expect someone with access to daily delicious fresh fruit and fish to ever enthusiastically describe… fast food?




The French passed draconian laws and did worse to require colonies (especially former ones) to only buy French exports. I get it, yup I do. So Comorians lived under artificial monopoly, and only knew French brands. Kind of like how the typical American who visits France says “I need a coffee, where’s the Starbucks?” Or the American says “I need to talk with my family and friends, where’s the Facebook?”

Surely being forced by frogs into their dilapidated cars, however, still rates quite far above entering into a health disaster of American fast food. A Comorian losing access to the delicious, locally made slow high nutrition cuisine is nightmare stuff.

But seriously…

“This piece of technology, essential to Comorian life” is a straight up Peace Corp lie about cars.

Everyone (especially the bumbling French DGSE) knows a complicated expensive cage on four wheels is unessential to island life, inefficient, and only recently introduced. Quality of life improves inversely to the number of cars on a single lane mountain road.

Motorbikes? That’s another story entirely, as an actual “unexpected” power differential, which the Israelis, Afghans, Chinese and lately Ukranians very clearly know far too well (chasing British and Japanese lessons).

Go home Peace Corp guy, your boring big car ride to a lifeless big skyscraper box filled with tastless Big Mac is waiting. Comorians deserve better. American interventionists should try to improve conditions locally and appropriately, not just drive former colonies so far backwards they start missing French cars.

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