Oh, I cannot express how your comments have made me feel better. Stupid I know, but for the last couple of days, I have really been 'off' France, and yet I know they aren't all like this. I have some really nice, and supportive, French friends here. I think it's just that I also have a couple of young friends who have have mixed parentage (Madagascan/French) and even with lots of good academics they have experienced all sort of horridness with finding work. I then wonder for my poor kid, who's ten with an English mum and Canadian dad, but I realise that already, he is far tougher than lots of his friends, and just says he ignores the nastiness. Damn it, he was born here, why should he be seen as different.
I have an English girlfriend here, who is married to a French man, and she refuses to speak a word of French here, as she says she feels so got at (speaks it at home with her husband, and kids but not 'au public' so to speak - she did speak for five years and then just decided she'd had enough). I don't think this is quite the way to go, although I can understand her feelings. In a couple of days I shall be in chieftan tank mode and plough through their objections with the nicest of smiles, whilst deftly countering any asides with my evidently dreadful English accented French! This is a battle I am going to win! I really feel this to be my own personal Waterloo. If I don't find work at something, I shall for ever feel I've failed, and that can't happen.