Saturday, October 8, 2011

Surprizes about France

 Here's another list of things I found in France. Some good, some bad, some just normal now though they used to seem odd. Hope you enjoy this look at my little coin (corner) of France :

  • Classy older ladies carry natural wood, wicker baskets to the market and the supermarket.

  • Live birds (and dead ones too) at the market. Not to mention bunnies on the menu. (But go figure this is the country that eats frogs' legs - haven't tried them yet).  

  • In 9 months of living here, I've seen two men wearing berets (stereotypical French hat). They are not common here. Someone actually told me they are from Belgium (where they speak some French too).

  • There are not many easy options for donating gently used goods/furniture, so people often set their donations to the side of the recycling and other people pick them up and put them to good use.

  • It's hard to find larger size shoes, plus sized (larger than an American 12) clothing, and tall clothes in general. Surprised to find tall clothes and plus sized (larger than my size) at Kiabi - for decent prices!

  • Old ladies in bikinis, flab, wrinkles and all. Funny. No one-pieces except mine.

  • Dog droppings everywhere - especially on the sidewalk! Je deteste la crotte! (I detest the droppings!)

  • Caring French people. It's a stereotype that French people are cold. They are actually pretty kind and once you get to know them they are very sweet and caring.

  • French friends. Being able to connect in another language. Laughter, tears, and all.

  • Over 365 types of cheese. Mmm! (Some not pasteurized either - didn't know, haven't gotten sick or died yet.) 

  • Intricate apple or pear tart at small group. French church's small group gathering in our home. Fun times in French!

  • Christians, even non-Catholics, drink wine for communion and with each dinner meal. C'est normal! (It's normal!) Have only seen a drunk on the street though (homeless). Makes you think - in general it seems they do not drink to get drunk here. 

  • People smoking everywhere. More in this city than I would expect than in a small city in the States. Even saw some people rolling up old fashioned tabaco cigarettes. Made me feel like I was living in a different era.

  • People say Bonjour!  to the bus driver when they get on & then  Merci, Au revoir!  when they get off the bus. I kinda like this level of politesse (politeness).

  • KFC in France! Instead of the typical sides (mashed potatoes, green beans, biscuits) you get fries and you could get a lemon tart for dessert. A lemon tart at KFC!!

  • People are fashionable. Nice shoes too. It's neat to see what they come up with to look good.

  • English songs in stores (including uncensored ones). Songs a few months to a year behind the States. (Same thing with French dubbed US movies).

  • Styles from the 80's in the US making their way here. Makes me smile. Big neon sunglasses. Plaids mix-matched.

  • For the first time in my life I've seen people pee outside. Walking along (4 different times) and  I see the back of a grown man and realize: OH! and try to walk quickly past. Is that normal here? *shrugs* More practice for Africa.
  • Never realized I would learn so much about my language while trying to learn another. We use certain verbs to explain things that they have specific verbs for and vice-versa. It's amazing.

  • There's a grocery store here that has special weeks with products from the featured country. Funny to see what is offered during American week. What is sandwich sauce anyway?

  • I love walking and riding my bike here. Who knew exercise could be enjoyable!

Hope you enjoyed my list about the differences I see when I look at France through my cultural glasses. :)


  1. Oh, girl, you haven't had frog legs? I've eaten them here in the US! :) Thanks for the update. So great to see a peek into your lovely interesting life in France. :)

  2. Hey, now, in Kentucky we love us some good fried frog legs!! You should try 'em!! And i think sandwich sauce is our Miracle Whip, or that white salad dressing and sandwich spread that so many Americans love.


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