France May Not Be For You…

What others would you add?

  1. The French sure do love their cigarettes.  If you don’t like cigarette smoke, France may not be for you.
  2. If you expect to be fussed and fawned over at dinner by wait staff who act like your new best friend and offer up their name, France may not be for you.
  3. And if you may become upset and impatient when said wait staff let you relax and enjoy your meal rather than shoving you out the door, France may not be for you.
  4. If you need to touch and riffle through all the merchandise when you’re shopping and you think the customer is always right, France may not be for you.
  5. If you expect the French to smile, hold the door for you (a complete stranger) and speak to you in English, France may not be for you.
  6. If you don’t like cheese – the smell of cheese, the taste of cheese. It’s a country of over 365 cheeses and if you can’t handle that much cheese, France may not be for you
  7. If you prefer Paris sidewalks to be free of doggie doo, France may not be for you.
  8. If you’re not big on etiquette, using your manners, or going out of your way to be polite in a foreign country, France may not be for you.
  9. If you like mega-sized portions and leftovers, France may not be for you.
  10. If you thing aloof, private and reserved translates to rudeFrance may not be for you.
  11. If you have no desire to learn a bit of the language or culture before you go, France may not be for you.
  12. If you’ll be highly offended when you try to speak your best French, but you’re answered back in English, France may not be for you.
  13. If you’ll throw a hissy fit when the classy resto you’ve been looking forward to dining in won’t serve you at 3:30 for lunch or 5:30 for dinner.  France has set hours for shopping, dining, banking and other services, France may not be for you.
  14. If you’ll be uncomfortable when Parisians blatantly stare at you while sizing you up on the Metro, France may not be for you.
  15. If you can’t sleep in anything less than a king sized bed or stay in a hotel room the size of a house, France may not be for you.
  16. If you might ask a waiter for a phone book to call the health department to report the women sitting at the next table in a bistro who’s dining companion is her dog, France may not be for you.
  17. If you’re not greeted with the same sense of urgency as you’re used to in other parts of the world (ie, the U.S.), France may not be for you.” 

Reblogged: By Robin Locker Lacey via Tongue in Cheek


France & America – A Dichotomy

They say re-entry is harder after having been an expat. That being said, I travel back to the States twice a year and, although I feel comfortable there as an American, I do notice a few things while I’m in the U.S., that are strikingly different from in France, such as:

Food troughs at Whole Foods

    • I rarely saw smokers
    • the lack of scooters and motorcycle (I saw 6 in a ten-day period compared to 6 every second in Nice)
    • air conditioning blasting cold air in the airport and basically everywhere (in September)
    • homogeneous neighborhoods/residences, based on economic status
    • right turn on red light allowed (illegal in France)
    • the vast number of churches in any given area
    • uniform color of U.S. money (except for the purple five on the back of a $5 bill – why is it like that, by the way?)

The most notable difference is the friendly and helpful customer service in the U.S., which is generally not considered automatically included in one’s job in France (unless they are indeed working in a customer service department); therefore, they tend to do only the job they are paid to do.

French Television Channel One’s website recently posted what they view as “Americans’ Top Ten French Stereotypes” (link list is in English) of the French. What do you think of this list? Have you personally experienced any of these?

I believe one needs to travel with an open mind, leaving behind expectations of how they think things should be, in order to have a fulfilling and enlightening journey.  Bon Voyage & Bienvenue!