Pros and Cons of life in France
I have been in France for six years (originally from America), and recently got my 10-year carte de resident and am feeling on top of the world! I see my French life as a humorous-yet-ever-so-frustrating adventure.
For example, here are some of my biggest French pet peeves:
- The ability for the French to pretend that no other person exists on this earth. They see Point A (where they are at that particular moment) and Point B (where they want to go) and whether or not there is something in between these two points (grocery cart, car, person, kitten), they will plow through it to get to where they are going. This drives me CRAZY. It is for this reason that I now do my grocery shopping online and why I hate roundabouts.
- Men who pee outside. I don’t care if you ‘gotta go’, man, find a bathroom! Along the highway, in the bushes in a parking lot and on the sides of buildings are not appropriate places to relieve yourself!!!
- People who don’t use their blinkers. Ok, this isn’t a French-only behavior, but 50% of French admit to this! This makes me want to release my inner Kraken.
- People who butt (cut) in line at the grocery store, tabac, ANYWHERE. Just don’t do it! Impatience kills!!!!!
- Men and boys who hock loogies (spit) on the ground. So gross!
- The dog poooooooooop!
- Store and post office hours. Ugh!
- Litterers. They drive me absolutely bonkers! There are even some people who litter NEXT TO garbage cans. Why do you do this, people?!
- France does not have Dorritos.
- Not believing that anything is possible! “C’est pas possible” is not in my vocabulary, mon pote!
- “C’est pas mon problème”. I’m gonna make it your problem, buddy.
- The inexistence of service in any industry. Don’t expect anybody to go the ‘extra mile’ for you. They won’t. It’s not in their blood.
- They complain about everything.
But don’t get me wrong, I still love this (sometimes frustrating) country. Some of the things I like best about France are:
- 95% of all recipes call for crème fraîche.
- You can chat with coworkers at work and you won’t get yelled at for slacking.
- Five weeks of paid vacation! And tons of holidays!
- There are rarely any commercials during TV shows.
- Boulangeries for their fresh baguettes and tasty little pastries!
- Old architecture. I love seeing châteaux and vestiges of other medieval monuments sitting funnily alongside drug stores, tabacs and other modern-day buildings. You can see this in most cities.
- France is only a few hours’ flight to so many wonderful countries. Feel like spending the weekend in Rome, Budapest or Athens? Yeah, I can do that.
- France is home to three of the most handsome men ever: Jean Dujardin, Thierry Neuvic and François Vincentelli. Can you say ooh la la?
- The language, of course, is beautiful. I have yet to find another language that comes close. Accept maybe American!