Flip-Flop France: 20 signs you're becoming French
From doing laundry to six-hour family lunches, living in France soon affects your approach to everything.
I was hanging up a load of lights in the kitchen when I came to the realisation that there are certain indications of the American shell shedding and me becoming truly and culturally French. Don't get me wrong, I am by no means a Francophile (like most people) and it's not a process I am opening my arms and begging for, I just am slowly evolving into a culture and I realised there are ways to tell if you are truly becoming French:
- The crunchy towels don't bother you any more.
- Laundry is an automatic five step process that takes days, and you plan for this:
- Wash the laundry (three hours)
- Hang the laundry (30 minutes)
- Wait to dry (One day in spring/summer, three days in winter)
- Fold crunchy laundry
- If you see friends and you don't faire les bises you feel weird, like something is missing.
- You decide on a place to eat over a two hour conversation
- Once done eating you know it will take another hour of standing around to say good bye
- You begin to know a good baguette just by looking at it in a boulangerie
- You eat bread with dinner with no butter spread on it
- The thought of stinky cheese excites you
- Prendre un café means sit in a café for two hours while sipping a miniscule espresso
- Suddenly, you are not out of breath after climbing to your fifth story apartment, sans ascenseur!
- A Sunday family dinner to you is six hours, four courses and many many interruptions during conversations
- When visiting family, you never go to bed before 1am and you most likely are drunk at the end of dinner
- When you boire un coup with tes amis you are sipping a cocktail and not binging beer in cheap plastic cups
- If invited to someone's house you begin worrying about what you can bring... fleurs? Bouteille du vin?
- Aperitif does not include cheese and crackers. (Hey, in the States, we often serve cheese and crackers in the beginning of a meal!)
- The thought of sweet and salty disgusts you. *NOTE: I have yet to get here. I still love meatballs with berry sauce from Ikea*
- On Sunday you don't go grocery shopping. Don't go to the bank. Don't go shopping for clothes. Although, you frequent le marché.
- When invited to dinner, you often look like you're going to a four star restaurant... even if it's just a close friend.
- You have a giant stack of papers and prescriptions, receipts and proof, as well as many copies of signed original statements for even your bike pass. Hellooo accordian file.
- You suddenly find yourself using words like: jsché pas (je ne sais pas), connard (asshole), n'importe quoi (ridiculous), connerie (bullshit) and you are thinking it en français.
- Frog legs, snails and foie gras are things you love, burgers and fast food are déguleusse!
It makes me so curious what it will be like to return home in July and have everything suddenly in English. A dryer. Fast service. Grocery people bagging my groceries. Smiling waiters/tips. Aaahhh!!!
Sasha Steiner is a young American who moved 3,360 miles to Lyon, France, then to Paris a few years later. She's a blogger and specialist in international business and culture shock. After three years abroad in France, she repatriated to her home town Portland, Oregon, in late 2013. Sasha continues to spend her free time sharing stories and advice about international living through her blog Flip-Flop France.
Photo credit: cocoparisienne (baguettes).
Comment here on the article, or if you have a suggestion to improve this article, please click here.