Tuesday, November 2, 2010


  • school is serious business
  • tests are never, ever multiple choice
  • it's toally normal for a test to require at least 4 pages of written response
  • they have a lot of bad words :(
  • everybody's catholic, but nobody's "practicing"
  • "religion is for old people"
  • their school supplies are awesome
  • and very organized when put to use
  • dessert is an obligatory part of the meal - parents force their children to eat dessert.
  • country music doesn't happen here
  • neither do random holidays / days off of school
  • they just seem a lot less... festive? jolly? congenial? affectionate? zealous?
  • road signs are different
  • the sign for a speed bump looks like a mustache :)
  • it's not tailgating until there's an audible collision
  • there are no SUV's, or a word for them
  • all cars here are stickshift
  • they drive exactly like in the movies
  • they do the air kissy thing exactly like in the movies
  • ... they pretty much live just like in the movies.


things that bother french people:                                                       
  • burping/sneezing/hiccuping/making any sort of unexpected noises
  • smiling at strangers / cheerfulness
  • loud americans in the bus/metro (apparently)
  • being wasteful (letting the water run, leaving the lights on, not recycling)
  • giggling
  • noise outside
  • especially during meals
  • school (i guess that's international)
  • driving
  • saying entire words - everything gets abbreviated
  • living far away from family (far = an hour or more)
  • halloween :(
  • using the wrong form of "you" :P
  • being too casual in public - pyjamas are entirely out of the question
  • when i say "desolĂ©e" but haven't done anything bad

things that do not bother french people:
  • stinky cheese
  • stinky people smells :P
  • their hair, however it is when they wake up (this is awesome)
  • speaking english, whether or not they know what they're saying
  • listening primarily to english music... whether or not they know what it's saying
  • smoke
  • lung cancer...
  • being reeeeeeally close to other people when usinbg public transportation
  • kissing people's faces (i've been here two months and i still panic every time i encounter a large group of people i know)
  • when their teachers write in chicken scratch :(
things i heard about in french class that are very true:
  • french ads don't usually make a whole lot of sense
  • they talk FAST
  • they do the little pulling-on-the-eye thing when they don't believe something
  • they write in cursive, all the time
  • they are seriously meticulate in note-taking
  • teachers are authority, not pals
  • teachers change classrooms, too

p.s. i edited this list, because it sounded too pessimistic the first time. i need to learn to write only when i'm in a good mood. :)


    1. Thank you for all of the wonderful posts! I'm planning on exchanging for a semester in France next year, so you blog is very helpful.
      merci pout tout!

    2. I love all the details Katie! You are so funny with the things you notice...I would never think to make note of those things, but it makes me feel like I'm there with you! So glad you got the living arrangement worked out.
      Love you SO much.

    3. Ah thank you! Hopefully I'm going on a month-long summer exchange and this helped a lot!