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I have been going back forth from the states to Europe for a decade. I have been fortunate enough to have lived in both France and England. And as you know, I just recently moving back to the United States. Here are ten things I learned from living in France:
1. The French people do NOT Hate Americans. It's a common misconception in the US and I think gives us grounds to in turn hate other countries. Which is total merde.
2. French people are both kind and very polite. If you use good manners and common sense, you will do fine there. Do your best to not be a living, breathing caricature of a rude American, okay?
3. People in Paris will NOT laugh at your accent. Also another misconception from the US. We are told not to go to Paris because our accent will be so awful people will stop in the streets and laugh at you and point. (Rolls eyes - never happen.)
4. People really do walk around with loaves of bread sticking out of sacks. That bread is fresh made and cost about one euro and you will LOVE IT!
5. The air and the sunlight really are different in France. Even if you were not an artist, you will become one after spending time in France. Pack that sketch pad now.
6. Higher Education is Free in France. (No student loans if you are a resident.) My French friends have asked me several times why we do not all get together in America and just pay a teacher to teach our children? I had to explain in America its all about that piece of paper.
7. French Food is Delicious! But we really already knew that, didn't we?
8. Most French words we use in American English do not mean the same thing. So tread carefully and do not take offense when someone say them to you in a totally different context.
9. Starbucks is for the tourists, because not very many, (if any French people) would pay $5 for a cup of coffee. Most often when I have coffee at my friends homes it is instant Nescafe. Sorry to spoil your fantasy.
10. Wine is very, very affordable. (If you live in the South especially.) Make friends with the locals and you will learn to save your wine bottles. You take these back to the vineyard on certain days to be refilled for almost nothing.
France felt like home to me the first time I stepped off the plane. I could do a list of 100 things I learned in France or maybe more. I learned so much about the French people, culture and also about myself. At times it was frightening to be living in a country where I knew no one, had a limited vocabulary and no cell phone, but I'm so glad I did it! I did purchase a phone (you have to show Id), made friends and learned some French. Then I learned more and met more people, went to more places and have so many wonderful memories!
If you are wondering if you should go soon or wait to visit...I would advise you NOT to wait. Learn as much French as you can and do not be afraid to address people, order food in a cafe or visit the landmarks. Just be polite and have an open mind.
Pack light and go already!
Welcome to my (I'm excited to travel again) blog, my healthy Vegan lifestyle blog and my life! It's a lot, but it's my passions and I just love to write about it. Visit the "About Me Page" to learn more.
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