Sunday, September 19, 2010

fun facts! :D

so, because i know you've all been waiting with baited breath for me to post again, i'm going to. :D hooray!

also, i'm really sorry i haven't posted in so long. i know there are like, 10 people reading this, but still. i feel guilty about not writing. i promise i'll be better. :)

now, instead of giving away all the news and details that i'm saving for my real blog post, i'm going to make a list (probably a long one) of observations i've made about france. and french people. :) they're obviously huge generalizations, but that's okay.

without further ado, here we've got (in no particular order of fun)


  • it's beautiful here.
  • the chti language really exists.
  • thankfully, i'm not that far north. but there is another language here in brittany that some people speak - breton.
  • ratatouille also exists, and is yummy. :)
  • msot of their music and movies are american. (movies are usually dubbed, though).
  • they love amercia (more applicable to teenagers).  
  • apparently my school is just like everything they ever hoped for. :)
  • they do eat a lot of cheese. 
  • a lot of bread, too. 
  • in terms of food, everything we can do, they can do better. (except mac and cheese, hamburgers, and pb&j) 
  • speaking of pb&j, they think it's weird. lots of them have never had peanut butter, and they think it's crazy to put it with jelly. they lose cool points on that one. i love pb&j. 
  • they do wear black (or navy) striped shirts a lot.  
  • they are super put-together. it's intimidating. 
  • they are also really big on ironing everything/ not having any stains on you. pretty unfortunate for me. 
  • most everybody under 30 speaks at least a little english.  
  • the boys are super cute.  
  • ;) 
  • everything is smaller here. people, serving sizes, houses, cars, fruit... 
  • facebook is huge. 
  • the countryside here is the cutest thing you ever saw. it is exactly what you might picture when you think of "calm, lovely french countryside." complete with rolling hills, random groves of pretty trees, old cottage-y houses, with laundry drying in the wind... (*sigh*) 
  • laundry is dried on a clothesline, by the way. it's very pretty.  
  • but, everything is stiffer. and your jeans don't shrink back. and apparently all your socks dissapear. :P 
  • everybody speaks french, all the time. (i know i sound like an idiot putting that in as an observation, but sometimes it hits me, and it's really shocking all of a sudden. i dunno.) 
  • school = ETERNITY. seriously. thursdays are 8:30 am - 6 pm for me. ewwwww. 
  • and both the teachers and students switch rooms after every class. i don't get it, but whatever. this also means that the rooms aren't decorated at all. it's very dreary - in the hallways, the walls are cement. in the classrooms, the walls are plain white. 
  • my school also only uses flourescent lighting. AAAAAAHHH. :( 
  • you also don't pick your classes. you pick a "track," sort of. there's ES (economics and stuff), S (math and science), L (litterature - that's what i'm in), STG (i think that's general stuff - or management). there are some other ones, too, at speacialty schools.  
  • so, in your track, you get to pick a few options. like, for L at my school, you can choose two languages out of 5, and you can choose whether you want more math or more english.  
  • then, you have a class that you go to all your classes with (besides the ones you picked - then you just go with the ones who picked the same stuff as you). my class is 26 girls, and one boy. and we spend all day, every day together. 
  • there are no school sports. or any extra-curricular activities, really. 
  • a lot of teenagers smoke. (not a fun fact at all.) 
  • the buses are starting to make sense to me! :D 
  • there are no lockers at school. (well, there kind of are, but they're tiny, and there's only like 50. it's a one-time use sort of thing.) 
  • cafeteria food is AWESOME. (see above statement about food) 
  • there are a lot of false cognates between english and french. 
  • there are more real cognates - if i don't know how to say a verb, i say it in english, plus a french accent and -er on the end. it works about 2/3 of the time. 
  • some people (especially women) make this weird hiccupy/gasp noise randomly throughout conversations. i think it's some sort of emphasis thing.  
  • they also do it sometimes when it's dead silent. 
  • they're not all like parisians. they're very friendly, if you are. 
  • nobody says "zut." they say a lot of things in exclamation that i won't repeat. :P 
  • they also say "mince." (it means skinny.) i think that one's safe, though. 
  • they are super-scheduled. like, they make plans on saturday for the next friday. and they eat at the same time every day, together.  
  • they have lots of slang / abbreviations that don't make any sense. 
  • "lizzie mcguire, you are an outfit repeater!" would never happen in france. people wear the same shirt, or the same sweater, or the same pants, a few days in a row, and it's totally normal. especially for teachers. like, you could wear the exact same thing every day for a week and it wouldn't be werid. 
  • their plugs (and the voltage) are different. (kind of obvious, but maybe i just saved somebody from frying their laptop or something several years down the road.) 
  • they have big noses. (okay, obviously not all of them, but kind of a lot.) 
  • they really think americans are fat and stupid and uncultured.  
  • they might be onto something... 


that's all i can think of right now. but, when i post more posts, i'll stick extra random observations in there. :)

i'm doing pretty well, too, by the way. :) my first week was hard. but things are looking up, and my french is already taking off. it feels good to really get going. :)

well, i've gotta go so i can eat some really yummy dinner with my host family, but i'll post my real post soon (it's in draft mode still).

à bientôt! :D

-katie (now prounounced kha-tee)


  1. I love hearing the details! What is your host family like, now that you've been there a little while? Put up some pictures when you get a chance. Love you!

  2. Thanks for such an entertaining post - we were laughing a lot :) It's great to hear you being your witty, happy self...we love it!
    26 girls and 1 boy in your class??!!Nate's comment about that was "wow - she picked the wrong track!" And funny that nothing is decorated - my impression of the French was that they were super artistic - right? anyway- can't wait to hear more!! love you!

  3. Ha - this was a fantastic post! I laughed my way from beginning to end. :)

  4. Hey girl, I'm so happy you are having a good time there. Having you in Alaska was worse enough and now that you are in FRANCE?! wtf. But anyways. I love you and i miss you. And you still sound like the old Katie I knew back in Kansas. That's a good thing.
    Love asian,

  5. Katie,
    I love hearing your impressions of the french culture! I eat cheese with every meal... it must be my french heritage!
    We miss you so much but are so happy for you! I had no idea what a great writer you were!

    love, mara

  6. Alex, (Latvia)
    Hey Katie I'm glad you enjoying your exchange in France. I was laughing sometimes when I was reading your blog..We have kind of the same school in Latvia. Now you can imagine me when I just arrived to USA and went to school..haha There are so many differences between Europe and USA.

  7. yes! i knew it'd be different... but not THAT different. :)
    it's less... fun at school here, but i still like it. it's different. :)
    it must have seemed so crazy for you in america!

    anjuwa - i miss you too :) haha still the same old me.

    and marcie - definitely the wrong class. ;) don't worry i'm in a different one now. better odds. :)