Saturday, January 14, 2012

Trend Report

    Now that the big scary swoop in the graph (a.k.a the holidays) has passed, it’s an upward climb from here as I experience “culture learning”.
I thought it would be fun to do a quick post on the cultural aspects that I have picked up on in these past five months. For example, as odd as it may seem, it took me awhile to get used to the degradable toilet paper rolls! In the beginning I would continue to throw them in the trashcan out of habit, but now I always flush them down. Look at me becoming so French! (Although these probably exist in America too, for all I know.)

So, you know you’re in France when:
-People take their dogs everywhere! And in turn, there is dog poop everywhere..
-You see groups of people wearing completely one color, jogging suits.
-Kids are smoking
-People are bitter towards America, but it’s everywhere. Kids at school have started saying “fail” and quote songs in english on a daily basis. 
-All the cars are stick shift and everyone parks in reverse.
-You wait your turn at a traffic circle more often than at a red light
-There is graffiti on pretty much everything.
-French people eat and eat and eat until they can't anymore...then they take a shot, and eat some more.
-It's very weird to do things and go places alone.
-Baguettes everywhere, in car windows, bike baskets, under people’s arms, etc!
-Everyone is always ready for vacation, even the morning of the first day back from vacation
-Instead of saying “no” people often say “c’est comme tu veux” (whatever you want) but they mean no!
-Always bring food when you’re invited to someone’s house
-"Tu m’étonnes" doesn’t translate to “you surprise me” like I thought it did the first hundred times my friends said it, but instead to “damn right”
-Flirtation has a whole new meaning, girls are very touchy with guys but that doesn’t actually mean anything
-People actually ask questions in class and will ask the teacher to clarify or go over something multiple times.
-In the first few weeks of philosophy class I would ask myself if I correctly understood, as we talked about humans growing up in the jungle and being savage (like Tarzan), the culture of porcupines, and life in a nudist colony...I did.

I’ve also noticed fashion trends of course so:
How to dress like a French girl:
Put tights on under jeans
Brands like: Les Petites Bombes, Deisgual and Franklin & Marshall (which apparently is American, but I'd never seen it until I came here).
High heel boots
Longchamp or Eastpack bags
Trench and pea coats
Clothes here are relatively expensive but girls often wear the same thing multiple days in a row. 

Boys in France dress pretty similar to boys in America, except skinny jeans takes on a whole new meaning, I honestly don’t know how these guys manage to move in their pants.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Laura,

    My name is Virgínia Rodrigues and I work for the language portal

    I'm contacting you with regards to your blog.

    Every year we organize the “Top 100 International Exchange and Experience Blogs” competition (also known as IX12). We are looking for the top 100 blogs about life abroad because we really enjoy bringing the exchange blogger community together. Last year we had 220 participants and close to 5.000 votes. You can see the last year results here:

    Your blog has been nominated and will enter the competition unless you tell us not to. The nomination period goes from January 16th to January 29th, 11:59 p.m. CET (German Time). Feel free to tell other bloggers about the competition or nominate another blog yourself. Voting starts on January 31st and goes till February 12th, 11:59 p.m. CET (German Time). Results will be published February 14th. The winners will be decided based on user votes.

    If you don’t want to be included in the nomination list, please let us know by sending me an email and we won´t contact you again. You can also contact me by email ( if you have any further questions about the competition.

    Kind regards,
    Virgínia Rodrigues
    On behalf of and the Lexiophiles language blog